The 2021 Tenor Pinot Noir was crafted from the Conner Lee vineyard in the Columbia Valley AVA and from north facing blocks in the Solaksen vineyard within the Royal Slope AVA. The winemaking team worked with vineyard managers to restrict yields, creating small, concentrated berries. Cool Fall nights temperatures preserved a sense of freshness in the wine while continuing flavor development.
Hand-harvesting took place in the early mornings in October. Upon arriving at the winery, the fruit was cluster sorted with 80% destemmed and berry sorted before being added on top of 20% whole cluster fruit. The wine spent +30 days on skins for extended maceration before being barreled down into varying formats of both new and used French and Austrian oak. The wine was cellared for 20 months, with 12 barrels being selected and carefully blended. Ultimately, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered to ensure the wine in bottle is pure and vibrant, producing only 327 cases.
Radiant cranberry red in the glass with a crystalline scarlet rim, the 2021 Tenor Pinot Noir is effusively aromatic with rose oil, muddled cherry, and incense leading the charge. Supported by black fruits, pie and creosote aromas the palate gives way to enticing flavors of English toffee, blood orange, lingonberry, and crushed granite. Pleasantly medium bodied, the silky-smooth tannins are supported by a fine streak of acidity. The finish is long and deliciously dynamic with toasted marshmallow, fruit punch, and sea spray.
Food Pairing Recommendations
Char Siu Pork (Chinese BBQ Pork) Bun with Cabbage & Carrot Slaw
Awards & Accolades
"The 2021 Tenor Pinot Noir comes mainly from the Connor Lee Vineyard which produces berries with thick skins. Stored in 90% new French oak barrels with varying format size, this offers generous black and red fruits on the nose with toasty oak, and suggestions of violet rose petals. The palate is plush and concentrated with a seamless texture. Showing good weight and underlying verve, this is quite simply the finest Washington State Pinot Noir that has been produced. Drink 2023-2033."
-95 points, Owen Bargreen, owenbargreen.com
"The 2021 Pinot Noir from Royal Slope is remarkably pretty, lifting with a bouquet of dried strawberries, crushed raspberry and rosy florals. This is soft textured yet juicy in feel, with depths of dark red fruits lifted by a tinge of sour orange. It tapers off long and crisp, with a sweet-and-sour sensation that maintains an energetic feel. The 2022 spent 20 months in 93% new oak (80% French, 20% Austrian) and 7% used French oak."
-93 points, Eric Guido, Vinous Media
Vineyards: 1,900 acres (768 hectares)
Top Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc
Average Annual Precipitation: 6-8 inches
Soil: Sandy loam, soil
Average Vine Age: 14yrs