Saturday, February 11, 2012

Privé Vineyard Le Nord (2008)

There is something about Privé Vineyard that appeals to both Clare and myself.  Maybe it is the fact that Privé is a small family owned vineyard and winery, with only a couple of acres of vines.  Maybe it is the vineyard's drive to recreate French style wines in Willamette Valley.  When we visited the vineyard, we left with three bottles of wine, including the Le Nord (2006).  We have continued to buy wines from Privé, including the Le Nord (2008).

According to its label, "at Privé, we believe exceptional wines demand constant attention in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the winery."  In the vineyard, there are twenty-two year old vines of Pommard (Burgundian) clones.  A clone is a separate vine that is genetically identical to the mother plant.  A clone is created by taking cuttings from the mother plant, rather than the seeds.  (Pollinated seeds will result in a different genetic makeup for the new vine.)  For Privé, its clones are Pinot Noir vines from the Burgundy region.  These clones were planted and continue to grow in Jory soil on a moderately slopped Southwest-facing slope.

After the grapes are picked, sorted and pressed, the wine is aged in French oak barrels.  At least twenty-five percent of the barrels are new French oak.  Approximately 200 cases of this wine are produced a year. 

Privé Vineyard's Le Nord pours a beautiful garnet red in color.  The winemaker describes this wine as being "[t]typical of red fruit characteristics layered with cinnamon and clove and an undertone of forest floor and truffle."  As we drank the wine, I could definitely identify the the cherry fruit in the aroma, as well as a little minerality (perhaps that "forest floor" or truffle).  As for the taste, the elements obviously include cherries, but there was also a little spice around the edges.  I am not sure that the spice was cinnamon or clove; instead, it seemed like some cracked black pepper.  The Le Nord is a very smooth, medium-bodied wine that has as earthy finish to it. 

With only 200 cases produced in a year, this wine is a little difficult to obtain.  It can only be obtained through the winemaker's website.  It is definitely worth the effort. 

ENJOY!

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