I first “officially” met owner Mark Tarlov when he was about to launch his Evening Land project. I was referred to him by winemaker Sashi Moorman. Mark has since left ELV behind, taking with him considerable experience & insight into how to do things better, & has now launched Chapter 24, his latest Oregon based wine project. He hired Oregon local, Mike Etzel Jr. (his father of Beaux Freres fame) & then convinced Burgundy superstar Louis Michel Ligier Belair to consult. Theirs is a completely different perspective into producing top quality Oregon Pinot Noir, one I believe will change the game there. For one, Louis Michel wanted to have MANY different clones/grape selections AND from many different sites to work with. As times goes on, they will then weed out some (already….those from Dundee Hills for instance) , while continually adding more & more interesting sites. The goal is to then, I am sure, also plant their own estate vineyard(s) as well. In addition, Louis Michel, having learned his craft from the iconic Henri Jayer, looks for true physiological maturity in the grapes & then by their long, cool, oxygen rich, 35 day fermentations produce better & better wines which are at the same time balanced (& more naturally). The resulting wines they believe should be first & foremost delicious BUT with intricacy, complexity, layering & intriguing character as one swirls the glass. Yes, we believe this is a game changing project.
2012 Pinot Noir, Two Messengers–The grapes come from 22 different vineyards, in keeping with Louis Michel’s thirst for bio-diversity. 35 day fermentation, NO stems inclusion, NO punch downs, 25% new oak. The wine is so pretty, enticing, elegant, refined & classy…AND delicious!
2012 Pinot Noir, Chapter 24 “Flood”–Produced from SIX vineyards with sedimentary soil. 35 day, whole berry fermentation, NO stems inclusion, NO punch downs, 33% new oak. Lovely with a BIG textural change without any sense of heaviness. 13.3 alcohol naturally.
2012 Pinot Noir, Chapter 24 “Fire”–Produced from SIX vineyards with volcanic (inorganic) soil. 35 day, whole berry fermentation, NO stems inclusion, NO punch downs, 33% new oak. Higher toned, more perfume, much more stony….again delicious, with much more seductive texture.
2012 Pinot Noir, Chapter 24 “The Last Chapter”–Produced in 2012 from 4 vineyards, the core being from the top of the hill of Shea vineyard & another with 40 year old vines. 35 day, whole berry fermentation, NO stems inclusion, NO punch downs, 75% new oak. Epitomizes elegance, refinement & sophistication, BUT with surprising deliciousness, alluring charm without being forward or too front loaded. It is a very sensual style of Pinot, which what Pinot should be, right?