2019 Vincent, Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The 2019s here at Vincent have proved to be lovely and charming wines, especially the Eola-Amity Pinot with its fresh, almost tangy dry profile and purity of flavors that highlight the vintage and has a style that suits the fans of delicacy over richness. The palate is bright and tart with lots of cherry, red currant, strawberry and cranberry fruits to start, with this Eola-Amity Hills Pinot adding some depth and dimension with air and while lively the texture is supple and the wine reveals briar notes, spice, mineral tones, a subtle floral array and dried herbs. This year’s Eola-Amity Hills is a blend of barrels from Zenith, Bjornson and Silvershot vineyards, with the famed Zenith maybe providing the structure and soul in this delightful version.The Eola-Amity grapes, sourced from these top quality sites, set on marine sedimentary and volcanic soils, are carefully sorted and typically, but not always, get crushed and de-stemmed and then put into small fermenters. Any whole cluster lots, if used, (depends on the vintage) Vincent adds, get a classic pigeage, or foot treading, to get things moving and minimize any large air pockets that might be in the fermenter. The winery notes as well, that the main lots of crushed grapes in the bins are then left alone for a spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts, usually this happens within a week or so. Only when enough CO2 is coming off the fermenter in earnest do the cellar team do the first punch downs, where they break up the forming cap of and push down grape matter at the top layer of the fermenter deeper into the juice to extract more flavor and color. The wine is aged in used French barriques and bottled unfiltered with very low SO2 to promote transparency, which this Pinot delivers nicely.

Vincent winemaker, Vincent Fritzsche, started his small winery, located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, back in 2009 with a focus on transparent and elegant Pinot Noirs, which are lighter and more vibrant than was the trend of the times and after some success with his stylish examples, Vincent, now produces about 2,000 cases a year of mainly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but as added some very nice Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and a really exciting Gamay to his collection, which I reviewed recently here. Fritzsche says that he makes his wines in a low-input wine making style, borrowed from the old world, and sources his grapes from some incredible vineyards with several sustainably-farmed parcels from all around the Willamette Valley. All of Vincent’s offerings are small lot hand-crafted wines, that he adds, are made in a natural way without a lot of fuss. While known mainly for his collection of single vineyard Pinots, Vincent does also a basic regional Willamette Valley bottling, as well as a couple of unique AVA versions, like this Eola-Amity Hills bottling, these wines, as seen with this effort, offer tons of value for the price and you should search these out and or join their mailing list. This ruby colored Eola-Amity Hills Pinot is very tasty, slightly earthy with an unfiltered cloudy appearance and gets better with every sip, in particular it goes well with food, which allows it to more expressive, lifting it to another level up in distinction and quality. Fritzsche has a pretty good following and while still under the radar, Vincent is a label to watch. These value packed Vincent wines are all very authentic and raw, but exceptionally delicious, I recommend the Pinots highly, along with the Gamay and the whites, with the Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and a Pinot Gris Rosé being of interest too.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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