2013JohanPN2013 Johan Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The all biodynamic Johan Estate is tasting wonderful at this point after an early awkward stage when I last tried it, Dag J. Sundby has done a masterful job with this wine, especially considering the huge challenge of unseasonable weather so close to harvest and that he was still able to go 45% whole cluster, which adds to the depth of flavors. The Johan wines, fermented with native yeasts always come in with low alcohols and have less oak impact with less than 30% new barrels, the finesse, freshness and balance are welcome and the wines are easy to quaff and great with all types of cuisine, the 2013 Estate in particular, it is only about 12.2% and is evolving nicely. The longer hang time has given the 2013 Estate a bit deeper feel and it has gained substance in the last 4 or 5 months since I first sampled it, it has loads of fruit, spice and mineral complexity coming from Johan’s 10 clone selections in the vineyard. The 2013 Johan Pinot Noir Estate shows a solid ruby color with a vibrant nose of red fruits, mixed flowers and exotic spices leading to a palate of black cherry, loganberry, tart plum and tangy currant fruits with layers of cinnamon, fennel, tea spice, pepper and truffle along with violets, cranberry, flint and earth. This pure and energy filled Pinot has silken tannin and bright acidity that has melded in with grace and will continue to add life and verve, drink this pretty and stylish effort over the next 3 to 5 years. I still think the 2014 vintage second label Farmlands by Johan has the edge and I can’t wait for the 2014 Estate, but everything from Sundby is quality juice, look for these wines!
($35 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

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