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2010 Oregon "Shea Vineyard"

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About the Vineyard

Dick Shea planted his first vines in the late 80’s, just a few short years after Ken Bernards moved from the Willamette Valley, his birthplace, to Napa to work his first harvest. The vineyards have grown, along with Shea’s reputation for quality, and today his vines produce a disproportionately large percentage of the most renowned Willamette Pinot Noirs. Good sedimentary soils, sitting on two well-drained hillsides, along with careful, sustainable farming practices, routinely yield quality, well-ripened fruit in a viticultural area known for wide vintage variation. Wine makers and wine connoisseurs alike look to Shea for Pinot Noirs with density, structure, and intense, spicy fruit.

About the Vintage

2010 was a challenge to the nerves as well as a chance for experienced wine makers to strut their stuff. In other words, those with experience were advantaged with the working knowledge of how best to manage their vineyards and to keep their fruit clean and healthy. Heavy spring rains were followed by a summer season that was significantly cooler than average. Temperatures in the Willamette Valley remained cool until just before harvest, when a stretch of warm temperatures and dry conditions brought the grapes to the finish in wonderful condition. The cooler temperatures seemed to work well for the Shea Vineyard fruit, yielding rich, fully developed flavors and bright acidity.
About the Wine

Ken Bernards returns to the land of his youth, Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Working with fruit grown this far from the winery produces special challenges and requires an extremely high element of trust between the wine maker and the grower. Dick Shea’s farming skills are up to this challenge. This was the last fruit that we harvested. It fermented traditionally in open top containers using hand punch downs to achieve optimal extraction. Gravity provided movement from reception through pressing with inert gas used from then on. It was aged in Francois Freres cooperage, half new, for sixteen months and racked once in the spring time. 179 cases produced.

Tasting Notes

Always brimming with earthy, organic aromas, and this vintage is no exception. The rich, tilled earth is peppred with light toasty notes, dried floral perfumes, clover, rose petal and geranium flower. Rich and ripe, the nose shows plenty of blackberry, huckleberry, and wild strawberry. The palate is rich and broad, generous with plum, blackberry, blueberry, with mouth-coating, chocolatey tannins. The acid lifts the otherwise dark and deep palate considerably, helping to further emphasize the well-developed tannin and minerality throughout the finish. Balanced, deep, and exceptionally well-structured, this wine will cellar nicely for 5-10 years while becoming more silken in texture and adding additional perfumes to its aromatic bouquet.