Good things come from the 45th parallel north. Case in point, this new vintage of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
In Distinguished Geographic Company
Left Coast Cellars Estate is one of the largest contiguous vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, spanning 350 acres, with approximately 150 acres under vine including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Syrah, and Viognier. Pinot Noir is king in Willamette, and more than 60% of the estate is planted with Pinot.
The line of the 45th parallel north runs through the estate vineyard, like many of the great vineyard properties of France. Left Coast Cellars is a rising star in Willamette Valley, so we were anxious to “travel” to Latitude 45⁰.
Attack Of The Clones
There are about 40 different Pinot Noir clones. Clones are made from cuttings of a vine. Although genetically uniform, slight genetic variations occur. As a result, clones can have different characteristics that result in different quality and taste. In the world of Pinot Noir these subtle differences are to be celebrated!
For Latitude 45⁰, Left Coast Cellars used Dijon Clones 114, 115 and 667. Dijon 115 is a popular and important clone in California Pinot production.
In addition to dialing in the clone selection, Left Coast Cellars benefits from its cooler micro-climate, owing to its location at the head of the Van Duzer Corridor. The Van Duzer Corridor is an east-west valley that creates a break in the coast range of mountains that shields most of the Willamette Valley from the Pacific Ocean. This break allows cool marine breezes and ample fog to penetrate deeply into our part of the Willamette Valley. That coolness helps preserve the acidity and brightness of the grapes.
We’re fans of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. In our reckoning, no place does it better. The Latitude 45⁰ has aroma of tea and cinnamon. On the palate it has a starts smoothly and then becomes more bold. There are notes of dusty strawberries with touches of leather and spice. The aging regimen is 18 months in French oak, 75% new.
The 2015 Left Coast Cellars Latitude 45⁰ Pinot Noir retails for $38. It is one of four Pinots produced by Left Coast. Latitude 45⁰ is eminently enjoyable and should pair well with braised meats and root vegetables. No matter your location, we recommend a visit to Latitude 45⁰ in your near future.
Full Disclosure: We received this bottle as a marketing sample.