About REX HILL
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When first opened ripe aromas of cassis, rosemary, raspberries, black berries, asphalt, smoke and blackberry jump from the glass. With some air the wine tightens up and the aromatics evolve to reveal cooler notes of mint, black pepper, violet and flint. On the palate, focused flavors of black pepper, raspberry and violets lead off on the attack. As the wine moves across the palate, flavors of cassis and meat emerge and are supported by a ripe tannic structure and balanced acidity. The finish is very long and ends with flavors of spicy black pepper and cassis.
This wine is a blend of four varieties from three vineyards – 53% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 23% Petite Syrah and 1% Viognier from the Sundown, Garnier and Deux Vert vineyards. Sundown is LIVE certified and owned and managed by Don and Traute Moore. Planted on a stunning southeast facing terraced slope on sandy, powdery soil mostly composed of volcanic ash, the vineyard is loaded with chunks of quartz over hard bedrock. Sundown sits at a fairly high altitude which allows the nights to be cool even in this very warm climate. These changes in temperature give a density to the wine while retaining great finesse.
The grapes from the three vineyards were fermented separately in French oak, upright, open-top tanks and pumped over 1 – 3 times a day with 90% whole clusters. After the fermentation, they were pressed lightly and settled overnight then racked to French oak. The wine was racked, blended, and bottled in December 2016 after spending 24 months in barrel.
2014 started out quick and warm with early budbreak. Exceptional weather conditions set a very large potential crop across the state, requiring much crop thinning. The summer turned out to be the warmest in Oregon’s history, yet it was without a real heat wave. Veraison occurred three weeks earlier than 2011, under warm and sunny skies. At the start of harvest, the fruit was perfect: perfect chemistry, perfect flavors, perfect health. Conditions during ripening were dry and sunny and grapes were able to be picked at optimum ripeness with no pressure from disease or weather. Both quality and quantity were high and the 2014 vintage in Oregon could be counted as among the largest and finest this state has ever seen producing wines of tremendous depth, balance and focus that will age for years.