About REX HILL
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A label founded in 2001 by Cheryl Francis and Sam Tannahill, Francis Tannahill strives to offer wines that purely express unique terroirs, old world technique and impeccable winemaking. Select growers, vineyards and blocks are chosen and carefully tended to produce wines that balance power and concentration with integrity and elegance.
When first poured primary aromas of Bing and black cherries, blueberries, violets, cinnamon, blackberries and wild strawberries jump from the glass. As the wine sits in the glass, classic Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, aromas of damp earth, eastern spices, tobacco and baking spices deepen and add complexity to the nose. It takes a bit to open but the attack finally bursts open with rich flavors of red and blue fruits. As the wine continues across the palate, serious tannins combined with mouthwatering acidity gives this wine a powerful foundation that the rest of the wine is built on. On the mid-palate, the wine takes off and becomes very complex with spice and mineral flavors joining with the boisterous fruit.
Crafted entirely from grapes grown at the Demeter certified Biodynamic Pearl vineyard located in the Red Hills of Dundee.
This wine is naturally fermented in oak, open top tanks with native yeasts, over 90% whole cluster. Following, the 2016 Francis Tannahill Hermit Pinot Noir was aged for 12 months in 14% new oak barrels.
The 2016 vintage was one of contrasts. Spring started with a bang as we saw record warm temperatures push budbreak and flower earlier than ever across Oregon. This heat interspaced with rain led to very fast growth and heightened mildew pressure. We believed we were in for another 2015 vintage as we moved into the summer, but 100 degree days gave way to mild temperatures across Oregon through the summer months. This modulation of temperature slowed the growth of the vines and ripening of the fruit as we moved through verasion and into harvest. Verasion was extended in some vineyards with almost three weeks from the start to the end. This additional time for the fruit to change color and move into its final ripening phase led to a long and stretched out harvest. Before we started picking, we experienced a heat wave with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees over several days. This heat pushed some of the earlier vineyards to ripen quickly and we had to work quickly to bring the fruit in before it became overripe. All in all, we saw beautiful (if hot at times) weather, a little lower yields than projected and tremendous fruit that was clean, concentrated and ripe. In some ways we have had an embarrassment of riches with a tremendous run over the past few vintages that has continued with 2016.