Argyle Vintage Brut

This Oregon sparkling wine truly brings zest to life! The nose of lemon curd, raw honey, and almond biscotti harkens to the uplifting and refreshing palate to follow. With a fine mousse that buoys one up and flavors of Comice pear, custard, and marzipan that dance across your tongue, one cannot resist a grin as the effervescence slowly fades to a clean, minerally, citrus-toned finish. With the second sip, you’re guaranteed to be in an elevated state. Brut makes you better!

Winemaking Notes

2009 was all about farming to balance Mother Nature’s surprises. Argyle’s farming culture got the crop level right on. We stripped leaves after the burning sun of August and in time for the Labor Day rains. We also believed September’s drying, east wind forecast and put a security of water onto the vines to help them ride out the drying, late season heat with a maximum of ripening—which is the name of the game here in the Willamette Valley. Picking was unusually “segmented” this year. Usually we can say that every 200’ rise in elevation can mean 10 days difference in ripening and thus picking. But, in 2009 Argyle picked high and low elevation fruit at the same time! We picked all the sparkling fruit, then rested for a couple of days, then all the Chardonnay for still wine, rested another few days then all the red came in. The resulting wines are gorgeous, perky, and sexy. I don’t know that I have seen a more sensuous expression of flavor and aromas in my 23 years of Willamette Valley winemaking.

Wine Production Stats

Varietals: 59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay
AVA: Willamette Valley (Lone Star & Knudsen Vineyards)
Alcohol: 12.5%
Cases produced: 10,640
Bottled: May 2010
Winemaker: Rollin Soles

Rollin Soles' 2009 Vintage Notes

Significant rain at Labor Day Weekend was almost a disaster. The effect was that berries absorbed water and pushed off pedicel in some portions of the cluster. That can lead to mold if berries ripen enough. Luckily, the fruit was not ripe enough to cause significant problems in the vineyard.

Then we had two all-day wets spaced a number of days apart that led to some botrytis infections in fruit clusters covered by vine canopy leaves.

Then a hot spell mid-September brought drying wind and 90° weather. The good news was that this removed any risk to further botrytis due to drying of grape clusters. On the less-good side, turgid berries from Labor Day's rain which pushed free of the pedicel raisined so no more ripening of flavor components was possible. Fortunately, only a small percentage of berries in a cluster were pushed off, losing their connection to the vine.

Picking was unusually "segmented" this year. Argyle picked high and low elevation fruit at the same time! We picked all the sparkling fruit, then rested for a couple of days, then all the Chardonnay for still wine. We rested another few days then all the red came in - high and low elevation winegrapes on the same days. Usually we can say that every 200' rise in elevation can mean 10 days difference in ripening and picking (yield for yield).

This was a vineyard management year. Argyle's farming culture got the crop level right on. We stripped leaves after the burning sun of August and in time for the Labor Day rains. We also believed the drying east-wind forecast and put a security of water onto the vines to help them ride out the drying, late season heat with a minimum of raisining and maximum of ripening.

The resulting wines are gorgeous, perky, and sexy. I don't know that I've seen a more sensuous expression of flavor and aromas in my 23 years of Willamette Valley winemaking.

90 Points

Wine Spectator
"Bright and complex, with juicy acidity supporting the pear, tobacco and lime flavors, singing together in harmony on the lively finish. Drink now."
- Harvey Steiman (2009 vintage)

91 Points - “Wine of the Day”

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Displays juicy lime, tangerine, grapefruit and apple, with citric and malic cut buffered by subtle creaminess, and with a fine mousse. There is an impressive balance between density on the one hand and levity and refreshment on the other... a long, vibrant finish. Enjoy this exceptional value over the next 2-3 years. ...in awe of and delighted with Argyle’s sparkling wines"
- Jay Miller (2010 vintage)
- February 2014

90 Points

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2008 Brut spent 3 years sur lie and received a dosage of 12 g/l. It displays a bouquet of brioche, pear, apple, and white peach. Crisp, balanced, and lengthy, this excellent value is meant for drinking over the next several years. As usual, Argyle’s sparkling wine offerings are among the best made in the USA."
- Jay Miller (2008 vintage)
- October 2011

90 Points

Wine Spectator
"Tight, spicy and distinctive for the lemon meringue and spice overtones to green apple and toast flavors."
- Harvey Steiman (2007 vintage)
- December 2010

91 Points

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2006 Brut is a blend of 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir. Medium straw-colored, it has a classy nose of mineral, biscuit, apple, and baking spices. Crisp, bright and creamy-textured, this superb sparkling wine begs the question, 'Why buy Champagne?'"
- Jay Miller (2006 vintage)
- October 2009

89 Points

Wine Spectator
"Toasty, peppery and distinctive for its range of spicy flavors, letting it all ride on a fine bead as the finish persists."
- Harvey Steiman (2006 vintage)
- December 31, 2008