*** Cellar Selection *** Happily, production of Les Dijonnais has climbed to 800 cases, while the quality remains as good as ever. This smooth and supple wine is velvety in the mouth, with flavors of raspberry, blue plum and black cherry. Its palate-pleasing thickness carries a vein of licorice and dark chocolate. Drink now through 2025. (PG)
This shows dried strawberries, flowers and underlying cedar notes. Delicate with pretty tannins and an ethereal character delineated by a beautiful line of acidity. Drink now.
The 2014 Pinot Noir les Dijonnais was picked on 14 September and over the ensuing four days at 24 Brix, partially destemmed and undergoing a four-day cold maceration before maturation in 35% new French oak barrels. It has a very refined and delineated bouquet with brambly red berry fruit, cranberry and wild strawberry mixed with subtle sous-bois notes. It might sound cliched, but it is very Burgundian in style. The palate is medium-bodied with refined, crisp redcurrant and cranberry fruit, neatly integrated new oak that will require another 12-18 months to be fully integrated, with very satisfying substance on the finish. This is exquisite. I tasted most of Doug Tunnel's recent releases in January during my tasting in London. So when I dropped by, Doug poured the outstanding recent bottlings that I did not taste alongside some intriguing mature bottles. I will leave the notes to speak for themselves - these are very refined and natural wines with minimal intervention, not surfeit with fruit, but surfeit with personality, freshness and nuance. In particular, the 2014 Pinot Noir les Dijonnais was a gorgeous wine that was utterly harmonious and compelling. It will be fascinated to see if this ages with the same aplomb as its 2006 counterpart, still cruising along and giving so much pleasure at ten years of age. Brick House comes recommended, but hey, I've said that before. (NM)
Brilliant red. A highly perfumed and incisive bouquet evokes fresh red berries, Asian spices and candied rose, along with a zesty mineral overtone. Juicy, focused and light on its feet, especially in the context of the vintage, offering intense strawberry, cherry and blood orange flavors that deepen slowly on the back half. Clings with strong tenacity on the finish, leaving a suave floral pastille note behind. Doug Tunnel is an organic and biodynamic farming pioneer in Oregon, having achieved organic status in 1990 and Demeter certification in 2005. He lives on the 40-acre property, which is planted to just under 29 acres of vines, and his cozy winery, a former horse barn with much of the original tack still in place, is literally out the back door of his home. Tunnel produces a little under 4,000 cases a year, on average, of elegant, precise, Old World-inspired wines that are made with a good amount of whole clusters, native yeasts and no fining or filtration before bottling...The 2014s here are, as one might expect, more powerful expressions of Pinot than usual, but they stop short of overt ripeness. While their fruit is definitely to the fore, I also find the requisite balance to reward a decade or so of patience and I might be underestimating their capacity to age. (JR)
Sleek and expressive, this is a lighter style for the vintage, harboring reserves of orange peel-accented cherry and cinnamon flavors, coming together gently on the firm finish. Drink now through 2022. 800 cases made. (HS)
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