Clos Griotte Pinot Noir Hyland Vineyard 2017
Owner and Winemaker Thibaud Mandet had always wanted to own his own winery and make his own wines. Originally from the Auvergne region in central France where his family (doctors by trade) experimented in winemaking, Thibaud received a diploma from the Oenology School in Bordeaux and a post-graduate degree in Wines of Champagne at the Wine School in Reims. He travelled to the United States and interned at a large winery in Texas before ending up at WillaKenzie in Oregon where he eventually spent 15 years as winemaker. After WillaKenzie was acquired by Kendall Jackson in 2016, Thibaud set about establishing his own winery. Clos Griotte is comprised of seven acres of Pinot Noir Vineyards in Eola-Amity Hills. In addition, he sources grapes from the Momtazi and Hyland vineyards—two high-quality, very distinctive sites in the McMinnville AVA. Clos Griotte produces white, red and rosé wines from Pinot Noir grapes grown on vineyard sites of 700-800 feet in elevation with a vine age of 20-30 years. Both vineyards are farmed following biodynamic practices. The name Clos Griotte is Thibaud's homage to the history of his land, a former cherry tree farm. Clos is a walled or closed vineyard and Griotte is French for sour or pie cherries.
2017 is the inaugural vintage for Clos Griotte. The Pinot Noir is from the Hyland Vineyard at an elevation of 700 feet and was planted in 1989. As with the rosé, fermentation is spontaneous. The wine is aged for ten months in wood before bottling. This wine is fresh and bright with tangy red fruits like sour cherries (especially appropriate given its name) while earthy herbal and mineral notes add complexity. It has excellent acidity and a really pretty finish.