Willamette Valley, Oregon

It took years to find the ideal site on which to grow Pinot Noir but after an exhaustive search, Brittan Vineyards began on an 128-acre hillside in Oregon in December 2004. The soils are a mixture of glacial deposits and volcanic material, with a predominant presence of broken basalt. At that time, there were 18 acres of existing vines. However, close to 50% has subsequently been re-planted in order to fine-tune the viticultural practices and improve the clonal and rootstock combinations. This included one of the first plantings of the Swan clonal selection of Pinot Noir in Oregon. After dropping all of the crop in 2005 to allow the vines to get better established, the first two Pinot Noirs from the mature vines on the property came from the 2006 vintage, a total of 720 cases. In the spring of 2008, an additional 3.5 acres of Pinot Noir were planted, which are now in production— the rocky soils and low water retention often means that it takes five years for a vine to get into production. In addition to the Pinot, 4 acres of Chardonnay and 1.5 acres of Syrah have been planted. These are two varietals that benefit greatly from a cool growing climate.
brittan-gestaltGestalt Block Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
95 points - Wine Advocate "While the elderberry, blackberry and cassis evinced by Brittan’s 2011 Pinot Noir Gestalt Block preserve a vintage-typical tart edge, they’re possessed of a succulent sweetness and embedded in a more polished, downright satin-textured palate performance than was the case with the corresponding Basalt Block. Smaller clusters and berries here make for incredible density and phenolic concentration and I can feel and taste that on multiple levels, even though those facts seem to utterly belie this wine’s refined and alluring texture. (As intimated in my introduction, root penetration and soil structure – not just vine genetics or exposure – almost certainly, somehow, play a role in determining these characteristics.) As this opened to the air, a sense of high-toned distilled fruit essences became penetratingly and invigoratingly evident. The salt and stone borne along in the onrush of bright, juicy finishing fruit here is more severely – almost stunningly – gripping and salivary gland-milking than in its Basalt Block counterpart (which, incidentally, was the barely higher pH and alcohol – albeit at just under 13% – of the two). I’d plan on following this memorably refined, dense and energetic Pinot through at least 2025." - David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate
brittan-basaltBasalt Block Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
94 points - Wine Advocate. "...delivers an impressively sappy and dense, vibrant and buoyant combination of tart red currant and blackberry with clean red meat juiciness; salt; crushed stone; and somehow, mysteriously crystalline traces. Such a range of complexity across fruit, animal, and mineral dimensions in such a still youthful wine is among the striking aspects of Brittan’s and his vineyard’s talents, as is their sense of energy, which unsurprisingly is almost palate-shaking on the present occasion, kinetics being another forte of the 2011 vintage. The tannins here are ultra-fine (even if the corresponding Gestalt Block bottling goes them one better!) and the finish is every bit as mouth-coating as it is vibratory. I suspect this will continue to impress through at least 2022." - David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate