This is the fourth release from this hot little winery that will dazzle you both in taste as well as cost! The Hundred Suns winery is still very much under the “horizon” but not for long. Grant Coulter, a California native traveled the world after receiving his enology degree. He worked harvest with the best of the best in California, France & Australia, eventually settling in Oregon. After a few stints as Assistant winemaker in a few wineries, he landed at Beaux Freres, where he soon became the Head Winemaker. Grant is responsible for the amazing 2013, 14 & 15 vintages at Beaux Freres (all rated in the high 90s, plus the Top 2 wine of the year, etc.). With his wife he created his own label “Hundred Suns”, a tiny Pinot Noir and Syrah venture.
Hundred Suns 2018 “Shea Vineyard” Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir
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The famous Yamhill Carlton vineyard was planted by Dick and Deidra Shea on its own roots in the late 1980’s. Like Burgundy’s Clos de Vougeot, it’s large enough that we can experience it in the hands of several great winemakers, and Grant and Renée manage to plumb its depths while retaining elegance. They work with a one acre plot on a south/southwest-facing hillside. The vines, dry farmed, are planted in ancient sandstone.
95 Points James Suckling: ”This has a very fresh, attractive nose with roses and violets, as well as boysenberries, red cherries and a savory, stony edge. Some sappy nuances, too. The palate is very succulent and has strikingly fresh red berries and cherries, underscored with vibrant acidity and a very uplifting, dynamic finish. A richer vintage, made in a fresher style, works very well here. Drink or hold.”
95 Points Wine Spectator: “Grant Coulter, who has worked with the famed Shea Vineyard for more than a decade, most of that time while he was a winemaker at Beaux Freres, makes a tiny single vineyard bottling from this amazing site and this 2018, which starts slowly, is a gorgeous and dark Pinot Noir with incredible texture and smooth layering that expands in the glass…. There’s plenty of classic character and flavors that unfold along with exotic elements too with a medium bodied palate of black raspberry, cherry, plum and pomegranate fruits at its core as well as hints of orange tea, rose hips, guava and red peach flesh. The satiny texture that develops is welcomed after a tight first impression and the length is absolutely stunning, it lingers with floral and fruit echos, baking spices along with sticky lavender, cinnamon and very little traces of oak.”
Winemaker’s Notes: “The 2018 vintage gave us lower yields, but the generous sunshine perfectly and evenly ripened our small block of Shea. Picked on the 29th of September, the grapes were separated into two lots: one 50% whole bunch and the other completely destemmed. All wines were fermented with native yeast and no sulfur until after malolactic fermentation. Blended together, these two lots express vivid, fresh red fruit, silky textures, and unique layers of warm baking spices. Gravity bottled unfined and unfiltered.”