Carlton Hill
2018 Carlton Hill Estate Pinot Noir




The 2018 Carlton Hill Estate Pinot Noir shows ripe-berry and floral aromas with some roses and lavender. Its medium-bodied with a medium, round texture that’s formed by firm tannins. Fresh and vivid. This shows energy and focus. Drink in 2023.  


Dark and rich, the black cherry fruit approaches the flavors of cassis. At first a bit high-toned with a sharp attack, this gently softens out into a lingering finish with chewy tannins. Some 40% was fermented with whole clusters, and 20% was aged in new oak.


Bright ruby. Pungent aromas of dark berries and kirsch, along with hints of licorice and candied flowers. In a deep, lush style, offering sappy black raspberry and cherry cola flavors that pick up a spicy nuance as the wine opens up. The spicy note drives a persistent finish framed by dusty, slow-building tannins. 40% whole clusters and 20% new French oak.  91 points                                             

Many of you, when visiting Oregon in the summer, are struck by the beautiful views here in wine country as well as the lovely, dry weather. When hearing this, I usually follow up by asking to come visit us in the winter when the views reach just beyond your nose. Oregon truly has some of the worst weather in the country from mid-November through the end of April. So, sacrifices are made to live here year around but it is also the very best place to grow Pinot Noir. Once the rains stop, this region consistently provides us with long, relatively cool growing seasons which are idea for this fickle grape. 

The 2018 vintage, while continuing the trend of dryer and hotter growing seasons, did not have the extreme heat spikes we saw in 2017 or 2016. The spring was actually quite cool but also quite dry. Bud break was a little late but soon the canopy filled out and bloom was just about on time. Conditions here provided for an excellent fruit set which, without dropping fruit, would have resulted in yields approaching 5 tons to the acre. We held off on fruit thinning as long as we could however to avoid early ripening and the possibility of desiccation. Thankfully, September provided cooling temperatures and a nearly perfect, prolonged harvest with cool nights and warm days.   

In fact, harvest took place over the course of four different days. The first pick commenced on September 19th and the last concluded on October 8th, over three weeks in length which was something new for us here at Carlton Hill. But there was some method to this madness. By picking fruit over this extended period, we were able bring grapes into the winery which had the widest range of flavors, acidity and phenolic development. We were rewarded in the end for this patient approach.  Aged in oak for 11 months and put in bottle with a finished PH of 3.60, the 2018 vintage produced a wine with lush, dark berry flavors, floral notes on the nose and hints of tobacco and spice which immerge on the finish. Having good acidy and tannins to frame this vintage, 2018 produced a vibrant and age worthy wine. As is the case with all of our wines, the 2018 Estate Pinot Noir should only get better with some time in bottle. Enjoy.

2018 Carlton Hill Estate Pinot Noir-Cases made: 300/40% Whole Cluster