2010 Vintage Awards & Press

2010 Carlton Hill Wine Company Pinot Noir

Double Gold - 2012 Oregon Wine Awards

91 pts - Wine Advocate

Proprietor David Polite emphasized the enormous efforts it required to spare his 2010 Pinot Noir Estate from avian decimation. “I had to keep running back and forth across the vineyard every morning to scare off the birds,” he relates, for which purpose he employed a special pistol that discharged M-80s in their general direction, normal noisemaking having proven ineffective. It was worth it! Here is a Pinot as tart-edged, firm, and ultimately complex as its 2011 counterpart, but with none of the drying tendency noted in that wine. Bloody, roasted red meats and pit-inflected cherry are wreathed in Latakia tea smokiness on the nose, and bracing, finely tannic palate, leading to a finish whose sinister, forest floor intimations are fascinatingly juxtaposed with the tart brightness of cherry and with incisive nips of horseradish that convey intense invigoration. This is going to be fascinating to follow through at least 2018. (There is a small lot of reserve 2010, but Polite has cautiously postponed a decision on whether to release it, as it harbors a touch of brett whose evolution he wants to follow.)

David Polite – who has been vinifying fruit from his Carlton Hill estate since 2002 – opined that “among the bizarre things about 2011 was that the really late veraison was interrupted when the vines began shutting down” during the short-lived early September heat-spike. “I’ve typically been picking earlier than my peers,” notes Polite, “but in 2011 you just had to wait,” and he did not harvest until October 26.