"There's no question that these wines are exceptionally refined, sensual, and texturally complete, with a seamlessness that Tarlov and Liger-Belair refer to as 'quiet'."
Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries, October 2014
Sagacious sorting, gentle handling, “European” cold soaks, no additions, indigenous ferments, daily remontage, pressing by taste and extended settling all contribute to a wine that speaks of Pinot: medium-light bodied, modest alcohol, complex, textural, intriguing and delicious. The infusion technique, aside from aiding homogenization of the must and allowing alcohol to blow-off, incorporates high levels of oxygen that result in a metabolic respiration process for the yeast rather than outright alcoholic fermentation. As the conditions shift periodically between aerobic and anaerobic environments, the yeast efficiency of converting sugar to alcohol wanes, instead producing various secondary products that build texture, structure and complexity into the wine. More prolonged ferments (a builder of complexity and purity in itself) occur because the juice and wine are being cycled without any mechanical damage to the whole berries, and the slow incorporation of tannin, is judged by taste during post-ferment maceration. Chapter 24 uses oak from a variety of central French forests that Louis-Michel covets. The Pinots see a 10-month elevage before they are gravity racked for blending prior to being bottled unfined and filtration only occurs when required.
Chapter 24 sources fruit from a mixture of key vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley. Viticulture is tailored to each unique block, taking into account site-specific soil characteristics, elevation, aspect, rainfall and vine age. Borne of old-world philosophies, Chapter 24 gears heavily towards organic and biodynamic regimes, with a strict mindset of growing Pinot Noir rather than farming grapes. The aim is to garner the greatest physiological development and complexity in a balanced ecosystem that allows the vines and fruit to express themselves in the most authentic way possible.
It all boils down to vigilant diligence. Walking the vineyards, surveying the weather, talking with growers and striving for improvement. There are many industry norms that Chapter 24 has foregone. They avoid the commonplace stripping of leaf in the fruit zone, they adjust their crops based on season and spacing rather than a set formula, and they employ over-the-top training and positioning techniques to achieve balance and harmony. In so doing, occasionally some toes are stepped on and some feathers ruffled, which often signals to Chapter 24 that they’re doing it right.