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Johan Vineyards

Johan Vineyards is a relative newcomer in the Oregon Pinot Noir scene, consisting of 65 acres of estate vineyards on a 175-acre site in the southwestern corner of the Van Duzer corridor just west of Salem. Owner Dag Johan Sundby, a native Norwegian, came to North America in 2004 to work with Ray McCall, an old friend and business partner of his father, Nils Dag Sundby. While Sundby and McCall frequently played golf together, it was the times enjoying Pinot Noir from many prominent Oregon wineries that left an impression on Dag and led him to partner with his father in founding Johan Vineyards.

Johan Vineyards’ viticulturist and winemaker is Daniel Rinke, who holds a Bachelors Degree in Viticulture from California State University Fresno. His training included stints at Domaine Alfred in Edna Valley and Rhys Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 2007 he joined Johan Vineyards as vineyard manager and winemaker.

The estate vineyards are farmed organically and biodynamically. Plantings include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. 95% of the estate grapes are sold to other premium wineries. The first Pinot Noir was released in 2005. The current case production of estate grown and bottled wines is 1,000 cases, moving towards 2,500 cases in the future. I recently sampled the 2006 Johan Vineyards Pinot Noir and was very impressed. This is a new hound in the race worth betting on.

The Johan Vineyards Pinot Noir was chosen to be poured at this year’s World of Pinot Noir. The wine is available for sale on the website at www.johanvineyards.com.

2006 Johan Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 670 cases, $35. Clones 115, 667 and 777.33% whole cluster fermentation, indigenous yeasts. Aged 16 months in 60% new French oak and bottle aged another 7 months before release in August 2008. · Moderately light garnet color. Very alluring aromas of freshly crushed berries, oak and allspice. Full compliment of sweet berries on the palate with impressive richness and length. Appealing riffs of oak and savory spices. The wine reflects the 2006 vintage with its plush fruit profile but overripe fruit is not an issue. Very friendly in the mouth and easy to recommend.

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