Inspired by the three movements of Beethoven’s complex and dramatically expressive “Appassionata” Piano Sonata, our Appassionata Pinot Sonata features three distinct but thematically intertwined expressions of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
The opening tier of Appassionata Pinot Noir bears the name of the Piano Sonata’s first movement, Allegro, which is the musical pace of a brisk walk. This cuvée is a selection of barrels that show a precocious liveliness and expressivity that will drink well as a youthful wine, but is built for aging. It is bottled after 18 to 20 months in barrel, and released three years after the vintage. The Allegro Pinot Noir beautifully displays the beginnings of bottle maturation, and will age gracefully for many years.
The second movement, Andante (gently, unhurried), is held longer in our cellar after bottling and released five years after the vintage. Made with the same patience and restraint, this bottling is selected to emphasize elegance and refinement, a style reflected in Beethoven’s own performance direction for this movement: “Piano e Dolce” (softly and sweetly).
Selected for ultimate expressivity and longevity, the Appassionata Pinot Noir finale, Fortissimo (dynamically forceful), is not released until 10 years after the vintage. This cuvée epitomizes what we are seeking in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir — a wine that combines brooding intensity with lilting grace and can stand alongside the classic wines of the world for generations to come.
A Vivace Prelude
Very little Sauvignon Blanc is grown in the Willamette Valley, but it performs well in the section of our vineyard that stands out for its alluvial clay soil. The Über Sauvignon is fermented and matured in large-format acacia barrels, which gives it the textural benefits of wooden casks, but without any oak taste. It’s an invigorating prelude to any Appassionata performance.
Oregon in the Key of C
Appassionata Chardonnay is the expressive summit of this classic Burgundian variety in the Willamette Valley. Fermented and matured in large (500-liter) oak casks, it rests on the full lees for two years before bottling. It then rests in our cellar for another year before its release, three years after vintage. The wine’s elegant texture, fine structure and extended maturation time ensure a long life for this vibrant Chardonnay.
A Solo Star
Inspired by the historical winemaking techniques of Erni Loosen’s great-grandfather, the Appassionata Riesling GG is made in the same way as the Dr. Loosen Grosses Gewächs (“Great Growth”) Rieslings he produces in Germany. The GG designation indicates a dry-style wine from a vineyard of special distinction — in this case, the old-vine Medici vineyard, planted in 1976. We farm this exceptional site, which is just a few miles east on the Chehalem Mountain ridge. The wine is fermented in a 3,000-liter, neutral oak German Fuder cask. It rests on the full lees for two years, and is then held in bottle for three to five years before release.
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