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Walter Scott Single Vineyard 2018s
22 October 2020

This is a stunning set of wines from Ken and Erica Pahlow; a range of single vineyard bottlings from some of Oregon’s finest vineyards, all situated in the Willamette Valley’s cool, windswept Eola-Amity hills. It might well transpire that 2018 marks something of a watershed vintage for this decade old winery – certainly tasting the four 2018s in today’s offer suggests as much.

Having worked the harvest with Dominque Lafon in Meursault in 2017, the one major change Ken applied to all his vineyards from the 2018 vintage onwards was early shoot thinning. Not only did an early approach negate the need to green harvest, it also seemed to give the vines a better sense of natural balance. In studying and aping the viticultural methods favoured by his Burgundian idols, the likes of Lafon, Roulot, Ente and Lamy, Ken found that his reduced yields were both riper and higher in acidity almost two weeks earlier neighbours who were still hanging a normal Willamette valley crop load. The resulting wines, as can be tasted in these 2018s, show increased definition, flavour development and concentration, with no additional alcohol or density. They are in short, dialled in and tuned up, and a total joy to taste, both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

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