Pinot Noir clones grown in Champagne are selected for their high yield; not the small berries and low yields that are sought by red winemakers. Some clones recommended for Sparkling Wine are: 521, 743, 779, 792, 870, 872, 927.
The world’s best red wines are reputed to result from a mixture of suitable clones; a common practice in Burgundy, where numbers 777 and 828 are favored currently in addition to the older 114, 115 and 667.
For the 2013 Pinot Noir, we used a Pommard, 2A and 115 clones. Pommard, named after an important wine village in Burgundy, France, provides a flavor profile with elements of earth, dried mushroom, cherry pie and has a medium body with soft tannins.
The 2A clone, also known as Wadenswil, is used in several Oregon Pinot Noir vintages and exhibits elements of cherry, raspberry and rose petal in the favor and nose. The clone normally has a medium body and provides medium to firm tannins. It is the sole clone we used for our 2014 Pinot Noir.
We call the 115 clone a workhorse. It is widely used when a single clone is available. The 115 Dijon clone shows elements of rose petal, red cherry, black raspberry, sometimes leather or anise in the nose. It renders a medium to full body component to its juice and will render soft tannins.
Our Double Gold winning 2012 Pinot Noir was a product of two clones – the Dijon 667 and 777. Both provide very good flavor and color. The 667 gives you a dark cherry, strawberry and black tea, warm earth, and spice, along with medium body and soft tannins. The 777 is the more powerful clone, providing a dark color, powerful black cherry, cassis, blackberry, licorice, a full body mouthfeel with medium to strong tannins.
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