2019 Lingua Franca Pinot Noir 'The Plow'
Willamette Valley, Oregon
100% Pinot Noir. The fruit for the 2019 The Plow Pinot Noir comes from the best parts of Blocks 1 and 2 in the Lingua Franca Estate Vineyard planted to clone PN777 on Gelderman-Jory soil complex, a type of shallow volcanic soil about 2-5 feet deep with a layer of large gravels that impart extra energy to the vines and create more complex and intense flavors in the finished wine.
In this dense vintage the whole cluster fruit was kept to 18%. Fermentation occurs with wild yeast strains in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks. The destemmed fruit is selected for whole berries by a special destemmer/sorter. No broken fruit goes into the cuvée. Cap management begins with gentle pump overs, followed by traditional pigeage by foot, as needed. After fermentation, the wines age in 23% new and 77% neutral French oak barriques for 12 months followed by an additional 5 months in stainless steel tank to bring the cuvée together prior to bottling.
Master Sommelier Larry Stone is the driving force behind the “Lingua Franca” label. The name means “honest tongue.” Stone acquired a vineyard site in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA planted mainly to Pinot Noir with some Chardonnay. It is adjacent Domaine Serene’s Jerusalem Hill Vineyard, Argyle Winery’s Lone Star Vineyard and Domaine Drouhin’s Roserock Vineyard.
The first vintage of Lingua Franca Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, 2015, was produced at Coehlo Winery using purchased grapes, with estate-grown bottlings from its 66-acre vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills following in 2016.
Stone previously managed Evening Land Vineyards in Oregon after leaving the restaurant business in 2006 (he had been a sommelier at Four Seasons, Charlie Trotter's and Rubicon restaurants). He was the ninth Master Sommelier in the US and was the first American to win the prestigious Best International Sommelier in French Wines competition in Paris. He told The Drinks Business that he sold his personal wine collection to help fund the purchase of the estate vineyard and establish the winery.
A winery was constructed and completed in 2016 in collaboration with consultant Dominique Lafon, winemaker Thomas Savre and Larry Stone. Savre obtained a bachelor's degree in wine science and a dual master's degree in enology and winemaking, all from the University of Burgundy. At the same time, he was working at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine de Beilène, Domaine Dujac and Maison Nicolas Potel. He then interned for E. & J. Gallo. He joined Evening Land as Dominique Lafon's assistant winemaker, enologist and viticulturist in 2013. Two years later, he was recruited by Lafon and Stone to become the winemaker at Linqua Franca. This winery is considered by many to be one of the premier wineries in all of Oregon…and beyond!
95 points, Antonio Galloni's Vinous. "Deep magenta. Expansive red and dark berry and floral aromas are complemented by hints of star anise, sassafras and cola. Sappy, seamless and fleshy on the palate, offering intense black raspberry, cherry cola, candied lavender and mocha flavors underscored by a vein of smoky minerality. Seductive in character, finishing with powerful thrust and supple tannins that meld smoothly with the sappy, persistent fruit.”