With patience being a great virtue in winemaking, and a very late season which required a bit of patience, not much fruit was picked in Oregon until the end of the first week of October.
Considering a bud break that was three weeks late and bloom that was equivalently late, hang times predicted that harvest would not commence until at least the first week of October anyway. The average hang time between bloom and harvest for Pinot Noir is in the 105- to 115-day range.
Although it is dangerous to draw parallels or predict quality levels at this stage, most folks have been struck by the coolness and lateness similarities of 2008 to two of Oregon’s best vintages, 1993 and 1999, Wine Business reports.
Harry Peterson-Nedry of Chehalem commented, “The ferments from early harvested blocks have amazingly deep fruit and color extraction for the coolness of the growing season. Most flavors are on the verge of being there: the sugars are amazingly moderate (i.e., not too low, not too high — just right) and promise lower alcohols; the acids are moderate as well, which is a surprise and possibly lower than expected due to heat spikes when the warmth finally did come in late summer. We’re conservatively excited right now.’