The 2021 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard comes from a single block of 667 clone vines and is one of the most impressive Pinot expressions I've encountered from the 2021 vintage in the Willamette Valley so far. Medium ruby-purple, it has intense, singular and pure aromatics: cranberry, rhubarb and blueberry are accented by fine touches of conifer, aniseed, iron and pipe tobacco, and it continues to shift and change as it spends time in the glass. The medium-bodied palate is powerful, offering highly concentrated, detailed fruit and a support of abundant, powdery tannins. It has seamless, energetic acidity and haunting streaks of spice and earth that fan across the tremendously long finish. It's difficult to put this wine down, although it will reward drinkers patient enough to tuck it away in the cellar.
In recent years the blending table for Justice Vineyard has been a delight; the broad pallet of fruit, structure, and texture that spans the 27 planted acres at Justice gives us so many directions. In 2021 the decision was effectively made at our first seated tasting of the new wines after harvest. The block of 667 at the eastern edge of the vineyard has been a cornerstone of the wine for many years, but it was a revelation in 2021 and made my job very easy. When to drink it? For those who like abundant primary fruit, I would recommend a 2027 – 2030 drinking window. For those who appreciate more age on their Pinot Noir, I think this wine has a 20 to 25-year life ahead of it. -Ben Casteel, winemaker