2012 Trada Pinot Noir, Dancin Vineyards

Head Winemaker Brian Denner  Photo courtesy of Jeff Danzik.

Head Winemaker Brian Denner fills barrels for aging.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Danzik.

“Our recent expansion allows us to use our estate’s natural topography for a gravity flow system that cuts out the need for pumps. We can get the wine from barrel to bottling with minimal agitation which is integral for great Pinot Noir because its delicate flavor is easily damaged” says owner of Dancin Vineyards, Dan Marca. “We want to make the best possible wine we can. That’s why natural and hands on processes are so important to us, for example we only fermented with yeasts from the fields” he goes onto say.  All great wine starts with high quality fruit in the field and Marca says that’s why “our Pinot is planted on north east facing slopes so it shades out in the afternoon. Since we do the entire winemaking process, from crush to bottling on our estate we have complete control. We taste each micro plot’s fruit so we can harvest at the exact perfect time and get it straight to crush”.

Brian Denner, Dancin’s head winemaker, explained what makes their processes great. “We sort through the clusters first in the fields and then an additional two times in the the cold room to make sure we get every single leaf, rock, bug, overripe and underripe grape. After destemming only the best makes it to the fermentation vat, the cleanest bin of grapes you’ll ever see. Additionally, we harvest each micro plot individually which allows us to carefully blend for a final vintage that not only captures terroir but also each unique growing season” he says.

The entire Dancin crew’s meticulous involvement is apparent in the wine. “We’ve made four 94 point Pinot’s and this last year our 2012 Trada was chosen after a blind tasting to be featured alongside seventy of the world’s best Pinot Noirs to be poured at the International Pinot Noir Celebration” Marca says, with obvious pride. “We are the first to focus on cultivating Southern Oregon Pinot for estate bottling. We are also the first to bring in grapes from the Willamette Valley to be crushed here.” He goes on to say, “We blend them with our estate fruit to showcase what is great about both the north and the south in a vintage called Pas de’Deux or dance for two”.

Dancin 2012 Trada, 100% Estate Grown Pinot Noir. 94 Points / Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast.

The wine that got Dancin selected to pour at the International Pinot Noir Celebration, the 2012 Trada is “Dark, smoky and toasty, this gripping wine is tight-knit and packed with raspberry and black cherry fruit, set against sweet baking spices. The balance is perfect” according to Paul Gregutt, of the Wine Enthusiast. Dan Marca describes it as “bright fruits and dark fruits that dance across the palate with a complicated finish”.

Named after a traditional Greek dance done on Easter Tuesday, the Trada is a blend of four clone micro plots, Wadenswil 2A, Dijon 114, 667 and 828. This wine was manually punched down and aged for fifteen months in French oak barrels. Needless to say it’s “extremely limited” and only available through the wine club, at a Dancin winemaker dinner and if any are left at the tasting room (limit one bottle max). Luckily, if you do get your hands on one of these beauties it promises to drink well for quite a few years to come.


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