Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro
August 12, 2021 | WINE PAIRINGS | Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro

The Whale 2017

“The whales do not sing because they have an answer, they sing because they have a song.”—Gregory Colbert 

The Whale 2017

We refer to our 2017 The Whale as a wine of epic proportions. Originally named "La Baliene”, this blend of Syrah and Pinot Noir grapes yields a bottle that exhibits strength, weight, balance, and complexity. Our estate Pinot clone 667 was blended with Syrah harvested from Quail Run Vineyards in the Rogue Valley. Crafted and aged with the utmost care right here in the Chehalem Mountains, The Whale is a substantial wine that’s perfect for sharing around the fire with friends and a tall tale. How do bold tannins, medium acid, and a velvety finish sound to you? Read on for a bit more on this dynamic duo. 

Before France’s wine labeling rules and regulations became more rigid in the 1920s, Burgundian winemakers would commonly blend Syrah and Pinot Noir. Even though they seem like polar opposites, these grapes are amazing together. 

Syrah bumps up the alcohol and deepens the color when blended with the otherwise subtle Pinot Noir. Pinot brings elegant red fruit perfume to the table and Syrah delivers the tannins and spice. Together they can make magic, and we feel that they do just that in every bottle of The Whale. One sip and you’ll pick up on the forest, rich blueberry, and exotic sandalwood. 

Vintage Notes 

The 2017 vintage began cold and rainy during flowering in our estate blocks, reducing the size and number of clusters at fruit set. The reliably dry summer months finished with heat extremes in August that shut the vines down once temperatures rose above 90 degrees and caused some grape dehydration. In late September, harvest began under ideal conditions with grapes for Sparkling Rose, White Pinot, and the Pinot Gris, followed by receiving Pinot Noir for red wine production over the next two weeks.  

The end of October saw the last fruit of the season at perfect ripeness, the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rouge Valley in Southern Oregon was brought into the winery in prime condition for making exceptional wine. In the cellar, as the Pinot Noirs emerged from fermentation, bright cherry and floral notes were prevalent from the older blocks and intense blackberry notes from the younger Dijon clones. 

Winemaker Notes 

"There are complex layers of Christmas spice mixed with black cap raspberry and cinnamon that open up to vanilla and spice mid-palate. For the big red wine lovers, the Syrah is bold and fruity with our estate Pinot Noir, giving complexity and soulfulness.”—Winemaker, Don Crank III 

Food Pairing 

Grilled vegetables, duck, and tofu pair nicely with this bottle. You might try your hand at this plum chutney recipe served with any oven-roasted poultry. Better yet, add a generous schmear to a turkey sandwich but hold the mayo. BBQ spare ribs, braised beef, or a good old-fashioned burger are excellent companions for The Whale. Hard, aged cheeses like Gouda, sharp cheddar, or Gruyere set out with breadsticks and crisp crackers make for a simple, upscale happy hour spread. 

If we’ve gotten your attention, go ahead and order your bottles today, but act fast—we only produced a limited run of 63 cases of this red beauty. Once you’ve tried it, we invite you to share your tasting notes via email or tag us in a social media post. 

Call 503-625-1591 to make your reservation to visit our Tasting Room, and join the Hawks View Winery Wine Club to take advantage of member perks like a 20% discount on wine, merchandise, and event tickets, as well as 25% off full case purchases.



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