2002 Argyle "Extended Tirage" Willamette Valley Brut
The definition of finesse, with a succulent, complex mouthful of lemon peel, oatmeal and subtle pear and apple flavors that soar through the elegant finish. The fine bead creates an almost creamy feel. Has freshness and a sense of majesty. Drink now.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Like previous and future instances of this genre at this address, Argyle’s 2002 Brut Extended Tirage represents the exact same cuvee as their 2002 Brut, except re-released after enjoying seven additional years sur latte. The effect is of enhanced complexity and sensuality I suspect most tasters will, like me, deem it worth paying slightly more than twice the price of the current vintage brut release. 'I got really pissed off at some point,' says Soles about the origins of this cuvee, 'and the point was to show the world that - you know what? - we can age sparkling wine in the Willamette Valley.' A smoky hint of lees autolysis along with hazelnut and walnut oil piquantly add to the apple, pear, quince, and liquid honeysuckle perfume familiar from younger disgorgements of Argyle Brut, with yeast, vanilla, frangipane and hints of caramel adding a delightful finishing nod in the direction of patisserie. Subtly creamy and infused with an at once caressingly and stimulatingly fine mousse, this retains more than enough primary juiciness to remain (profoundly) refreshing. The adeptly-judged dosage here is ten grams of residual sugar, unsurprisingly a bit less than that with which - the same - wine was outfitted for its maiden voyage. No doubt this can be followed with pleasure for several post-disgorgement years. Had somebody suggested to me, incidentally, that this was a hitherto unknown late-disgorged sparkling Vouvray, I'm not sure I would have doubted them.
Composed of 73% Chardonnay, 21% Pinot Noir, and 6% Pinot Meunier from the Knudsen Vineyards in Willamette Valley. "Specializing in sparkling wine since its 1987 inception, Argyle has gone from strength to strength in that department under the direction of founding winemaker Rollin Soles (who trained originally as a microbiologist)," writes Wine Advocate's David Schildknecht. "...'I never make wine by a recipe,' relates Soles, and with his sparklers that applies not only to their ratios of Pinot Noir to Chardonnay and their dosage; it also applies to the levels of sugar at which fruit is picked, which can vary considerably...even though finished alcohol typically centers on 13%, the wines exhibit no lack of levity." (08/2012)