At only 2 barrel’s worth harvested in 2009, the release of LongSword’s first Pinot noir after two years in the barrel was a welcome treat to expectant taste buds. Members of LongSword’s wine club had been demanding the unique treat, while visitors along the Applegate Valley Wine Trail were joining LongSword’s wine club just to get a taste. Small-lot, exclusive wines from LongSword include varieties like a Syrah and a Dolcetto, which are just a few more reasons to join the LongSword wine club, or better yet, come visit the Applegate Valley Wine Trail. With only a handful of cases left of the 2009 vintage of Phrase, new wine club members are encouraged to sign up, especially in anticipation of the releases of the 2010 and 2011 vintages.
Hand-picked by the winemaker and his family and then aged in French oak barrels, the Pinot
noir grapes used to make Phrase have a retained natural acidity due to the vast day-to-night temperature ranges found in LongSword’s unique nook of the Applegate Valley. This natural flavor, combined with the meticulous quality control of a small harvest of hand-selected Pinot noir grapes, makes for a wine stained with the earthy nuances of the Southern Oregon terroir.
Phrase is a rich Pinot noir named in honor of the winemaker’s niece, Kate. An extremely accomplished singer, thespian, and arts administrator, Kate came to the Applegate Valley in 2009 to help her uncle Matt, LongSword’s winemaker. Though Matt was juggling a busy schedule that year coordinating projects around the vineyard, Kate was there to help keep him organized. She assisted with the process of growing and harvesting the Pinot noir grapes and allowed Matt the time he needed to do what he does best: focus on the wine. Matt recalls how with these grapes, Phrase was “tasting good as soon as it was fermented.”
In Kate’s honor, Matt says he named the 2009 vintage Phrase in order to denote Kate’s personality:
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LongSword is a 10-acre vineyard located in a sunny basin of the Applegate Valley along Highway 238 and is part of the Applegate Valley Wine Trail. It is known predominantly for producing Chardonnays and other “fruit-forward”