Grant Coulter & Renée Saint-Amour
Old Eight Cut Pinot Noir 2021
The fruit for the 2021 Old Eight Cut Pinot Noir was sourced from several dry-farmed sites across the Willamette Valley. Dry farming is important not only for environmental reasons, but also for qualitative ones: with their healthier root systems, non-irrigated vines produce grapes with more depth and dimension. The fruit from each vineyard was vinified and aged in separate batches, utilizing a variety of traditional and experimental techniques (native yeasts, 30% whole-cluster, 11 months of aging in used oak barrels). The result is what we like to call the Hundred Suns house style: wild, generous, and satisfyingly alive. 13.9% alcohol.
Uncut gems these are not. The wines of Hundred Suns are beautifully imagined and expertly crafted. Which should come as no surprise: Within the corrugated walls of its inconspicuous McMinnville warehouse creativity flourishes. Husband-and-wife team Grant Coulter and Renée Saint-Amour work collaboratively, melding experimentation and tradition with artistic aplomb. This is particularly true of Hundred Sun's Eight Cut series, named after a centuries-old diamond cut that relied on simple tools and a few bold maneuvers to “enhance the natural brilliance of the stone without disguising its true nature.” We like to say that wine is art — yet proving so can be weirdly challenging. Thankfully, Hundred Suns provides a treasure trove of evidence. Grant and Renée approach each wine with the heart and playful eccentricity of artists standing before a blank canvas. Inevitably, the results are delicious and deeply moving, evoking everything we love about the Willamette Valley.