Argyle in The Press Democrat, October 10, 2023
The Press Democrat website
October 10, 2023
“Wine of the week: 2022 Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé”
Nate Klostermann is the winemaker behind our wine of the week winner — the Argyle, 2022 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 12.5%, $22, 4.5 stars. Tangy red fruit of strawberry, raspberry and watermelon is buoyed by bright acid. With a hint of tangerine, this rosé finishes crisp. (Argyle Winery)
Nate Klostermann is an acrobat when it comes to crafting rosé. For him, balance is imperative.
Finding the balance between acidity/freshness and texture/density/phenolics is pivotal, said Klostermann, the winemaker of Argyle in Oregon. Too far in either direction can throw it off. Making sparkling wine and, in particular, sparkling rosé helps us dial in this balance for the still wine rosé.
The winemaker is behind our wine of the week winner of the Argyle, 2022 Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 12.5%, $22, 4.5 stars. Tangy red fruit of strawberry, raspberry and watermelon is buoyed by bright acid. With a hint of tangerine, this rosé finishes crisp.
We grow pinot nor across multiple appellations, high and low elevation, sparkling and still, he said. We have the experience of working with pinot noir in all sorts of expressions that allows us to fine-tune our still wine pinot noir rosé.
Working with estate-grown pinot noir, Klostermann said, makes him adept at growing and picking decisions. He uses sparkling winemaking techniques in the cellar to create different layers of texture and balance.
What people find most surprising about my winemaking is that I’m responsible for all of the wines, both still and sparkling wine, he said. People assume we have a sparkling winemaker and a still winemaker.
Many may not know how versatile rosé of pinot noir can be, the winemaker said.
It can be enjoyed as a cold sipper, but if you let it warm up to cellar temperature, it has acidity and density to pair with foods you would pair a still wine pinot noir with, he said.
Klostermann, 42, grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. At the University of Minnesota, he started down the path of becoming a pharmacist. But when he began brewing beer at home, he changed his major to food science so he could explore the magic of fermentation. A wine appreciation course in his last semester got him interested in bottled grapes.
Klostermann graduated in 2005 and moved to Oregon to work harvest at Argyle. He has been there ever since, rising in the ranks. He was promoted to head winemaker in 2013.
Argyle was founded in 1987 by vintner Rollin Soles. Soles was drawn to the area by the cool-climate potential of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. While the winery’s initial focus was on sparkling wine, today it also produces rosé and varietals that include chardonnay, pinot noir and riesling.
Klostermann said he and his team work with small lots to explore and preserve the nuance and complexity of the winery’s estate-grown fruit. They’re continually experimenting with innovations like harvesting at various ripeness levels.
For those experiments to pan out, patience and curiosity are required, according to Klostermann.
‘I’m patient,’ Klostermann said. ‘I pay attention to detail, and I don’t take anything too seriously.’”