We are pleased to introduce our 2018 vintage Pinot Noirs! Whese wines are deep, concentrated and full of life. They show impressive levels of acidity and tannin which will only serve to brighten the wines, elongate the finishes and make for incredibly compelling wines in the years to come. Over the years we have strived to make the best possible Pinot Noirs, when undeniably Oregon Pinot Noir is at a level only a few wines and wine regions can ever aspire to reach. We have over 600 barrels of Pinot Noir and some are at truly rare heights even at this stage of development. This is a terrific time to be an Oregon producer and consumer of the most exciting, captivating and delicious red and white varieties in the world. - Jim Anderson, Winemaker
Winemaking and Notes:There was a range of whole cluster fermentations ranging from 45% to 100% stem-inclusion that were created from the fruit we received from this block in 2018. They allwent through a normal cold soak of 4 to 5 days and then were fermented in 1.75-ton open-top fermenters (as well as one 2.5 ton round that was done 100% whole cluster and is the bedrock of this bottling) and pigeaged 1x/day until dry and then was pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days before being pressed separately to allow for specific blending later in the year. The wine spent about 11 months in barrel in 27% new oak. 13 barrels of the 100% whole cluster fermentation barrels were selected with 7 coming from the 2.5 ton fermentation and 5 from 45% whole cluster fermentations. This combination allows for the forward, supple nature of Dundee Hills fruit to be showcased while held in check by the old vine, mineral-driven elements of the 100% whole cluster barrels. There is sweet red fruit that is overlaid by a distinctly savory aspect creating a dichotomy upon which complexity exists. This is a wine that has old bones and sensibilities to it while still having the stuffing that Dundee Hill wines are known for all while being an insanely rare example due to the vine age that helps define this wine’s boundaries.
These now monster vines were planted back in 1973 making them some of the oldest vines in Oregon, thus giving this bottling an historical aspect to it. 46-year-old vines in Oregon are exceptionally rare both because there was so little planted acreage back then and some of that acreage has been re-planted due to Phylloxera. The fact that this site and wine exist at all is somewhat of a minor miracle. In part due to this, this wine knows exactly what it wants to be. It shows finesse, subtleness, elegance and discreet balance all backed up by a sneaky and looming firmness. Only older vines make wines like this. This is not a wine that needs to make a dramatic entrance, because all the work is done on the back end.
VINIFICATION: All 50% whole cluster fermentations in 1.75 ton open top fermenters.
PICKING DATE: 09/25 and 09/27/18
OWNERS: Patricia Green Cellars PRODUCTION: 300 cases bottled
*Wine Club Only
Winemaking and Notes:The Etzel block section of our vineyard planted in 1986 slopes to the northwest directly toward our neighbor Beaux Freres. The name is an homage to the owner and winemaker there: Mike Etzel. This wine has always pulled some of the most interesting characteristics out of the site and that is its reason for existing on its own. For some reason this has always been the most nuanced and most mineral-driven of all our wines. There are 2 sections within the East Etzel Block as we interplanted rows in this block the year after we arrived. The rows were still 12 feet apart and we wanted to have tighter spacing so Dijon 114 was interplanted to make more efficient use of the land. The older Pommard (planted in 1986) was fermented in a single 1.75-ton open-top fermenter with 50% whole clusters, and went through a standard cold soak of about 5 days before being pigeaged 1x/day, pressed, and allowed to settle for 3 days. The Dijon 114 was fermented in three separate 1.75-ton open-top fermenters, all of which had 50% whole cluster inclusion, before going through a standard cold soak of about 5 days, and being pumped over until fermentation started. It was only pigeaged 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. The wine spent a little less than a year in 33% new barrels along with a combination of a one time- and a four times-used barrel. This wine is aromatically complex and nuanced. Minerality and seductive dark fruits combined with great complexity on the palate creates a wine that shows elegance, intricacy and intensity. This is a perfect example of how soil-influenced older vine Pinots from the Ribbon Ridge can be. The addition of whole cluster fermentation furthers the aromatic qualities and drives the graphite notes on the palate and tightens the tannins up on the back end.
Winemaking and Notes: We have long believed that Wadensvil planted in marine sedimentary soil produces some of the best wines in the cellar. The only problem is finding it outside of our vineyard. Wadensvil is a little later ripening, a little lighter, and a little more elegant and was generally shunned from the late 80’s into the mid-2000s by independent vineyards. When Wadensvil is given the right conditions and especially when combined with the mineral effect of marine soil it blossoms into a stunningly beautiful wine. The 2018 continues the upward trajectory that this bottling has been on since we started it four vintages ago. The fermentations from this northwest facing section of the block were done with 33% whole clusters while the fermentations from the northeast facing aspect ranged from completely destemmed to 33% to 66% whole cluster. They were assembled as the final wine with 4 barrels from the northwest section, 7 barrels from the whole cluster barrels on the northeast and 3 from the destemmed portion. The wine was pressed off and allowed to settle for 3 days before going to barrel. The wine, while being 22% new oak is also 50% neutral barrel. The Wadensvil clone presents itself in a lovely red-fruited manner (while still being quite concentrated and rich) from our vineyard that tends toward darker fruit profiles. There are very fine-grained tannins and terrific acidity so this wine may take some time to come around and it will undoubtedly have a long life in front of it.
Winemaking and Notes:Winemaking and Notes:As the Estate vines tap their roots deep into the soft sub-soil they eventually make contact with the mineralized water on the property. This brings a whole new element to the flavor and texture profile of the wine. This bottling comes from barrels sourced from both the West and East Etzel Blocks done both destemmed and with 50% whole cluster fermentations, a 1990 planting of Pinot Gris that was grafted to Pommard in 2002 that was done with three fermenters of destemmed fruit which were all pressed together, a 1997 planting of Pommard on a steep southwest facing slope that was all fermented with 50% whole clusters and 9 barrels of Wadensvil (for the first time ever in this bottling!) with fermentations ranging from destemmed to 66% whole cluster. Given the diversity within the vineyard (we have a 360-degree aspect on our hillside vineyard) and the range of vine age (22-33 years) we were able to pick at different times and then blend this together with a greater degree of diversity than we have ever had available. The wine was bottled with just over 20% new barrel. The assemblage for this particular wine is always fascinating, because you can see the wine come together as the elements from each block are added in. This wine is one of the few truly older vine bottlings that exists from Ribbon Ridge. Older vineyards here, have the capacity to translate the mineral laden nature of our water and soil into the refined, focused nature of the fruit. This AVA is a special place and makes some of the most interesting, dramatic and amazing as some of our bottlings, and this is one of them!
VINEYARD SIZE: Vineyard is 85 acres/PGC Blocks total 14 acres
VINIFICATION: 2 x 1.75 ton fermenters with 100% destemmed fruote and 43% whole cluster fermentions.
PICKING DATE: 9/30/18
OWNERS: Dan & Helen Dusschee
Winemaking and Notes: This is where our bread is buttered. There is no denying that we work with Pommard clone far more than any other clone and that there is something to Pommard that makes it not only stand out but has the capacity to stand on its own as a complete wine more often than any other clone we work with. Within the non-Freedom Hill Vineyard futures offerings all of them are either Pommard or contain Pommard with the exception of the two specifically chosen Wadensvil clone bottlings. Of the three clone-designated wines we bottle from the site this one seems capture what may be the historical view of Freedom Hill Vineyard. This section of the vineyard was re-planted in 2001. This is a dark, dark wine with a rich, plush mid-palate (even at this early stage) that is layered with muscle. Over the past couple of vintages we have experimented with whole cluster usage on this block and the results are extremely appealing. There is still an Old World nature at the heart of this wine even though it pulsates with its Oregon heritage and sensibilities. This shows savory tones mixed with wild, brambly fruits on the nose. Drinks at a high-pitched level with bright, crunchy red fruits, earth-born characteristics and a distinct spicy note on the finish.
Winemaking and Notes: The 2018 Wadensvil is both rich with bright fruit combined with structure and density, but also showing finesse. It is all from 100% whole cluster fermentations. This wine has stood out as one of the top wines in the cellar since ferments really started taking shape this spring. A wine where the red-fruited nature of the clone gives it a different flavor profile than all the other wines, but the clone’s natural transparency allows for the inherent structure of the vineyard to be portrayed. This is a paradoxical wine in ways, but incredibly interesting. The 2018 vintage is much like the 2017 vintage, but with greater fruit concentration that balances the omnipresent tannins. While this is serious in structure and clearly a wine that will benefit from time there is such an appealing level of fruit and texture that drinking it in its relative youth is far from a bad idea. This is a showstopper in many ways and few domestic Pinot Noirs reach this level of overall intensity in all the relevant categories. Act according to your nature.
VINEYARD SIZE: 135-acre vineyard, 1.4-acre PGC block
VINIFICATION: One 1.75-ton open-top fermenter done 100% destemmed and one 2.5 ton done 33% whole cluster.
PICKING DATE: 10/02/18
OWNERS: Laurent Montalieu
PRODUCTION: 258 cases bottled
Winemaking and Notes:We received enough fruit in 2018 to do one regular 1.75ton fermenter and one 2.5 ton fermenter. The 2.5 ton included a third of its volume as whole clusters. As in 2017 we went to slightly greater lengths to coax out a level of extraction from this vineyard so these fermenters were regularly pigeaged 2x/day as opposed to 1x/day for nearly everything else. It seemed a good choice in 2017 and since this is just our second vintage with this site we chose to repeat the process. We feel that the older vines combined with the clonal material and vine age could accept a more rigorous extraction process. The wine spent about 12 months in barrel in 25% new oak.
This wine’s stature comes from the combination of site characteristics and clone that are extremely rare in Oregon. The way they present themselves set them apart from all of our other wines. We strive to find unique places so that we can craft a large number of wines that are all very distinct. In this case we have found a block within a large site that offers us the ability to have a wine that feints at both being lean, austere, demure and tightly wound as well as being rich, broad-shouldered, structured, dense and provocative. At least in its youth that is the vibe it is giving off and the type of elasticity that it has. Few wines bring such an ability to move from both sides of the spectrum effortlessly with intent.
VINEYARD SIZE: 26-acre vineyard, ~2.8-acre PGC blocks
VINIFICATION: Multiple fermentations with all done in 1.5 or 1.75 ton bins with whole cluster on the Dijon 115 ranging from 10-50% while 100% destemming on the Pommard and Mariafeld.
PICKING DATE: 10/02 and 10/04/18
OWNERS: Todd Hansen
PRODUCTION: 168 cases bottled
Winemaking and Notes:Lia’s Vineyard, to us, is about the unusual (in Oregon) combination of soil types due to the change in elevation that the vineyard has over a relatively small amount of overall acreage. That is what makes this vineyard fascinating and, in our cellar, totally unique. The Pommard at higher elevation in volcanic soil produces intense, sultry and concentrated Pinot Noir and the Dijon 115 leans to a much more structured and savory style since it comes from the marine soil at the bottom of the vineyard (this is still in the middle of the overall hillside). The Mariafeld is at an even lower spot on the hill than the Dijon 115 and it adds its own little thing to the whole situation.
This bottling marks the 9th vintage we have received fruit from this vineyard although we have only bottled this individually for the past 7 vintages. Over the years this wine has moved the way the vineyard has which is to say in an entirely positive direction. In 2009 we were interested in the vineyard as we had just begun getting fruit from Olenik Vineyard below it but the farming was far off what it needed to be in that vintage for us to begin a relationship. In 2010 and 2011 we received fruit but not exactly what we wanted. Even in 2012 when, as noted, we started in the sections we thought had the greatest potential the overall quality of the wine was good to very good with the latter being the rarer barrels. In 2017 we started to see movement to more sustainable and organic practices with a corresponding uptick in the quality of the fruit we are receiving. In 2018 that surge has become so prominent that the very good barrel is rare and the excellent barrels are what we now use for this bottling. This still follows along historic lines with 12 barrels coming from the Dijon 115 sections, 7 from the Pommard and 1 from the Mariafeld which acts almost like a binding agent for the other two clones. There is an aromatic element to it that is far more floral than it has been in the past vintages and the wine is a bit more inviting while now showing more intense and sophisticated tannin structure than in the past. It’s full of space for one to explore rather than being a wine that simply rushes at you with a full-throttled intensity. This wine is quite integrated at a very young age which is surprising given the dispirit clones, vine ages, elevations and soil types. As we have explored more vineyards just outside the eastern edge of the Ribbon Ridge AVA we have found these incredibly dynamic, floral and simply lovely Pinots that are d
Winemaking and Notes: The Marine Sedimentary bottling takes wine from selected blocks and barrels from multiple sites. Our entire Estate Vineyard, all three blocks, Pommard (Anklebreaker Block), Wadensvil Clone and Coury Clone from the Olenik Vineyard, Dijon 115 and Mariafeld Clone from Lia’s Vineyard and Pommard from Lichtenwalter Vineyard and Wind Ridge Vineyard were blended to show how the silty marine soil both drives our plants lives and produces wines that are distinct on their own.
This is such a huge contrast to the Dundee Hills wines that we produce and in particular the soil-based Volcanic bottling that we also make. The interaction of dark fruits, stony/earthy-driven characteristics from the Pommard, sweetness from the Dijon 115, acid and tannin from the Mariafeld and a little bit of je ne sais quois from the Coury Clone produce a wine that will appeal to those that want secondary characteristics, structure, cool minerality and restraint. This is the inherent nature of wines from vineyards planted in these soils.
Over the years this wine has seen a distinct evolution. Part of it is the inclusion of a greater number of vineyards and blocks which, certainly at a very fundamental level, would obviously create a different nature for the finished wine. However, the real changes are far more important. We started making this wine in 2005 but it was only our 6th vintage farming a marine soil site and making wines from marine soils. Now, as this is being written in 2019, we receive fruit from four Ribbon Ridge AVA sites and four Chehalem Mountains sites that are just off the eastern edge of Ribbon Ridge. That’s eight vineyards all within less than 4 miles of each other. Our understanding of the farming required to grow excellent fruit in these sites has increased dramatically over our 20 years here. Likewise our ability to nudge the fruit toward its best wine self has seen a corresponding rise. Just because we likely source fruit from more sources in this very focused area does not make us THE expert on marine soil wines but it does make us uniquely qualified to produce a wine that shows off the excellence and potential of this small part of Yamhill County. In 2018 we have most assuredly hit the high water mark to date with this bottling. The 2018 vintage will likely go down as a terrific vintage in the annals of Oregon wine but I think it particularly shines with these marine soil wines. There is no doubt the best wines we produced in 2018 come from these eight sites. That the best Marine Sedimentary bottling is the most dramatic and profound bottling of the fourteen vintages we have made because it comes from seven of these eight sites should not be surprising. You should revel in it, but not be surprised. This is everything a marine soil Pinot Noir should be.
VINEYARD SIZE: PGC block 3.5 acres, .8 acres and .5 acres spread across three sections of the vineyard.
PICKING DATE: September 24
VINIFICATION: Multiple fermentation vessels and whole cluster inclusions ranging from 0 to 100%.
Winemaking and Notes: 8 of the 15 barrels come from 100% whole cluster fermentations and 7 come from completely destemmed fermenters. Most of the wine comes from the large block located in the ideal location on the bowl-shaped hillside, but 3 barrels came from the block above that seemed to add a dimension of elegance and texture without taking away from the lavishness, deep fruited and structured wine we all know. This combination allows the structure and earthen minerality to be infused with the incredibly lush and dense fruit this vineyard produces creating a wine of great depth, character, complexity and flavor. 15% new barrel was used with a combination of once to four times used barrels to round out the barrel program. This wine wants to be perfect. It is youthful and jumpy right now. As of writing this, there is so much material rolling around with fruit and tannin. Its characteristics are sort of all over the place. Not unusual for great wines to begin at stages like this. This has power, concentration, dry extract, subtle spice undertones and enormous length. This is not necessarily a powerhouse, but it has so much to it that it’s impossible to doubt that there is profundity in this wine’s future. Taste it now for all the incredible stuff going on, but get it because it will be great years down the road.
VINEYARD SIZE: 32-acre vineyard, ~1.0-acre PGC Anklebreaker (Pommard) block
VINIFICATION: 2 open-top fermenters, a 1.75 ton and a 2.5 ton, the former with 40% whole clusters the latter with 60% whole clusters.
PICKING DATE: September 22nd
OWNER: John & Susan Olenik
PRODUCTION: 156 cases bottled
Winemaking and Notes:This is a lower lying section in Olenik Vineyard planted to Pommard clone in 2007 and the name references the rock-strewn nature of this section of the vineyard. This is definitely the warmest spot of the site with the radiant heat from the rocks. This section was picked early on in the 2018 harvest at a moderate level of brix belying this wine’s deep, dark color and powerful overall nature. We are very pleased to be able to showcase the characteristics of this utterly unique piece of ground in Oregon. The Anklebreaker moniker is a visual description of the ground this part of the vineyard is planted in. The basalt boulders, rocks and stones in the section of the vineyard are part of a long ago land slide from further up the embankment and they give the block a visual similarity to vineyards in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Somehow, the name seems to also convey the style of wine to expect and it delivers. This is a broad-shouldered Pinot Noir with deep and very dark fruit flavors. It is years away from any sort of peak, but certainly provides satisfaction at the big-boy level in the short run. Of all the wines in this very diverse cellar this is the most about the place that fruit comes from style of Pinot Noir. It was born to plants in a difficult and hard environment and the wine is not easy and maybe not for everybody but it is distinct, interesting and a great connection to the soils.
VINEYARD SIZE: 32-acre vineyard, ~2.7-acre PGC Wadensvil block
VINIFICATION: 3 open-top 1.75 ton fermenters, one with 0%, one with 40% and one 50% whole clusters.
PICKING DATE: September 26th
OWNERS: John & Susan Olenik
PRODUCTION: 310 cases bottled
Winemaking and Notes: Olenik Vineyard sits nearly smack dab in the middle of this south facing hillside. The vineyard sits on the same type of thin marine soil as our Estate Vineyard. Wadensvil Clone is especially perfect for this type of soil. The natures of marine sedimentary soil and the Wadensvil clone are nearly a perfect intersection for Pinot Noir in Oregon. Wadensvil tends toward more elegant, high-toned and red-fruited wines while the sedimentary soil adds an element of structure and turns the wine distinctly toward a very mineral-driven mid-palate and finish. The barrels that make up this wine come equally from the fermentations that was done with 50% and no whole clusters with a couple of barrels of the 40% whole cluster fermenter rounding out the balance. Despite the differences in the make-up of the fermentations the bins were both pigeaged 1x/day and pressed separately on the same day. The fruit that was fermented with 50% whole clusters emphasizes minerals, spices and back-palate structure all of which provide tension in the herb-laced red fruit. The de-stemmed barrels are a rush of sweet, feminine red fruit and a texture like velvet. The 40% seemed to have a little of both. The whole clusters give an incredible backbone to this wine that lends an austerity to this wine that benefits it not only down the road but in the here and now, allowing it to be the wine from the Chehalem Mountains that is the most elegant, graceful and refined of the bottlings. The wine is incredibly aromatic and floral but still allows for the back palate to be the guiding force in this wine. This wine is soulful and richer than it at first seems however it is graceful, subtle and sublime and easily one of the most popular wines that we make.
This bottling allows us to accomplish two things that are very important to us as a winery. The first thing is that it allows us to be incredibly detailed about the barrels we select for our vineyard designated wines, so they true expressions of the site on a year in and year out basis. The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir bottling “Reserve” is almost entirely made up of barrels that simply were not included in a more prestigious bottling, which allows us to choose from larger sections of our diverse vineyards. Secondly, it allows us to create a blended wine that has a degree of consistency to it each vintage that is of incredibly high-quality and will retail for under $30.
In short, this wine is a smoking deal! The 2017 Willamette Valley Reserve was rated as the #39 wine by The Wine Spectator and 93pts because of its unusual combination of quality, price and availability.
This bottling comes from terrific sources. The 2019 has a make-up of unique pedigree for a wine at its pricing. Slightly over 33% comes from our Estate Vineyard from which we bottled 4 individual single vineyard/block bottlings in 2019. Other sources of significance are Freedom Hill Vineyard which is one of the most famous (and deservedly so) sites in the state, Corrine (formerly Olenik) Vineyard which we have bottled single vineyard Pinots from since 2009, Wind Ridge Vineyard which is an older Ribbon Ridge AVA site, Anderson Family Vineyard which is new to us but is a 30 year-old organically farmed site in the Dundee Hills (and we are making a vineyard designated Pinot from it in 2019) and a vineyard so famous that the winery that owns it won’t let us put the name of the vineyard on the vineyard designated bottling of it that we do let alone tell you it is one of the mainstays in our least expensive wine! You get the picture. This isn’t throw away stuff mixed together and then hope for the best. This is an intentional wine filled with basically declassified single vineyard quality wine in it.
This wine carries the breadth of the winery in other ways as well. From completely destemmed grapes to 100% whole cluster fermentations, all winemaking stylistic decisions are represented within this bottling. The two most important AVAs in the Willamette Valley to us (and likely the two most prestigious and sought after) are Ribbon Ridge (where we are located) and the Dundee Hills. 75% of this wine comes from those two AVAs. To show those in their pure fruit form about 75% of the volume of this wine comes from neutral barrels while less than 3% of are new barrels.