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
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 TONS/ACRE: 2.95
OWNERS: Laurent Montalieu PRODUCTION: 1 Bottle
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.
AVA: Chehalem Mountains LOCATION: Bell Rd. north of Newberg
ELEVATION: 500-900’ SOIL TYPE: Willakenzie
YEAR PLANTED: 1976, 1980
CLONES: 50% Pommard, 50% Dijon 777
VINEYARD SIZE: 25-acre vineyard, ~1-acre PGC Pinot Noir blocks
VINIFICATION: 2 open-top .75. ton fermenters done 100% de-stemmed and pressed together.
PICKING DATE: September 29th TONS/ACRE: 2.76
OWNER: Hal MediciPRODUCTION: 12 Bottles
Wine Making and Notes:This is one of the more historically revered and heralded vineyards in Oregon. Originally planted in 1976 on a steep hillside above Bell Rd. this vineyard was daring for its pitch, elevation and for the fact that it was well outside of the Dundee Hills where the vast majority of quality vineyards were being planted at the time. Even though this is in what is now known as the Chehalem Mountain AVA it is at an elevation that makes it comparable to the Dundee Hill sites by the way of being planted in volcanic (Jory) soil. It is still, by any measure, a steep and grand vineyard that absolutely looks the part of what one would imagine a great vineyard might look like. Fortunately, it is more than looks.
We get small portions of the two blocks from the oldest section of the vineyard: the 1976 planting of Pommard and a 1980 planting of Chardonnay that was grafted to Dijon 777 sometime in the 90s. We received enough fruit in 2018 to ferment the two blocks separately for the first time since 2015 but we chose to press them together as we knew from four previous vintages of experience that we were going to blend them together in both their entireties regardless. The wine was aged in 25% new barrel for about 10 months. In our short history with this majestic vineyard we have reaped amazing fruit and made wines that received enormous critical acclaim 93, 95, 96 but this vintage may outdo those others. This vineyard was taken over by J. Christopher Winery in 2015 which is why we even get the fruit that we do. The quality of the farming took an immediate turn for the better as it has been biodynamically farmed since that time. Agriculture being what it is though it has taken years for the plants to completely respond to the massive upgrade in their life experience. We are really seeing it both in the vineyard where these old vines look refreshed and are producing normal sized crop loads of beautiful looking clusters and in the winery where this wine has an effortless stateliness to it that is singular in our cellar. This is a rare and special wine from one of the great vineyards in the state.
VINEYARD SIZE: PGC block 3.5 acres, .8 acres and .5 acres spread across three sections of the vineyard.
TONS/ACRE: 3.25 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.
This is what we consider on a year-in, year-out basis our most unique and exotic wine. This is, as always, our only wine that is made in 100% new Cadus barrels. This wine is a textural experience beyond any of our other wines. Rather than attempting to show, in pain-staking detail, the individual qualities of the vineyards we work with the Notorious bottling is about a particular style of wine that is richer, more intense, denser in texture and more lifted aromatically than our other bottlings.
In 2018 the eight selected barrels come from Balcombe Vineyard (4 barrels of Pommard planted in 1990 and fermented with 0%, 33% and 60% whole cluster from Blocks 1A, 1B and 2B), Estate Vineyard (2 barrels, 1 each from a 1990 planting of Pommard done with 50% whole clusters and from a 2001 planting of Dijon 114 from the Etzel Block done with 50% whole cluster ) and the vineyard we moniker as Mysterious (2 barrels, 1 each from a 1990 planting of Pommard done with 0% whole clusters and 100% whole cluster). These are all incredibly well farmed vineyard with 3 organic sites representing totality of fruit.
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 TONS/ACRE: 3.33
OWNER: John & Susan Olenik PRODUCTION: 1 Bottle
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 TONS/ACRE: 3.25
OWNERS: John & Susan Olenik PRODUCTION: 12 Bottles
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.
Shimmering ruby-red. An intensely perfumed, expansive bouquet evokes ripe boysenberry, raspberry liqueur, licorice and exotic spices; a potpourri nuance emerges in the glass. Delivers a compelling blend of richness and energy on the palate, offering sappy red and blue fruit, bitter cherry, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors that are braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Unfolds slowly on the youthfully tannic finish, which hangs on with outstanding, floral-driven tenacity. One-third whole clusters.
VINEYARD SIZE: 31-acre vineyard, ~3-acre PGC block
VINIFICATION: 4 open-top 1.75 ton fermenters done with 50% whole clusters and 1 2.5 ton fermenter done with 100% whole clusters. 1 open-top 1.75 ton fermenter completely destemmed.
PICKING DATE: 10/05/2018 TONS/ACRE: 2.92
OWNER: Vivian Weber PRODUCTION: 2 Bottles
Winemaking and Notes: On top of that there simply aren’t many 35+ year old vineyards in Oregon. Weber Vineyard is perhaps the purest Dundee Hills Pinot Noir that we have. In our dozen years working with this vineyard it has routinely produced one of our top wines of the vintage (certainly in 2012 and 2016 one could make a strong argument for that being the case). In 2018 this wine definitely shows that potential. If you are a fan of what the Dundee Hills can do at exceptionally high levels with old vines this bottling is going to be in your wheelhouse. Since 2015 we have been including larger quantities of whole cluster fermentation into the bottling. Of the 18 barrels selected 13 come from stem inclusion fermentations with 5 being from 100% and 8 from 50%. This is a quintessential old vine, Worden Hill Rd. Pinot Noir that reaches back into the history of Oregon for its place in our line-up of Pinot Noirs from the vintage. This wine has a deep red color and a great concentration of sweet fruit that is balanced and buffeted by crisp acidity and firm, but ripe tannins. The wine was in 22% new barrel (and 33% once used barrels) for just under a year. The depth of the wine both from a concentration standpoint and an “old vines can handle barrels” standpoint this seems far less influenced by barrel than once would expect. This is complete, age-worthy, unique all while still being a distinctly Worden Hill Rd. Pinot Noir. Beautiful wine for old vine Dundee Hills vineyard fans.