2018 Estate Vineyard, Wadensvil Block Pinot Noir
92 Points ~ Wine Enthusiast
93 Points ~ Wine Spectator
AVA: Ribbon Ridge
LOCATION: North Valley Rd.
SOIL TYPE: Wellsdale
YEAR PLANTED: 1997
CLONAL MATERIAL: 100% Wadensvil
VINEYARD SIZE: 30-acre vineyard, 3.1-acre Wadensvil block
VINIFICATION: Multiple fermenters ranging from destemmed to 66% whole cluster fermentations.
PICKING DATE: 09/30/18
OWNERS: Patricia Green Cellars
PRODUCTION: 458 cases bottled
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.
Soils: The Ribbon Ridge region contains primarily sedimentary soils that are younger, finer and more uniform than the alluvial sedimentary and volcanic soils of neighboring regions. These moderately deep, well-drained silty-clay loam soils are part of the Willakenzie soil series and are of low fertility and ideal for growing high-quality wine grapes.
Topography: Geographically, Ribbon Ridge is a 3.5-mile long by 1.75-mile wide ridge that extends from the Chehalem Mountains. The ridge rises 683 feet from the Chehalem Valley floor, giving it an island-like appearance.
Site Characteristics: Our vineyard is planted in a Marine Sedimentary soil known as Wellsford. This soil type is very fine, to the point of being silty (think talcum powder). The soil is highly drained and prone to erosion. The subsoil is sandstone which further adds to the quick drainage as well as making for a growing environment that is tough on younger, developing vines with immature root systems. However it is excellent for older vines as the soils are so soft that the root systems become very deep, allowing the plant to find nutrients, minerals and water that are critical to vine health and, ultimately, wine complexity.
On top of our unique soil condition we have a vineyard that begins in the middle of the hillside and works its way up the southern slope, toward the top of the hill. It then begins to fan out covering the southeast and southwest slopes. As you move up and around the hillside, the vineyard covers every possible aspect to the sun. North slopes, steep eastern slopes and cascading western slopes along with everything in between make up the entirety of our vineyard. Very few vineyards have a 360 degree aspect to them and we do everything we can to work within the context of these differing slopes and the blocks that occupy them.