TN: 2013 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Berserker Cuvée

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#1 Post by dsGriswold » March 9th, 2015, 11:18 pm

  • 2013 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Berserker Cuvée - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains (3/9/2015)
    Medium ruby with magenta rim with brambles, light barnyard and light red berry nose. Open an hour. Dry with lightly tart red berry fruit, some mineral, smooth lightly chewy tannins. Very well balanced on the restrained side and should satisfy the AFWE bunch without any hard edges that need time to smooth. Drinking very well now. Light acid, fruit and tannins make drinking now a pleasure. I would term this a feminine wine whatever that means, a soft wine, not a bruiser. I do not have pool, but I can see a lot of this consumed on the patio. Pretty good for night one. (91 pts.)
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#2 Post by cepotts » March 10th, 2015, 5:57 am

dsGriswold wrote: Posted from CellarTracker
Brett?
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#3 Post by Chris D » March 10th, 2015, 6:06 am

Looks like quite a limited release on the Berserker Cuvee newhere
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#4 Post by Br@d S w @ l l o w » March 10th, 2015, 7:18 am

Thank you for your note. This sounds like at least a $19 wine to me. [berserker.gif]
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#5 Post by dsGriswold » March 10th, 2015, 8:45 am

cepotts wrote:
dsGriswold wrote: Posted from CellarTracker
Brett?
No Brett, I get that in Rhones a lot, more like light leather, just on the aroma.
Just light red currants, blackberry this morning. Just sniffing, no tasting in the am.

I like this a lot. On par with some of the neighbors that produce a very good entry mid $20-30s PN.
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#6 Post by rfelthoven » March 10th, 2015, 8:49 am

I received my bottle yesterday and opened it in the evening, consuming half of the bottle and saving the other half for tonight to see how it evolves (pushed the cork back in and put it in the refrigerator). My plan is to have my parents come over and try it because they are potentially interested in buying some.

For context, my palate is pretty accustomed to high acid, AFWE Oregon pinot noir. I drink a bit of Burgundy but rarely anything above village or 1er cru wines. I try to branch out to CA pinot producers I read about but often find them too sappy for my taste. So with all the formalities out of the way, here goes.

Popped and poured the wine through an aerator/pourer spout into Riedel XL OR pinot glasses. My Thermapen showed the wine at 62 degrees. I would describe my initial whiff from the glass as earthy, with a bit of spice (cinnamon?), dark cherry, and a slight bit of sulphur or reductive character. This latter characteristic faded away very quickly over the time I sipped a couple of small glasses.

The wine is a dark ruby color that is silky smooth upon entry and has a relatively full mid-palate for an Oregon pinot. It is exceptionally smooth, so much so that I was concerned that it may be too soft for me, but right at the end a nice bit of acid brightens things up. Whether it's bright enough for me may be my only quibble with this wine.

I would say the core of this wine, consistent with Jim's blending comments, is a dark, brooding wine that is lifted by some red fruit (raspberries) on the back end. There is no doubting this wine is from Oregon. There is the faintest bit of a "graham cracker" note in the mid-palate that I find off-putting in even moderate doses, but this is quite restrained. It just sort of rounds out the wine a bit both aromatically and in the mouth. As I said, the wine finishes on the brighter side but there is a wisp of smoke that lingers at the same time.

Is this wine worth $19? Absolutely. I drink a fair amount of entry level Oregon pinot and they are often very linear and don't have the elegance of this wine. If went out to a restaurant I would gladly pay $45 for the wine, and if I owned a restaurant I think it would be a big hit by the glass, appealing to a broad swath of consumers.

I also think this wine will appeal to many wine geeks on this board. It's elegance and silky character will strike a chord with many, and it has a nice signature Oregon flavor profile. Only those who really prize acid over other characteristics are likely to be indifferent to this wine. But at the price, it's a very different animal than what's on the market. It's delicious.

Finally, the previous tasting note mentioned barnyard and someone asked about Brett. I didn't pick up any Brett at all. It is a really well made wine in a style that will appeal to most. Some people describe wines as "coiled" or "energetic" and I would say this wine is not in that camp. Jim suggested the wine was all about that bass, but I think it's all about the smoothness.

Thanks to Jim for letting me play.

Night 2 update:
The wine is even better tonight. Exceptional balance and great flavor profile. Still in for at least 2 cases, probably more.
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#7 Post by john stimson » March 10th, 2015, 9:40 am

Browbeat Jim into sending me a bottle, which I won't be able to taste and report upon until tomorrow. Hoping my bottle isn't all about bass, as I got rid of my bass-o-matic a long time ago.

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#8 Post by dsGriswold » March 10th, 2015, 10:22 am

john stimson wrote:Browbeat Jim into sending me a bottle, which I won't be able to taste and report upon until tomorrow. Hoping my bottle isn't all about bass, as I got rid of my bass-o-matic a long time ago.
I actually could use another bottle to see how it performs next week with some more age. flirtysmile
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#9 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 10th, 2015, 12:11 pm

To those who have tried it, have any of you had any Belle Pente Murto Vineyard? I wonder if there's any similarity, only in that the latter is my favorite Oregon Pinot ever.
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#10 Post by Richard T r i m p i » March 10th, 2015, 1:05 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:To those who have tried it, have any of you had any Belle Pente Murto Vineyard? I wonder if there's any similarity, only in that the latter is my favorite Oregon Pinot ever.
Todd, I opened a 2011 Murto last night with half remaining in the fridge for tonight. Rumor has it that a PGC Berserker Cuvee could be headed this direction for testing.

Belle Pente's SVD Murto character is not something easily duplicated...not for $20! A similar price point (and higher) would be Belle Pente's more generic Willamette Valley Pinot. PGCs Weber, Durant and Balcombe 1B would provide a better comparison to the Murto. Jim would know best.

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#11 Post by rfelthoven » March 10th, 2015, 1:23 pm

I didn't find too big of a similarity. I believe both are pommard based, but from different AVAs. The BP Murto has a good dose of Wadensvil, however, which gives it the really hi-toned aromatics. If you're looking to find something like Murto, you may be better off in the Dundee Hills.
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#12 Post by Michael Davidson » March 10th, 2015, 8:24 pm

Just popped my bottle. Some pop-and-pour notes, I'll update later as the evening progresses.

Some reduction on the nose, a little spice, dark cherry for sure. No barnyard, no brett.

I find it a little brighter than Ron. The cherry is more raspberry on the palate, and there’s moderate acidity that’s well integrated. Medium body, a little tannin at the end, but pretty silky overall. There’s definitely a bright pop at the end, but the longest part of the finish, to me, is the darker fruit, which seems to be lurking under the brighter facade. What will happen in time is anyone’s guess.

Definitely seems ready to drink now, but there are some interesting contrasts between bright and dark that might be interesting down the road.

$20 seems crazy for this wine. Quality-wise this is definitely on par with the SVDs, for which I happily pay twice as much. Thanks for the sample, Jim, I hope this works out.

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#13 Post by dsGriswold » March 10th, 2015, 10:05 pm

Night two warming to room temp from fridge; light spice on the nose, some dusty mineral, a little more restrained from last night with soft acid, light fruit and well integrated tannins. Silky and smooth just about sums it up. Drink and enjoy.
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#14 Post by mike pobega » March 11th, 2015, 2:38 pm

In one hour I have signed for this box, grilled my Berkshire pork-chop and enjoyed this wine. The dog is hungry and the sun is still shining but I feel if Jim took the time to send me this ASAP, I should respond in kind. A Super-Pobega if you may. This is a great value, no a SCREAMING value at $19.
Thanks for the look-see, Jim.

  • 2013 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Berserker Cuvée - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains (3/11/2015)
    A pretty light ruby color with some purple edges. The nose has an interesting 'headiness'. I find some near ripened raspberries and some almost tart strawberries I really enjoy. Palate shows a nice deft balance with red fruits in command. There is some earth as sure as there is Sun. Mouth-feel is profound and acidity right on. This is certainly a foodies wine (It's popping right now as I devour my grilled Berkshire pork chop). 20 minutes later the headiness has gone away; this really feels like it's screaming of place, I am just not adept enough to know the place. Site is shown here bigtime. Finish is long and true to everything I just told you. Aggressive swirling makes this show it's bold-elegance and depth. Served blind I would easily price this at $35-$40. I would say this is a bit heavier than the 2011/2012 Ribbon Ridge Old Vines I had a few months ago. My use of heavy is not a negative. This is the real deal. (92 pts.)
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#15 Post by mike pobega » March 11th, 2015, 3:12 pm

An hour open and this is taking on some awesome texture.

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#16 Post by Br@d S w @ l l o w » March 11th, 2015, 3:24 pm

Thanks for the note, Mike. I was already in for two cases, and nothing you wrote makes me least bit uneasy about that.

I am with you on the 2011 Estate Old Vines. That is an impressive wine, and I have a bunch of them resting. If the Berserker Cuvee is in the same ballpark in quality, then it is quite a bargain.
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#17 Post by john stimson » March 11th, 2015, 4:36 pm

There's another thread on this already active, and likely 6-8 other folks about ready to post tasting notes. should we combine threads?

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#18 Post by dsGriswold » March 11th, 2015, 6:16 pm

I think They have been combined.
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#19 Post by Richard T r i m p i » March 11th, 2015, 7:14 pm

Bottle at the door today.

Mild reductive Pinot funk with emerging OR woodsy notes. Loamy red fruit with black cherries, mild baking spice and light soy. Very faint traces of neutral oak. There's a gentle attack with a feminine midpalate and a straightforward lingering finish. Nicely controlled ripeness and gentle balancing acidity. This is a Village level OR Pinot, and although the AVAs are different, not too dissimilar to St. I's cuvee version. $19 is a very fair price for this well made daily drinker. It can appeal to both AFWEs as well as riper/rounder PN lovers.

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#20 Post by Roger Nellans » March 11th, 2015, 8:15 pm

My wife tells me that a nice bottle arrived from Jim today. I'm out of town working, so will be a few days before I can try. Looking forward to it given the notes. Especially Trimpi's :)
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#21 Post by john stimson » March 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm

I shamed Jim into sending me a bottle as well, which arrived on Monday, as did my latest dental crown. So I waited until today to try it:

Open 1 1/2 hrs. Fairly deep dark red color with blue/violet rim. Slight saline on the nose with dark pure cherry and black or ripe red raspberry fruit, a hint of background spice. The palate has a fairly soft, somewhat flat entry, but nice body and darker fruit density. Builds in the back of the mouth and sides of the tongue with late fine tannins and acidic prickle (don't know if they added any acid, but I probably would have).

This is a wine who's strength is in it's back end (not unlike a number of us, I would suspect). It's a deal for $19 and I would certainly be comfortable packing some away. Not a perfect wine for it's front end softness, but an intriguing wine from a quality place. Certainly drinkable now, but I'd really like to see where it goes in 5-10 years.

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#22 Post by rfelthoven » March 11th, 2015, 8:52 pm

Seems like the TNs have been remarkably consistent thus far in terms of the flavor profile and mouthfeel. So often people are all over the board for any given wine.
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#23 Post by dsGriswold » March 11th, 2015, 9:58 pm

Third night out of the fridge and warming to room temp; lovely aromatics, soft raspberries, drinking incredibly nice with bright fruit, beautiful balance, silky soft. If you do not like this, give up and drink beer. [wink.gif]
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#24 Post by Michael Davidson » March 11th, 2015, 10:26 pm

Anyone else have night two TNs? For me, this got a lot better. Acidity seems more prominent, elements a bit more integrated. Fruit has moved to the background, earthiness to the fore. The softness than John and Ron talk about is much less evident on the second night. I'm more of a fan now.

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#25 Post by rfelthoven » March 12th, 2015, 6:29 am

Michael -- I edited/updated my note after night 2 to say that I thought the wine had improved a bit, too.
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#26 Post by mike pobega » March 12th, 2015, 7:02 am

Sadly, I will not be able to tell you what this is like on the second, third or even fourth night.
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#27 Post by M. Dildine » March 12th, 2015, 3:10 pm

Embarrassed to say at this was the first Oregon Pinot I've ever tasted.

A pretty medium dark ruby. The label didn't specify abv. (or anything else). The nose was spice, bramble and a bit of black cherry fruit. On the palate, a nice acidic entry followed by black raspberry fruit and the aforementioned spice and bramble. Very pleasing right now, and I'd expect improvement over the next several years.

My benchmarks for "value" pinots are wines like Kutch Sonoma Coast, Rivers-Marie SC, Windy Oaks Cuvee and Ceritas "Costalina." This wine was better priced than any of these wines and was quite distinctive within the group - lighter, more feminine, just as lively.

I'm very appreciative of Jim's offer to taste this. Great value and a terrific wine in a lean and sexy style.
Last edited by M. Dildine on March 12th, 2015, 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#28 Post by john stimson » March 12th, 2015, 3:48 pm

There's a label?

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#29 Post by M. Dildine » March 12th, 2015, 4:10 pm

john stimson wrote:There's a label?
No, that was lame, CA humor.
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#30 Post by Chris Seiber » March 12th, 2015, 4:40 pm

I don't think this wine will work for me, I'm a complete label chaser.

So what happens next on this? Does Jim contact everyone who signed up by PM or in the thread (I did the latter), or do we need to reach out again if he gets enough interest to pull the trigger?

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#31 Post by Jim Anderson » March 12th, 2015, 5:05 pm

Hey folks. I'm still in NCAA. I go back tomorrow. I am glad folks are reacting positively to the wine especially since it's a young wine being shipped and popped. Notes are sort of as I would expect and mostly in the direction that I described.

Anyway, I have a wealth of stuff to go through. It probably would not hurt me to re-post here what this is all aboutbfor folks that are reading this that have no idea what this is about. Once I get back to Oregon I will get everything straightened out, recalibrated and brought up to date. At that point we can settle on the easiest method to make this happen. I will keep you all posted.
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#32 Post by B.Davis » March 12th, 2015, 5:17 pm

Thank you Jim! It has been really exciting to watch this whole thing unfold. I hope I get to try these one day.
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#33 Post by Craig G » March 12th, 2015, 8:37 pm

I'm glad Mike wasn't in the middle of a Martinelli bender when he tasted that.
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#34 Post by dsGriswold » March 12th, 2015, 11:40 pm

I'm following with a glass a night. Nose is soft and luscious tonight. It seems to be getting better each night, so the future looks very promising, silky and smooth, not austere by any means, just like I said, silky and smooth with acid, fruit and tannins working harmoneously together with a balance toward the acid.
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#35 Post by dsGriswold » March 13th, 2015, 10:32 pm

Last glass tonight and I paired it with a dill pickle. Passed with flying colors. This is one heck of a wine. It's perfect tonight! A little metallic mineral sneaking in to the brightness like just a chrome accent on a Bentley! [highfive.gif]
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#36 Post by Jim Anderson » March 15th, 2015, 4:15 pm

Quick summary: I still have not gone through everything. However, based on the total from a week ago and various PMs, phone calls, new buyers and upgrades posted as well as a couple of yet to be determined but seemingly likely large scale orders that we will far exceed the drop dead number of 600 cases.

For those just checking in on this and wondering what this is here is a short synopsis. In 2013 we bottled a Pinot Noir from the Chehalem Mountain AVA. It has great bones and very good vineyard pedigree and I consider the wine to be in the upper tier of wines we made in 2013 even though it is not singly sourced. We bottled 890 cases and fully expected to sell this wine through our normal channels. In a different thread I made an off-handed remark about having this wine in quantity and if just 6-700 Berserkers got together we could offer this wine up at the price at which we would sell it to our distributors. People took this as some sort of sign and anted up publically and privately. I posted info on the wine and sent out sample bottles to regular tasting note posters.

And so here we are.

On Tuesday I will figure out the ways that people can make good and sign up for the wine. It still has to be labeled which means a label has to be determined and printed. I am not sure how long it will take us to get there. Hopefully sooner than later. Would love to be able to ship the preponderance of this in he spring. I will post info on Wednesday about how to proceed.

For those with skin in the game thanks for your collective diligence and fanaticism. I'm impressed, amazed and honored to be a part of this whole thing. If you are new to this let me know your interest. More information to come.
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#37 Post by Roger Nellans » March 19th, 2015, 1:29 pm

Late to the party, but just got back in town and had a chance to taste the wine. Initially a bit of reduction, however that seemed to blow off rather quick. Red fruited, cherries, some mineral and earth on the nose. Very soft, feminine, elegant palate with excellent flavors. Soft tannins and balanced finish with enough acid. Very easy to drink now. Better on the second day. Therefore excellent value!
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#38 Post by MitchTallan » March 20th, 2015, 6:03 am

TN; 2013 Patricia Green Un-Labeled Chehalem AVA; this has a distinct (as in singular) nose of piercing red loamy cherry fruit with a tea-leaf sassafras edge, just plain and simple pleasurable to hold up to the nose and smell. Though decanted eight hours in advance, it was still fairly closed on the palate, everything seems to be there including the mid palate in excellent proportion, but it's coiled a bit tight and needs time.

Stylistically, as is to be expected, this is on the more elegant side of things, but still a powerful wine, the type of wine that sneaks up on you a few seconds after the initial palate impression rather than presenting an immediate wave of fruit-but this is extrapolating out based on present form. There's a lot going on in this bottle and it's presently quite pleasurable with no hard edges and yes, it's what I would expect from a north of $40 bottle.

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#39 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » March 20th, 2015, 6:55 am

disclaimer: I have read the tns above.

3 of us had the wine Monday (thank you Jim) night in Zaltos, bottle open > 2H before we tried the wine. As everyone has stated the wine could be priced easily in the $40 or above pricepoint. It has tea, seasalt and a whiff of smoke, some WC bitterness seems discernible thru the mid-palate and on the finish though I have read no mention of WC anywhere yet.

Things we did not get: cola, heat, sweet fruit. I'm surprised this wine has a predominance of Dijon fruit. I think 2-3 years in bottle will make this interesting to own.

I did not taste on day #2 as headcold overtook me. Mel didn't find the wine markedly different.
"Never lose sight of the fact that it is just fermented grape juice" - a winemaker and negotiant in Napa Valley, CA

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#40 Post by Lewis Dawson » April 26th, 2015, 1:42 pm

Belatedly, I have just placed my order at the Patricia Green Cellars website. Will be my first PGC wine, and really looking forward to it as I really like Jim Anderson's philosophy of wine. From his many Burgundy TN's, I can see that what he is searching for in a wine is the same as me, for the most part. And of course the stellar reputation of PGC adds to my excitement.

The TN's in this thread are of two types. Several say the '13 Berserker Cuvee is a very good entry level Oregon pinot at a great price. Several others say it is much better than that, indeed an outstanding 2013 Chehalem Mountains wine. Jim Anderson would be in this latter camp, ranking the wine in the upper tier of all his 2013's for quality (but available to us at wholesale price as a one-time special, because the wine doesn't fit his SVD-focused marketing strategy). Makes me curious and eager to taste.

I am reminded of the time Rhys Vineyards declassified the 2006 Family Farm PN and sold it as Alesia San Mateo County for as little as $23/btl. That was (and is) an outstanding wine IMO, light in body, delicate texture, but very fine intensity on the palate, followed by a deceptively long and exquisitely balanced finish. In 2012 I served it blind with Fourrier 2006 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Gruenchers, and the two wines were shockingly close to identical in every way. And yet, that Alesia never got the respect it deserved as a great wine. It was very popular as a $23 QPR, but its absolute quality was largely overlooked, because of the declassified label and the bargain price. I am very curious to see for myself if this Patricia Green "Berserker Cuvee" is another example of a really good wine that is taken less seriously than it deserves because of its bargain price.
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#41 Post by Alan Newman » April 27th, 2015, 8:44 am

Also late, but order placed.

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#42 Post by zack harris » April 27th, 2015, 4:23 pm

Looking forward to trying this wine.

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#43 Post by Kirk.Grant » April 27th, 2015, 5:47 pm

Looking forward to cellaring it...
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#44 Post by Jim Anderson » May 1st, 2015, 2:21 pm

A shipping and labeling update.

Our labels are printed. They are currently hung up at the Canadian border awaiting a form to clear to allow for their importation. Why, you may ask, would you get your labels printed in Canada. Well, the short answer is "We don't." Our label printer, or should I say our ex-label printer, unbeknownst to me and for the first time ever subbed the job out to their sister print shop in Canada. I have no earthly idea why they did this and have received no explanation of any valid reason as to why this happened(they clearly had over-committed their printers here in Oregon). They were supposed to be here Wednesday, then Thursday and now today. Hopeful for Monday.

The wine is sitting in the winery waiting to be labeled. Wine will go directly into shipping boxes. We will ship what we can. This is far from as smoothly as this could have gone but these are circumstances clearly way beyond my control. For those of you that are clearly out of the shipping window we will wait, for those of you that are on the edge maybe we should have a chat. For those of you that are local these should be labeled by Wednesday.
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#45 Post by Corey N. » May 1st, 2015, 2:23 pm

Thank you for the update. Given that I have no room in my storage locker, I consider your delay a small blessing.
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#46 Post by Jim Sawitzke » May 1st, 2015, 7:12 pm

Thanks Jim, I for one am in no hurry anyway. Can't wait to try these out in the fall...

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#47 Post by Kirk.Grant » May 1st, 2015, 8:00 pm

Jim no worries...some of the best things in life are worth waiting for.
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#48 Post by Paul McCourt » May 3rd, 2015, 8:42 pm

I'm hoping I can get mine by Memorial Day!
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#49 Post by Jeff Fish » May 4th, 2015, 8:23 am

No hurry here, Jim. Thanks for the update.
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#50 Post by G. Greenbaum » May 4th, 2015, 6:54 pm

Jim, you are one class act. Thank you!
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