Dipping our toes in Oregon Pinot (not literally)

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Jake Rubash
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Dipping our toes in Oregon Pinot (not literally)

#1 Post by Jake Rubash » February 8th, 2018, 10:33 am

As the title implies we're looking to broaden our experience with Oregon Pinot producers. Our only has experience so far has been with Thomas and PGC (Berserker Cuvee), both of which were very enjoyable. After doing some research here I'm planning on ordering the following 2015's to get a flavor for some other producers:

Cameron Clos Electrique
Big Table Farm Sunnyside
Arterberry Maresh Maresh
Walter Scott Temperance

Input on other "must try" Oregon Pinots would be very much appreciated!

The recommendations I've received from this board have steered me very well thus far [cheers.gif]

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#2 Post by Josh H » February 8th, 2018, 10:41 am

Evesham Wood
Antica Terra
Domaine Serene
Evening Land
Beaux Freres
Bergstrom
Resonance
Penner Ash


Definitely a lot of good pinot in Oregon, and a variety of styles of pinot.
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#3 Post by Corey N. » February 8th, 2018, 10:43 am

Goodfellow is a great AFWE Pinot (and I mean AFWE in the nicest way possible).
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#4 Post by Scott Tallman » February 8th, 2018, 11:06 am

A lot will depend on what style you like - bigger/fruitier or AFWE. If the former, some of Josh’s suggestions fit that bill.

If AFWE, you’re off to a good start with your list. I’ll second Corey’s Goodfellow recommendation (esp Durant, Whistling Ridge and Heritage), and recommend Kelley Fox Maresh and Momtazi, Johan, Walter Scott Seven Springs and Sojourner, Cameron Abbey Ridge, Brick House (any of them), Belle Pente Murto and Estate Reserve (although these MAY show bigger due to the 2015 vintage, have not tried any yet), Evesham Wood Temperance, Crowley Four Winds and La Colina, Eyrie Old Vines, Biggio Hamina.

In between the two styles, try J Christopher (I’m partial to Charlie’s and Sandra Adele).

If you want to try Pinot grown outside the WV using the Swiss clone, try Analemma’s Atavus bottling from the WA side of the Columbia River Gorge. Try their Oak Ridge bottle to compare and contrast. Their rose of Pinot and Blanc de Noir are also very nice.
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#5 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 8th, 2018, 11:55 am

You can do very well supporting the Oregon producers who regularly participate here:

Goodfellow
Biggio-Hamina
Patricia Green
Vincent
Longplay
Johan
Walter Scott

Scott gave some sound advice. Personally, I wouldn't spend money on Dom Serene, Antica Terra, or Penner Ash...but you might like their styles so it probably doesn't hurt to experiment.

You'll pay a bit more than average for Resonance, Beaux Freres and Bergstrom. Again, they might be fun to try.

I'll add Cristom to the list because their whole cluster style is unique and Steve Doerner is a WV legend. Bethel Heights is another fairly neglected WV producer (on this BB it seems) with a long history of making tasty wines. Scott already touched on Belle Pente and Eyrie...definitely try some.

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#6 Post by G. Bienstock » February 8th, 2018, 12:37 pm

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#7 Post by Jay Miller » February 8th, 2018, 12:47 pm

Some very good suggestions above. I'll add that I've liked some of the pinots from Brooks (esp. the Janus) very much in the past.
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#8 Post by Nick G A J E W S K I » February 8th, 2018, 12:58 pm

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#9 Post by PaulMills » February 8th, 2018, 4:25 pm

My favorites:

Vincent
Goodfellow
Crowley
Franny Beck
Thomas

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#10 Post by Gary Ahearn » February 8th, 2018, 4:37 pm

You have a great start list, Jake. I'd add 2015 Evesham Wood Cuvee J and Brick House Dijonnaise.

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#11 Post by Rory K. » February 8th, 2018, 5:02 pm

If you want to try something complete off the beaten path, more Germanic than Burgundian, Teutonic makes some very cool Pinot.
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#12 Post by Ian H » February 8th, 2018, 5:07 pm

Jake Rubash wrote:As the title implies we're looking to broaden our experience with Oregon Pinot producers. Our only has experience so far has been with Thomas and PGC (Berserker Cuvee), both of which were very enjoyable. After doing some research here I'm planning on ordering the following 2015's to get a flavor for some other producers:

Cameron Clos Electrique
Big Table Farm Sunnyside
Arterberry Maresh Maresh
Walter Scott Temperance

Input on other "must try" Oregon Pinots would be very much appreciated!

The recommendations I've received from this board have steered me very well thus far [cheers.gif]

I like that list. I visited Big Table Farm for the first time last year and couldn't leave without walking out with a few bottles (paid for!). Very rustic farm with dogs and pigs and chickens running around. Tasting was inside the house with Brian Marcy pouring his 2015s - quite the antithesis of the big corporate tasting room. I really liked the Sunnyside and the Wirtz. Also tried a very interesting white blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer.
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#13 Post by dsimmons » February 8th, 2018, 5:58 pm

Cristom is my favorite Oregon Pinot and here are a few others that i have enjoyed that have not yet been mentioned:

Belle Pente
Eyrie
White Rose
Argyle
D o n

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#14 Post by briangl » February 8th, 2018, 7:04 pm

I like Biggio Hamina, Goodfellow, St. Innocent, Walter Scott, Seven of Hearts, Anderson Family, Evesham Wood, and Hamacher.

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#15 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » February 8th, 2018, 10:28 pm

Corey, thank you, and everyone else as well.

The producers listed are a great group, and contain many/most of my favorites. I would add Westrey, Johan(the 2011s last summer were fabulous), PGC Old Vine Estate(I like most PGC wines but OVE in particular), and would add Crowley for a pure fruit style, Domaine Divio for a newcomer, Dom. Droughin for benchmark, and double down on Kelley Fox wines. Bethel Heights Flat Block is still a must, along with Cristom Marjorie, and Clos Eletrique Blanc.
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#16 Post by dsGriswold » February 9th, 2018, 12:40 am

I am quite happy drinking all the mentioned AFWE wines. Need to get some Brick House to see what the fuss is all about. Bethel Heights was the wine that reintroduced me into appreciating WV PN and the Eola Hills is now my favorite AVA while I enjoy all the others just about equally. It's a fun ride. Sort of late to the party with Biggio Hamina, but Todd is making some fine wines that are go to for me now, the price was right on some older ones. Goodfellow/Matello, Longplay, Vincent, Cameron and lately Bow & Arrow have been to my liking. Teutonic is probably the most austere AFWE wine and I love them. Walter Scott and PGC command a lot of respect as well. [cheers.gif]
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#17 Post by John Davis » February 9th, 2018, 3:24 am

I would add Winderlea to the list as well.

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#18 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 9th, 2018, 5:54 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:I would add Westrey....Domaine Divio for a newcomer, Dom. Droughin for benchmark, and double down on Kelley Fox wines..
Marcus it's always so hard to do a quick hit list. Inevitably, excellent options are inadvertently omitted. Definitely a yes for Westrey....very hard to beat the value. DDO is certainly a WV maintstay....and yes Kelley is making lovely/elegant Pinots.

I know nothing about Divio?

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#19 Post by Jake Rubash » February 9th, 2018, 6:32 am

Thanks for all the recommendations guys!

Next steps for me are to find a couple retailers that have most of these (fortunately Sec Wines seems to have a bunch) and assemble a mixed case or two. It will probably be a month or so before it warms up enough to ship here to MN but once the wines arrive I will post updates as we march our way through Oregon!

In the meantime I will see if any local shops have anything that's been mentioned and maybe grab a bottle or two.

Thanks again

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#20 Post by mmeyers » February 9th, 2018, 7:33 am

Don't have anything new to add to what has been mentioned. My most consistent recent purchases:

Thomas
Cameron
Arterberry Maresh (don't sleep on the Dundee Hills....it's a great value punches above it's weight IMO)
Walter Scott
Goodfellow (WV another great value)
Eyrie
Brick House

I'll second the support for Bethel Heights (S. East block for me) and Crowley, although they don't absorb as large a portion of my recent purchases. Plenty others mentioned here too that I like but don't/aren't able to purchase much of.

See below for other retailers in Portland I've used in the last couple years that carry most of what is listed above, although availability of course fluctuates.

L&E
Vinopolis
North Valley Wine
Mt Tabor Fine wines (have to call)
Wizer's (have a web site to browse that's somewhat up to date, but have to call or email)


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#21 Post by Todd Hamina » February 9th, 2018, 8:08 am

Here are even more wineries to check out. And +1 on Bethel Heights they really are cranking out some lovely wines.

www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=148411
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#22 Post by crickey » February 9th, 2018, 9:27 am

This has been helpful, as I, too, am dipping my toes in Oregon pinot. I bought three bottles last weekend (Cristom Eileen, Evesham Wood Temperance and Beaux Freres) to join my lone Arterberry Maresh. I had a 2011 Arterberry Maresh and a 2008 Beaux Freres last year, both of which I enjoyed quite a bit. I'm somewhat limited by my local selection (I looked for Patricia Green, for instance, but no luck), but I do remember seeing some of the names listed in this thread.
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#23 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » February 9th, 2018, 9:57 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:I would add Westrey....Domaine Divio for a newcomer, Dom. Droughin for benchmark, and double down on Kelley Fox wines..
Marcus it's always so hard to do a quick hit list. Inevitably, excellent options are inadvertently omitted. Definitely a yes for Westrey....very hard to beat the value. DDO is certainly a WV maintstay....and yes Kelley is making lovely/elegant Pinots.

I know nothing about Divio?

RT
:) agreed on quick hit lists, it’s an area where groups feedback definitely helps.

Dom. Divio is a small Ribbon Ridge winery run by Bruno Corneaux, who worked for many years for Laurent Montalieu but makes very different wines at Divio. And while I am very up on my high horse about the ability of transplants to make wines with soul and interest vs. wines of technique, Bruno has lived here for years and worked with a very, very wide range of fruit sources at NW Wines with Laurent.

He’s also a really nice, and humble, guy making some really lovely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
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#24 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » February 9th, 2018, 10:01 am

+1 on the Bethel Heights SE Block. It was my favorite of BH wines for years and provided me with some of the very best bottles of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that I have ever had(93, 96, 99). Somewhere in the 2001-2008 range I had a streak of ridiculously good bottles of Flat Block and it’s my personal buy now(if I can find it), but both are tremendous examples of unique terroir in Oregon.
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#25 Post by Michael O'Brien » February 9th, 2018, 11:31 am

Some of my favorites are: Privé, Lenné, 1789, Walter Scott, Thomas, Colene Clemens, Ayoub, Brick House, Et Fille, Johan Vineyards, Kelley Fox, and J. K. Carriere.
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#26 Post by Scott Tallman » February 9th, 2018, 12:27 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:+1 on the Bethel Heights SE Block. It was my favorite of BH wines for years and provided me with some of the very best bottles of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that I have ever had(93, 96, 99). Somewhere in the 2001-2008 range I had a streak of ridiculously good bottles of Flat Block and it’s my personal buy now(if I can find it), but both are tremendous examples of unique terroir in Oregon.
It’s been many years since I tried a BH Pinot. Seems like I should revisit. I’ve tried their Chardonnays in recent years, and none of them moved me.
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#27 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 9th, 2018, 1:08 pm

Scott Tallman wrote:It’s been many years since I tried a BH Pinot. Seems like I should revisit. I’ve tried their Chardonnays in recent years, and none of them moved me.
The 2005 SVDs crushed it. Lovely wines. I also fell pretty hard for the 2010 Justice. A number of tasty 11s too. One of those producers that I rarely stock up on...and years later catch myself muttering: "should've bought more of that one".

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#28 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 9th, 2018, 1:11 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:He’s also a really nice, and humble, guy making some really lovely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Thanks for the recap Marcus. I'll keep an eye out. Neighbor of Ayres and Armstrong?

RT

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#29 Post by dougwilder » February 9th, 2018, 3:35 pm

Coria Estate (Rori Coria was my 2017 winemaker to watch)
deLancellotti
Brittan
Elk Cove
Elevee
Winderlea
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#30 Post by lleichtman » February 9th, 2018, 3:40 pm

Michael O'Brien wrote:Some of my favorites are: Privé, Lenné, 1789, Walter Scott, Thomas, Colene Clemens, Ayoub, Brick House, Et Fille, Johan Vineyards, Kelley Fox, and J. K. Carriere.
Like your list!
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#31 Post by Doug Ackerman » February 9th, 2018, 5:23 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
Richard T r i m p i wrote:
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:I would add Westrey....Domaine Divio for a newcomer, Dom. Droughin for benchmark, and double down on Kelley Fox wines..
Marcus it's always so hard to do a quick hit list. Inevitably, excellent options are inadvertently omitted. Definitely a yes for Westrey....very hard to beat the value. DDO is certainly a WV maintstay....and yes Kelley is making lovely/elegant Pinots.

I know nothing about Divio?

RT
:) agreed on quick hit lists, it’s an area where groups feedback definitely helps.

Dom. Divio is a small Ribbon Ridge winery run by Bruno Corneaux, who worked for many years for Laurent Montalieu but makes very different wines at Divio. And while I am very up on my high horse about the ability of transplants to make wines with soul and interest vs. wines of technique, Bruno has lived here for years and worked with a very, very wide range of fruit sources at NW Wines with Laurent.

He’s also a really nice, and humble, guy making some really lovely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


Yes, Domaine Divio is right across the street from us. Great wines, including his Chardonnay. The Pinots are nicely balanced and textured, and have definite gravitas. The estate fruit should come on line this year or next. Also, Bruno built a beautiful tasting room. Why didn't I think of that? [dontknow.gif]
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#32 Post by Bob Davis » February 9th, 2018, 6:37 pm

Domaine Serene, White Rose, Archery Summit, Penner Ash (they also make killer Viognier) off the top of my head.
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#33 Post by Doug Uno » February 9th, 2018, 7:05 pm

Had the 2015 Goodfellow Pinot noir a few months ago and it was showing really well.

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#34 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 10th, 2018, 5:49 am

Doug Ackerman wrote:Yes, Domaine Divio is right across the street from us. Great wines, including his Chardonnay. The Pinots are nicely balanced and textured, and have definite gravitas. The estate fruit should come on line this year or next. Also, Bruno built a beautiful tasting room. Why didn't I think of that?
Doug, "don't give up your day job". You're perfect as a gentleman vigneron. [cheers.gif]

A la prochaine.

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#35 Post by rfelthoven » February 11th, 2018, 4:52 pm

I guess Trimpi doesn’t want to lose the free prostate exams?
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#36 Post by Doug Ackerman » February 11th, 2018, 5:04 pm

rfelthoven wrote:I guess Trimpi doesn’t want to lose the free prostate exams?

Nice. Just for that I'm going to drink all of your Pet Nat. champagne.gif
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#37 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 11th, 2018, 5:51 pm

rfelthoven wrote:I guess Trimpi doesn’t want to lose the free prostate exams?
It's OK Ron, no need for jealousy. Some quality Burgs could help you advance from the waiting list. [snort.gif]

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#38 Post by John Keller » February 11th, 2018, 9:17 pm

I have nothing of value to add to this thread. Just wanted to say the title was amusing.
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#39 Post by rfelthoven » February 12th, 2018, 9:01 am

Doug Ackerman wrote:
rfelthoven wrote:I guess Trimpi doesn’t want to lose the free prostate exams?

Nice. Just for that I'm going to drink all of your Pet Nat. champagne.gif
That reminds me; whatever became of that case you were holding for me? I sent in an order form and then another email several months later asking what was up (don't think you ever got back to me). That was back in Nov. 2016 so no worries if it's long gone! I just forwarded you the email exchange. If you still have it let me know -- not sure if you were kidding or not. I'll get you some money if it's a go. What's the best drinking window for 2015 pet nat?
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#40 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » February 12th, 2018, 8:19 pm

The bathroom window???

(Kidding)
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#41 Post by Doug Ackerman » February 12th, 2018, 9:06 pm

Hi Ron,

Good question about the drinking window. My answer would be nearly as useful as Marcus' answer, but not quite as funny [welldone.gif]

All I can say is at last check, about 2 months ago, it was still complex, sparkling and easy to drink.

I'll continue to save a few bottles for you...can't believe our paths haven't (physically) crossed in two years. What's up with that? And don't worry about the cost; I'll just add it on to your next prostate exam. neener
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#42 Post by crickey » April 3rd, 2018, 11:51 am

Based on praise in this thread, I just dipped my toes a little more by buying some Kelley Fox pinots.
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#43 Post by jbray23 » April 3rd, 2018, 11:52 am

Jake Rubash wrote:As the title implies we're looking to broaden our experience with Oregon Pinot producers. Our only has experience so far has been with Thomas and PGC (Berserker Cuvee), both of which were very enjoyable. After doing some research here I'm planning on ordering the following 2015's to get a flavor for some other producers:

Cameron Clos Electrique
Big Table Farm Sunnyside
Arterberry Maresh Maresh
Walter Scott Temperance

Input on other "must try" Oregon Pinots would be very much appreciated!

The recommendations I've received from this board have steered me very well thus far [cheers.gif]
Do you have an avenue for the Walter Scott Temperance?
Jason, back itb

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#44 Post by dsGriswold » April 4th, 2018, 12:10 am

Drinking a '15 WS La Combe Vert, their entry level WV PN which I opened 3 nights ago. It started out with as fairly medium body and fruit wine, but has morphed into a more reserved, acid driven wine. Not terribly complex, but very nice and enjoyable. I may have to drag myself upmarket for some of the better stuff. [cheers.gif]
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Dipping our toes in Oregon Pinot (not literally)

#45 Post by TKMcWilliamsII » April 4th, 2018, 6:30 pm

dsGriswold wrote:Drinking a '15 WS La Combe Vert, their entry level WV PN which I opened 3 nights ago. It started out with as fairly medium body and fruit wine, but has morphed into a more reserved, acid driven wine. Not terribly complex, but very nice and enjoyable. I may have to drag myself upmarket for some of the better stuff. [cheers.gif]
I just grabbed a mixed case of ‘16s that will haunt me in the cellar for several months. The entry levels wines I’ve had (CV and Cuvée Ruth) were fantastic, and I feel like ‘16 will be a strong vintage, so I dipped an aggressive toe in on a few X Novo’s and SV pinots. Not sure when it’ll be safe to break into a couple.

Anyone have a favorite Walter Scott SV pinot? I picked up three each of the Sojourner, Dubay and Seven Springs.
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Dipping our toes in Oregon Pinot (not literally)

#46 Post by jbray23 » April 4th, 2018, 9:37 pm

TKMcWilliamsII wrote:
dsGriswold wrote:Drinking a '15 WS La Combe Vert, their entry level WV PN which I opened 3 nights ago. It started out with as fairly medium body and fruit wine, but has morphed into a more reserved, acid driven wine. Not terribly complex, but very nice and enjoyable. I may have to drag myself upmarket for some of the better stuff. [cheers.gif]
I just grabbed a mixed case of ‘16s that will haunt me in the cellar for several months. The entry levels wines I’ve had (CV and Cuvée Ruth) were fantastic, and I feel like ‘16 will be a strong vintage, so I dipped an aggressive toe in on a few X Novo’s and SV pinots. Not sure when it’ll be safe to break into a couple.

Anyone have a favorite Walter Scott SV pinot? I picked up three each of the Sojourner, Dubay and Seven Springs.
Just poured these this week for some customers... don't touch the 7 springs, it needs a ton of time... Sojourner is showing really well and can't comment on dubay since munching on the fruit during harvest.

I will say a coravin does these wines good or if you are going to try, they need three days being open to really show their stuff.
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Dipping our toes in Oregon Pinot (not literally)

#47 Post by Joe S. » April 12th, 2018, 7:50 pm

Well - we are headed to Oregon end of May and are going to hit about 6 wineries in a couple days. We heard such good things about Walter Scott on this board that we decided to contact them about a visit. I guess their wine tasting/tour terms have changed since some of my friends visited last summer.

They were very excited to receive us, but I found it a bit unusual that instead of paying a tasting fee, they insisted that we purchase 3 bottles of wine per person to cover the cost of the tasting. I actually see this as a tasting fee which is fine - after all, it is wise to cover the cost of expenses for visits, especially for small operations which do not have the economies of scale of the much larger wine businesses and may or may not have another appointment in the day to share these bottles with as well. Of course, I think many wineries will use bottles over the course of an entire day or two but maybe not always.

However, I had to decline the visit. If it was 3 bottles for two of us, then maybe okay. But, there are four of us going to Willamette and W2, and to stop at this winery would require us to purchase an entire case of wine (4 x 3). At $50 per bottle that would be $600. For that much, we could go out to dinner in Portland and purchase a couple bottles at 2x markup. This left a bit of a bad taste for me. I was jazzed about trying and possibly buying - I usually buy if I like the wines - that is why I have well over 1000 bottles in my cellar. Now I am very iffy about getting near this place. I am not P-offed at all, just weird they want (a lot of) my money first without me ever having tasted their wine before, and the amount for the 4 of us in somewhat obscene. Lots of other good wineries in Willamette (of which some I am a member).

Oh well, a friend of mine will be sharing a bottle of theirs with me this coming weekend. I just hope the bad taste in my mouth is gone before I try to taste their wine. Am I wrong?
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Dipping our toes in Oregon Pinot (not literally)

#48 Post by Scott Tallman » April 12th, 2018, 8:16 pm

Joe S. wrote:Well - we are headed to Oregon end of May and are going to hit about 6 wineries in a couple days. We heard such good things about Walter Scott on this board that we decided to contact them about a visit. I guess their wine tasting/tour terms have changed since some of my friends visited last summer.

They were very excited to receive us, but I found it a bit unusual that instead of paying a tasting fee, they insisted that we purchase 3 bottles of wine per person to cover the cost of the tasting. I actually see this as a tasting fee which is fine - after all, it is wise to cover the cost of expenses for visits, especially for small operations which do not have the economies of scale of the much larger wine businesses and may or may not have another appointment in the day to share these bottles with as well. Of course, I think many wineries will use bottles over the course of an entire day or two but maybe not always.

However, I had to decline the visit. If it was 3 bottles for two of us, then maybe okay. But, there are four of us going to Willamette and W2, and to stop at this winery would require us to purchase an entire case of wine (4 x 3). At $50 per bottle that would be $600. For that much, we could go out to dinner in Portland and purchase a couple bottles at 2x markup. This left a bit of a bad taste for me. I was jazzed about trying and possibly buying - I usually buy if I like the wines - that is why I have well over 1000 bottles in my cellar. Now I am very iffy about getting near this place. I am not P-offed at all, just weird they want (a lot of) my money first without me ever having tasted their wine before, and the amount for the 4 of us in somewhat obscene. Lots of other good wineries in Willamette (of which some I am a member).

Oh well, a friend of mine will be sharing a bottle of theirs with me this coming weekend. I just hope the bad taste in my mouth is gone before I try to taste their wine. Am I wrong?
I’ve visited WS many times, but have not heard of this requirement so may be new. Can’t say you are wrong, but not sure why this would leave a bad taste. You are choosing not to go based on the visitation terms. Fair enough. IMO that should not color your view of their wines if/when you try them.

As someone who really enjoys their wines, I would not have a problem buying a case if I were in your shoes, but can relate to hesitancy if you have not tried/aren’t sure if they are in your wheelhouse. For me, they are a top 3 Chardonnay producer in the WV and the Pinots are really good as well.
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Dipping our toes in Oregon Pinot (not literally)

#49 Post by Joe S. » April 12th, 2018, 8:23 pm

Thanks, Scott - I guess the bad taste is related to the fact I wanted to visit them (never having tried them) because so many folks (such as you) declared them to produce great wines, and then my own principles about the costs of a tasting prohibit me from wanting to pay that much to taste them for the first time. It is a very natural reaction but as you point out it is really my problem. I probably would have purchased at least six bottles if I like them, but what if they were not in my wheelhouse? I guess wine tasting is becoming a bit like horse racing - you don't win if you don't bet.
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Dipping our toes in Oregon Pinot (not literally)

#50 Post by Scott Goodwin » April 13th, 2018, 4:39 am

Joe S. wrote:Well - we are headed to Oregon end of May and are going to hit about 6 wineries in a couple days. We heard such good things about Walter Scott on this board that we decided to contact them about a visit. I guess their wine tasting/tour terms have changed since some of my friends visited last summer.

They were very excited to receive us, but I found it a bit unusual that instead of paying a tasting fee, they insisted that we purchase 3 bottles of wine per person to cover the cost of the tasting. I actually see this as a tasting fee which is fine - after all, it is wise to cover the cost of expenses for visits, especially for small operations which do not have the economies of scale of the much larger wine businesses and may or may not have another appointment in the day to share these bottles with as well. Of course, I think many wineries will use bottles over the course of an entire day or two but maybe not always.

However, I had to decline the visit. If it was 3 bottles for two of us, then maybe okay. But, there are four of us going to Willamette and W2, and to stop at this winery would require us to purchase an entire case of wine (4 x 3). At $50 per bottle that would be $600. For that much, we could go out to dinner in Portland and purchase a couple bottles at 2x markup. This left a bit of a bad taste for me. I was jazzed about trying and possibly buying - I usually buy if I like the wines - that is why I have well over 1000 bottles in my cellar. Now I am very iffy about getting near this place. I am not P-offed at all, just weird they want (a lot of) my money first without me ever having tasted their wine before, and the amount for the 4 of us in somewhat obscene. Lots of other good wineries in Willamette (of which some I am a member).

Oh well, a friend of mine will be sharing a bottle of theirs with me this coming weekend. I just hope the bad taste in my mouth is gone before I try to taste their wine. Am I wrong?
I'm planning a similar trip at the end of June and got the same message from Walter Scott. I also got it from Big Table Farm (case commitment for up to 4 people) and saw similar policies on other winery's websites. I totally understand why wineries need to do this. Their time is limited and valuable. For me, it's more of a logistical problem. First of all, everything we purchase we need to get back to the east coast at the end of our trip. Also, it will frequently just be my wife and me and she's not likely to taste. So I wouldn't be able to spread the, for example, case purchase commitment across four people. And I have limited experience with BTF and no experience with WS. I'm sure the wines are lovely and worth purchasing but it's just hard to make that sort of commitment before tasting. Still looking forward to an awesome trip!

Joe S - I hope you'll give us an update after your May trip.

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