Oregon pinot vintage update?

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rfelthoven
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Oregon pinot vintage update?

#1 Post by rfelthoven » January 18th, 2019, 8:51 pm

I'm curious how all you fellow Oregon pinot noir drinkers are finding the vintages from the last decade or so, and what you're drinking.

Starting with 2008, my stock is down to about a case and to be honest, there have been very few stunning bottles from the vintage (CT shows I bought about 10 cases). It's been pretty disappointing relative to the hype for my palate. Few bad wines, but not many that really stunned me. You might argue I drank them too early, but I think most were consumed at age 6-10. I'm sitting on my remaining heavy hitters hoping for magic.

Looking over consumption for 2009, I actually bought a little more than in 2008, reflecting me getting more into Oregon at that point in time rather than enthusiasm for the vintage, but I think I had more wines that I enjoyed earlier on relative to 2008 and I only have a handful left. I don't have any regrets for that vintage.

I checked my stock of 2010s today and was shocked to see I only have about 1.5 cases left out of about 24 cases purchased. These wines have shown well since release and continue to be my favorite vintage. I've felt compelled to open them freely since release and now have only my highest regarded wines left (e.g., Thomas, DDO Laurene, Matello Souris, etc.).

In 2011 I was hooked on the cool climate ideology after 2010 and went deep on 2011s, with 27 cases and now have about 8 cases left. I now open them almost indiscriminately and generally find them incredibly refreshing and like a time machine back into cooler days and lighter colors. These are unique wines to me and while not all have the stuffing to make old bones, the notes I find on CT claiming these wines are past due and tired are completely misguided. There was a time I was concerned about whether these wines would open up and show the magic but if you're into the AFWE styled wines, these are incredibly satisfying. A recent 2011 that was truly great was the Ayres Pioneer.

On release the 2012s were monolithic and dark and boring to me. Very little aromatics or character jumped out at all. I bought about 14 cases and have 5 left. They are starting to show pretty well but I'm not super impressed. The Matello Souris from 2012 (which often takes longer to show due to the austere nature) is starting to show some character and I had a great bottle last month. Not sure if they are overdone or not, like the 2008s, but I am keeping hope alive.

2013 is an underrated high-acid and red fruited vintage from many producers. PGC created absolutely perfectly balanced and lovely wines in this year and Goodfellow/Matello crafted ripping and intense wines that make me so very excited, and define the Oregon style I came to love when I got into all of this.

I cannot say too much more about more recent vintages as I am trying to avoid drinking them until they mature a bit but they all do sort of run together. They don't resonate with me like cooler vintages but I am excited about 2016 and the supposed spike in acidity and freshness. I would love to hear how others have experienced the vintages and their enjoyment or lack thereof in the cellar. But in the end, whether it is my own bias or not, I think what Oregon does best is in cooler vintages. Cheers all.
Ron

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#2 Post by Adam Noble » January 18th, 2019, 9:06 pm

Fantastic post, thank you for your carefully considered thoughts on the vintages. I don't buy as much as you do, but I drink way slower evidently. I still am bullish on 2008 after some very nice 1994s a while back. But I've mostly been drinking 2012 and 2013, as well as lower end new vintages but that's because they are the easiest to reach in the cellar!

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#3 Post by Kirk.Grant » January 19th, 2019, 5:29 am

I've been drinking my 2005's like they have the cure in them right now. I think I've opened two 2005 PGC Etzel Block bottles in the last 3 months; I might open another one tonight now that I think about it. It's just in such a lovely spot right now. I'm still sitting on their Anniversary Cuvée as the last bottle I opened seemed to still have room to grow. I'm trying to be patient with my 2008's and trying to hang onto the last few 2010's I have as well. It's such a great vintage...I should have bought more. I didn't buy many 2009's and mostly what that means right now is that I'm looking at opening 2011's or 2013's while I'm trying to be patient with my 2008's & 2012's. As excited as Jim was about the 2005's when I was there in 2006, it seemed to me I remember him saying that 2008 was one of the best "over all" vintages for fruit he'd ever seen; so I'm still holding onto them with patience. I do have a mTBI so my memory is not always reliable...but I'm hoping that in 2-3 years the 2008's will be what the 2005's are today or better.

As for 2014's and later...I'm hoping time will burn off some of the fruit and bring them closer to what I love about Oregon Pinot Noir. I'm really trying to leave these alone.

Have we heard how 2017 & 2018 will be in Oregon? More ripe vintages or did we get a cooler vintage in there somewhere?
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#4 Post by John Glas » January 19th, 2019, 9:06 am

2014 Trisaetum Pinot Noir Wichmann Dundee Estate - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (1/18/2019)
Day 1: Excellent! Very fragrant and vibrant palate. This is my kind of Oregon Pinot Noir. Floral, spice, underbrush, subtle wood and cranberry. Very balanced and medium plus finish. On a pop and pour absolutely amazing. 93 points! (93 points)
Really impressed with this 2014 and for $27 hello.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#5 Post by MitchTallan » January 19th, 2019, 9:35 am

2008 is the most disappointing vintage I have experienced. Even Doug Tunnell's Brick House Boulder Block opened in December is not giving much pleasure. I have given up on them, even more so than the manner in which I have given up on 2000 Barola and 2005 Burgundy. Sure they may (all) still come around but at this point I just don't give a damn.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#6 Post by Todd Hamina » January 19th, 2019, 9:52 am

I look at 99 and 08 in a similar light given the great potential, but uneven drinking windows. You really need to open those bottles at the right time.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#7 Post by G. Bienstock » January 19th, 2019, 10:53 am

I have been having good results with 08. They can still holding back a bit and I am not concerned. They may come close to 05 in quality eventually.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#8 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 19th, 2019, 11:44 am

MitchTallan wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 9:35 am
2008 is the most disappointing vintage I have experienced..... I have given up on them, even more so than the manner in which I have given up on 2000 Barola and 2005 Burgundy.
I've got a bunch...and I'm afraid they're destined to disappoint. 2005 remains outstanding. 2006 = pass (Jim A hand picked selections not withstanding), 2007 a number still showing well. 2009 = pass. 2010 and 2011 still have tons of potential...continue to hold. 2012 = pass. 2013 pick and choose. 2014 and 2015 largely a pass.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#9 Post by Todd Hamina » January 19th, 2019, 11:46 am

2010 is the best vintage since 1993. The good news is that 2017 shows real promise.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#10 Post by James Lyon » January 19th, 2019, 3:23 pm

Thanks for the post and thoughts on recent Oregon pinot vintages. I'm actively buying and backfilling all Oregon vintages, so it's always nice to read others impressions. Of the vintages from your list (2008 - 2013), my only hesitation would be 2009. I'm still holding out hope for 2008. I have about 2-3 mixed cases of 2008's that I haven't touched in a long time, but I recently enjoyed a 2008 Ayers Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Very nice wine. The fruit is starting to reemerge from a long slumber. I think that the 2008's have been asleep for a very long time. Perhaps the WV bottles are just starting to come alive and the single vineyards will start to shine in 5-10 years.

Since Thanksgiving, I have opened a number of Oregon bottles with very favorable impressions: 2005 DDO Laurene, 2014 Thomas, 2005 Broadley Claudia's Choice, 2008 Ayers Willamette Valley, 2010 Biggio Hamina Zenith, 2007 Cristom Jessie, 2016 Cameron Dundee Hills Reserve, 2015 Cameron Abbey Ridge, 2006 Patricia Green Balcombe. All very nice examples of Oregon Pinot with some questionable vintages in the mix. I've mentioned it before, but I like to follow Patricia Green's drinkability chart on their website along with similar features on Belle Pente's and St. Innocent's website, and Cellar Tracker comments.

And like Todd Hamina, I'm very excited about 2017. We tasted a few 2017 barrel samples last summer (Thomas, Patricia Green, Crowley, Chehalem, Walter Scott) and I can't wait to taste finished bottles this summer. The 2017's seemed to have a little extra to them compared to the most recent vintages.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#11 Post by John Glas » January 19th, 2019, 3:39 pm

I still like 2007 especially the St. Innocent lineup featuring the White Rose and Justice!

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#12 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 19th, 2019, 3:43 pm

James Lyon wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 3:23 pm
... but I recently enjoyed a 2008 Ayers Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Very nice wine.
The French have a saying about buying "little wines in big vintages". Pretty sound advice. Brad McElroy does nice work at Ayres. Good value.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#13 Post by Ian H » January 19th, 2019, 4:47 pm

I've had some great experiences in the last year with youngsters from 16 and 17 which makes me excited about near, medium and long-term potential of these vintages. Thinking about some Kelley Fox, Patricia Green and Shea single vineyard bottlings I've sampled. Haven't had tons of "middle-aged" Oregon pinot recently, but have had good showings with bottles from 2007 and 2008 in the last 3-4 months, both of which had a good amount of life ahead.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#14 Post by Scott Tallman » January 20th, 2019, 9:31 am

Great post, Ron, and agree with most of your vintage takes.

At this point, I’m not in a rush to drink any of the vintages I have cellared (2007-2016). Plan to finish off the 1/2 case of ‘09 this year, may crack a few ‘08s although like others I’m hoping the best is yet to come in a few years. Will also crack some WV bottles from ‘13, ‘14 and ‘15, but think the higher end bottles from those vintages will turn out to be pretty good in time (although not as good as ‘07, ‘10, ‘11 and ‘13). I have too many non-OR Pinot wines that need to be consumed in the next two years, so will mostly let me OR Pinot stash slumber.

FWIW, I’ve liked the few ‘16s I’ve tried from Goodfellow, Kelley Fox and Walter Scott. Seemed to me like a cross of ‘13 and ‘15. If I weren’t on a purchase hiatus, would gladly buy some from my favorite producers.

As others have noted, every winemaker I’ve spoken too has been high on ‘17. Plan to resume purchasing with that vintage.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#15 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 20th, 2019, 11:13 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 3:43 pm
James Lyon wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 3:23 pm
... but I recently enjoyed a 2008 Ayers Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Very nice wine.
The French have a saying about buying "little wines in big vintages". Pretty sound advice. Brad McElroy does nice work at Ayres. Good value.

RT
That’s a great saying and one I started following after getting an awesome little bottling from Mercurey in 2002(for $15 retail...how times have changed)
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#16 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 20th, 2019, 11:35 am

MitchTallan wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 9:35 am
2008 is the most disappointing vintage I have experienced. Even Doug Tunnell's Brick House Boulder Block opened in December is not giving much pleasure. I have given up on them, even more so than the manner in which I have given up on 2000 Barola and 2005 Burgundy. Sure they may (all) still come around but at this point I just don't give a damn.
I feel that.

05 Burgs have always seemed foursquare and blockish to me. 2000 Piedmont kills me because it overshadowed really lovely vintages on either side of it. And the buzz of 08 Willamette Valley wines pre-release and in the early stages, it pains me to admit, just isn’t in proportion to the wines. I opened a set of 08s prior to harvest, and they were beginning to flower a bit. Particularly the Winter’s Hill bottling(Dundee Hills) and the Hommage. The Whistling Ridge and Souris both were starting to be compelling aromatically, but IMO need patience still.

I do feel these will be really lovely wines(or are in the case of the Winter’s Hill), but I just don’t feel they are significantly superior to most other vintages.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#17 Post by MitchTallan » January 20th, 2019, 12:36 pm

They don't resonate with me like cooler vintages but I am excited about 2016 and the supposed spike in acidity and freshness.
I hope Ron is right about '16. I went long, particularly with Patricia Green; in addition to my normal 2 case purchase of club shipments, I bought a case of this;
Balcombe Celebratory.jpg

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#18 Post by Jim Anderson » January 20th, 2019, 1:07 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 12:36 pm
They don't resonate with me like cooler vintages but I am excited about 2016 and the supposed spike in acidity and freshness.
I hope Ron is right about '16. I went long, particularly with Patricia Green; in addition to my normal 2 case purchase of club shipments, I bought a case of this; Balcombe Celebratory.jpg
Thank you for purchasing that wine. That is a 1 time bottling we did after the owner of Balcombe Vineyard passes away shortly after the 2016 harvest. In accordance with the wishes of his widow we are donating 40% of the proceeds of the sale of this wine to the Newberg Animal Shelter which is an excellent, local, no-kill shelter for dogs and cats.

The wine is distinct from the other 2 bottlings of Balcombe Vineyard we do and is unique from any prior bottling from the site. It is a 100% whole cluster fermentation Pinot with fruit being sourced from the highest and coolest part of the vineyard. It is 33% new oak with the rest being neutral. I think it is a wine that is going to take some time to unfurl but I do think it’s a wonderful Dundee Hill bottling.

I also believe the 2016 vintage is as good as it gets in Oregon. 2017s are beautiful and elegant. 2018s seem intense and focused but have a ways to go.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#19 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 20th, 2019, 3:19 pm

That’s a great thing to do to honor him Jim. I wish more people could know some of the growers in the valley.

My $.02 on vintages:

2018-intense and focused, high acid, direct physiologically ripe fruit, excellent for whole cluster. Early picks had great flavors, low pH, and low sugars. I heard talk of sugars spiking later but the highest Brix number i saw this year was 23.2 (the fruit from the Bench block at Temperance Hill).

2017-low alcohol, high acid wines. A terroir lovers vintage, vineyard personality is dynamic and distinct. Whistling Ridge is crunchy red fruited, tart cherry, currant, weightless, with amaro-like structure(it’s the Pinot Noir version of an excellent Negroni). Durant is elegant violet and boysenberry hued fruit with great energy and movement. Fir Crest dark fruit, vibrantly acidic, with savory hints of spruce and fir. And Temperance Hill is intense and elegant at the same time, vibrantly red fruited, but with the savory wildness that I think is a signature of the vineyard.

2016-whatever the buzz on 2017 is, don’t miss these. I have liked pretty much everything I have tasted so far. Fruit is very pure, and the tannins/acid balance in 2016s is just dynamite. I have seen one or two wines soft on acidity, and one or two that seemed higher alcohol.

Overall, I am constantly ecstatic about having three vintages in a row that sit in my own personal wheelhouse for drinking. I have been trying to swap wines from 2016 & 2017 with as many of my peers as I can.

2015-the best of the warm years for my wines, and while robust, I think this vintage will both age and evolve upward into some very cool wines.

2014-warm, I worked hard to keep my wines in check, and am happy with the reults. My overall feelings were mixed though, but about two weeks ago I had a bottle of 2014 Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve and was really impressed with the balance and deftness of the wine(given the heat of the vintage). It was delicious. I also like some of Vincent’s work in 2014 quite a bit. My wines are definitely a hold.

2013-I really like this vintage, but since my major cellar options are PGC, Crowley, and my own wines, I am not drinking many of them right now.

2012-like 2008, I think this vintage will ultimately provide plenty of delicious bottles. I don’t think the wines will evolve so far beyond any other good Oregon vintage that I would rate this as a “great” vintage. I respect Jim’s opinion a lot though and I know he feels 2012 wines are superlative.

More and more I just believe that outside of a truly terrible vintage, we’re lucky enough in Oregon to have a path to really delicious and distinct wines every vintage. Putting vintages on a pedestal because the fruit was pristine at harvest just means that the sorting line moved faster.

2011-I love a lot of Oregon 2011s, but they are atypical to me. Really cool wines but probably producer by producer(Johan and Belle Pente top my list for the vintage at the moment. Honorable mention to Bergstrom and Walter Scott).

2010-dynamite wines. The only problem is how few I have. Drink now? Sure. Cellar another 9-10 years? Sure, maybe more.

2009-not really sure how I feel here. I think Ron summed it up nicely. Tannins are a little weird in the vintage, but not in any egregious way. Of a set of my 09s opened before harvest last fall, the 09 Whistling Ridge looks to have really lovely potential.

2008-Expectations ran high...and will be fulfilled. As we are just 10 years past vintage, I think we’re really just hitting the window where these should start to unfold. But because this was such a heralded vintage it has been hard to wait so long and repeatedly get closed for business bottles.

2007-exactly the opposite of 08...

2006-PGC made lovely wines for aging. I opened a 5-liter bottle of 06 Souris for a dinner last summer that showed as well as I could hope. That said, too many of my recent bottles of 06 have been marked by an oxidative tone.

2005-Along with 2010, the wines I wish I had more of.

2004-not enough of these got saved. My two most recent 04 bottles were both excellent. Beautiful fruit, mature but nothing close to over the hill. My very last bottle of 04 Matello WV was...corked. $&@%ing corks. [soap.gif]


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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#20 Post by Jim Stewart » January 20th, 2019, 3:32 pm

How awesome this forum is, and how fortunate we are, to get responses to this question from winemakers!

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#21 Post by MitchTallan » January 20th, 2019, 3:39 pm

Thanks Jim for doing what you are doing with 2016 Morte Cook. Great cause. We have four dogs instead of one or two because of animal rescues. One of them was so abused that he is certifiably insane. There was a great podcast recently about Ira Glass and his demented lifestyle due to his demented dog-highly recommended.
And Marcus-thanks for your input. You will see me as a customer soon.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#22 Post by dsGriswold » January 20th, 2019, 4:41 pm

Thanks Marcus, I know why I like your wines so well. Also I need to move in next door to Ron. I though I was buying too many wines. [wow.gif]
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#23 Post by AlexS » January 20th, 2019, 7:54 pm

Fantastic thread.
s t e w @ r t

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#24 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 20th, 2019, 10:53 pm

dsGriswold wrote:
January 20th, 2019, 4:41 pm
Thanks Marcus, I know why I like your wines so well. Also I need to move in next door to Ron. I though I was buying too many wines. [wow.gif]
Thank you Dennis, and

I think we both need to move next door to Ron!

You, he, and Trimpi should write an Oregon newsletter though. You guys know the people and the wines as well as anyone.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#25 Post by Jason T » January 21st, 2019, 7:27 am

For those newer to Oregon Pinot, what was it about 2008 that made this vintage so heralded? Thus far I can deduce that it wasn’t a warm or cold vintage. Just unusually “agreeable” weather?

Happy to take the board recommendations to continue to let these sleep as we purchased just a handful of these when we were there last Fall - some Biggio Hamina and Brick House.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#26 Post by Jason T » January 21st, 2019, 7:31 am

Also for someone who is newer to the region, tasting through a wide variety of producers ‘15s really helped me understand how important producer can be in these vintages. I tasted so many that were on the very duper end, and certainly a handful I’d call “spoofilated”. Goodfellow, Belle Pente and Biggio Hamina in particular though I thought really handled the vintage well, and made some yummy wines.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#27 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 21st, 2019, 7:41 am

Marcus, thanks for the complement. Much easier to consume/enjoy and snipe on a wine board than write for public consumption! Every vintage has its exceptions. And every taster has their preconceptions, expectations and biases. We're both fans of blind tasting and how it can shake things up. You, Jim, Todd and other Berserker participating winemakers work incredibly hard to pursue your passion. It's patently unfair for some numbskull with a corkscrew and a keyboard to make light of it. Your first-hand input and winemaking experience add essential content to the board. Merci.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#28 Post by Todd Hamina » January 21st, 2019, 8:57 am

Jason, the funny bit about 08 is that it came after 07. 2007 was derided by critics who tasted early release wine from the same crappy producers who make schlock every year. In 07 the bastards made particularly wretched swill. Then we were all thrown under the bus.

The wine critics recognized their bad call on the 07's by overcompensating with praise of the 08's. Now, 08 had nice weather and a long hang time. I, myself, am beginning to wonder if long hang time makes a vintage shut down post bottling. This is a big question and I am not particularly sciency, so when I entertain these notions I do so without facts. This leads solely to opinion...

I thought my 08's were closed for a long time, and they are screwcapped (which completely retards the aging process). I reco you drink my 08's in the winter months and let them breathe for a couple hours.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#29 Post by rfelthoven » January 21st, 2019, 9:09 am

Thanks so much for the great contributions from all (and the kind words). This is why people keep coming back to this board.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#30 Post by Travis Fantz » January 21st, 2019, 10:47 am

Jason,
In short, in addition to what Todd said, the 2007 vintage was not liked by the critics. When the first 2007s hit the shelves they were really not that good. I am a huge fan of the 2007 vintage. Locally, it took a little while for the public to warm up to even trying the wines. Once there were some with a little bottle age (literally mid-tier releases with 2 more months in bottle), you could get people excited about them. Yet, you had to like pretty wines. Over 8 month I probably poured 40-50 different 2007 Oregon Pinot Noir at Friday night tastings. Once people started trying the wines, I think people realized they were good and vintage variation and the winemaker you liked produced truly outstanding wines. By the time the mid range and "fancier" bottlings were released the new vintage of 2008 was starting to be released. If I remember correctly, 2008 WV wines were being dropped earlier. The 2008 is probably more mainstream and were quaffable wines on the most basic level and really what the general public looks for in a wine vs what the 2007 had to offer.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#31 Post by Jim Anderson » January 21st, 2019, 12:34 pm

The International Wine Cellar actually gave some decent reviews to many Oregon wineries on their 2007s. Perhaps not as high a scores or as glowing in nature as other vintages but solid reviews and scores. Just saying.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#32 Post by Todd Hamina » January 21st, 2019, 1:03 pm

In all fairness Jim, close to half the wines weren't that good. For many producers it was the first tough vintage they'd ever seen, and it showed. This is not to say there aren't some beauties, there are. Bob Wood was spot on with the whole gig. Shitty.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#33 Post by Michael O'Brien » January 21st, 2019, 1:46 pm

I completely disagree with Wine Spectator's vintage scores. The '07 and '11 are my favorite vintages. '07 was a crazy weather vintage but it finished cool and producers that pruned enough produced some excellent wine. '11 was another crazy year. I guess I just like wines from crazy weather years but it takes a good winemaker to make them. It was probably the latest harvest on record. I have a few '07s left and my recent experience tells me I need to drink them up. I think the '07 in particular and to a lesser extent the '11 vintages fooled a lot of people. Luckily some of the better producers still have these vintages in their libraries.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#34 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 21st, 2019, 1:54 pm

Todd, the odds of success were much better than 50:50 at the first Berserker Post-IPNC 2007 Vintage tasting, not to say that poor wines weren't made.

2008, in comparison...Bob Wood claimed: "My dog could have made good wine in 2008."

In contrast to Travis, I found a lot of the 08 Pinots to be brutish....ripe with gripping tannins and forceful acidity. The structure dominated. I don't recall ever tasting young Pinots like them...before or since. Also, IIRC, there was talk of the weather being perfect, lovely fruit, and the least stressful harvest in a decade. My trepidation comes from many of the wines not opening up and the ripe aromas/flavors becoming increasingly prevalent.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#35 Post by Todd Hamina » January 21st, 2019, 2:02 pm

The post ipnc tasting is usually a top of the crop type affair Richard.

The 08's showed nice enough early, especially in contrast to the 07's that still needed fleshing out, but then came the lock down...
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#36 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » January 21st, 2019, 2:06 pm

Jason T wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:31 am
Also for someone who is newer to the region, tasting through a wide variety of producers ‘15s really helped me understand how important producer can be in these vintages. I tasted so many that were on the very duper end, and certainly a handful I’d call “spoofilated”. Goodfellow, Belle Pente and Biggio Hamina in particular though I thought really handled the vintage well, and made some yummy wines.
Yep. '15 was the first Oregon vintage I bought in volume. Thankfully I bought most at the winery after tasting because many I've bought retail have been disappointing. Producer definitely mattered.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#37 Post by Travis Fantz » January 21st, 2019, 2:29 pm

Richard
I am only referring to the basic blends that are released first, towards the tail end when the best 2007 are arriving. It was a long time ago, but the 2008s made me happy like 2002 did.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#38 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 21st, 2019, 5:25 pm

Jason T wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:31 am
Also for someone who is newer to the region, tasting through a wide variety of producers ‘15s really helped me understand how important producer can be in these vintages. I tasted so many that were on the very duper end, and certainly a handful I’d call “spoofilated”. Goodfellow, Belle Pente and Biggio Hamina in particular though I thought really handled the vintage well, and made some yummy wines.
You just made my day.

I think there’s a growing set of producers who understand that too much is as bad(or worse) than too little in the wines.

To your earlier question about 08. It was a late wet spring, and bud break was very late. So there was a lot of worry(especially given the previous vintages wet weather) about the probability of a negative harvest. When October hit and it was just gorgeous day after gorgeous day and picking was easy, clusters were small, ferments were smooth, and wines were opposite 07 in intensity, most of us(myself included) saw a truly great vintage.

I do think it is an excellent and long lived vintage. But the wines are a bit fuller and less dynamic than I had hoped(keep in mind I was hoping at a VERY high level.) The early baby-fat fruit made them look quite successful but as they closed down, and that baby-fat fruit subsided, they closed way down. Tannins were prominent. And, IMO, the beautiful fall days tempted me(I won’t speak to other producers here) into letting fruit hang to where the wines moved past the red fruit spectrum and into mostly dark flavors. Most of my wines have been opening up and starting to show some of the more delicate aromas again, but only just recently and still in the early stages.

That said, the universe gifted me with 2010 two years later. A similar growing season to 2008 bit a storm in October that forced picks a few days ahead of what we were allowed in 2008. Bear in mind that I had just bottled the 2008s 5-6 months before harvest 2010. They were selling like mad and that baby-fat was still there, so without the storm it’s doubtful I would have picked when I did(some fruit at 20.5 Brix the high was 22. But the wines were awesomely pretty and I have been pulling the trigger earlier ever since.
Which helped 2015 for sure, and has resulted in the best three vintages (for my taste) that I have seen in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#39 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 21st, 2019, 5:27 pm

Travis Fantz wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 2:29 pm
Richard
I am only referring to the basic blends that are released first, towards the tail end when the best 2007 are arriving. It was a long time ago, but the 2008s made me happy like 2002 did.
+1

They tasted great early(and by that I mean ripe with firm tannins and ripping acidity!) That’s why we all have so many sitting in the cellar...Rich too [wink.gif]

They tasted like the closest thing I had ever seen in Oregon to what I believed young Great vintage Burgundy to be like.
Nothing is ever gone on the internet, so it will be interesting in 10 more years to look back and see what we were saying today and how it matches up with the way the wines are in another decade. I doubt any of us will have enjoyed the 20 year investment of time much either way(unless the bottles skyrocket in value and we can sit around and write “baller” posts about our 08 Willamette Valley wines...)
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#40 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 21st, 2019, 5:36 pm

Michael O'Brien wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 1:46 pm
I completely disagree with Wine Spectator's vintage scores. The '07 and '11 are my favorite vintages. '07 was a crazy weather vintage but it finished cool and producers that sortedenough produced some excellent wine. '11 was another crazy year. I guess I just like wines from crazy weather years but it takes a good winemaker to make them. It was probably the latest harvest on record. I have a few '07s left and my recent experience tells me I need to drink them up. I think the '07 in particular and to a lesser extent the '11 vintages fooled a lot of people. Luckily some of the better producers still have these vintages in their libraries.
FIFY

...I love 07, 10, and a lot of 2011s as well, so please don’t take my correction as disrespectful. Just that we thinned and then still had to take the time to pick through the fruit cluster by cluster.
Last edited by Marcus Goodfellow on January 21st, 2019, 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#41 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 21st, 2019, 5:38 pm

Jim Anderson wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 12:34 pm
The International Wine Cellar actually gave some decent reviews to many Oregon wineries on their 2007s. Perhaps not as high a scores or as glowing in nature as other vintages but solid reviews and scores. Just saying.
To be fair...so did Jay Miller for the Advocate.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#42 Post by Todd Hamina » January 21st, 2019, 5:45 pm

I like Dr. Jay.



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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#43 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 21st, 2019, 6:50 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:45 pm
I like Dr. Jay.
Disclaimer: he still buys my stuff.
From most accounts he's quite likeable...but I'd given up on OR Wine Critics before it became his beat. Critics can provide useful background and various interesting wine/vintage/vineyard/winemaker details, but train and trust your own palate.

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#44 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 21st, 2019, 8:48 pm

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 6:50 pm
Todd Hamina wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:45 pm
I like Dr. Jay.
Disclaimer: he still buys my stuff.
From most accounts he's quite likeable...but I'd given up on OR Wine Critics before it became his beat. Critics can provide useful background and various interesting wine/vintage/vineyard/winemaker details, but train and trust your own palate.

RT
Which brings me back around to you, Ron, and Dennis writing a newsletter... [wink.gif]
Last edited by Marcus Goodfellow on January 22nd, 2019, 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#45 Post by Todd Hamina » January 21st, 2019, 10:37 pm

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 6:50 pm
Todd Hamina wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:45 pm
I like Dr. Jay.
Disclaimer: he still buys my stuff.
From most accounts he's quite likeable...but I'd given up on OR Wine Critics before it became his beat. Critics can provide useful background and various interesting wine/vintage/vineyard/winemaker details, but train and trust your own palate.

RT
IWC/Vinous does a good job. WA is dead. I am waiting to see what the WS new guy is like, but it appears new wood is good. So not much reason for me to submit there. Paul Gregutt is an asshat, so no WE. I did sit down with Doug Wilder from the Purely Domestic Wine Report, but haven't seen any results. Finding folks who align with you, or vice versa, is a great way to go.

Did you ever drink that 09 I sent you?
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#46 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 22nd, 2019, 5:21 am

Todd, sorry I didn't respond sooner. The answer is yes. Thank you for your generosity. I still have a bottle of your 2010 Amity Riesling to try.

Which, Marcus, brings me back to some of the dilemmas of a newsletter. Most Pinot drinkers prefer Meiomi. Many prefer new wood. Several years ago I was able to compare palate preferences with Josh Raynolds at a couple of IPNC tastings. He's more open minded. My preferences are nuanced and more biased than I'd like to admit.

As a consumer, there's very little need to candy coat impressions. It's a selfish endeavor. When writing for a broader audience, subjective criticisms have ramifications. Winemakers need to earn a living. They develop a unique personal connection to their wines. It takes time and talent to write/publish anything more useful than the reviews and info already available. Tough work for a "numbskull with a keyboard".

RT

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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#47 Post by Michael O'Brien » January 22nd, 2019, 12:39 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:36 pm
Michael O'Brien wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 1:46 pm
I completely disagree with Wine Spectator's vintage scores. The '07 and '11 are my favorite vintages. '07 was a crazy weather vintage but it finished cool and producers that sortedenough produced some excellent wine. '11 was another crazy year. I guess I just like wines from crazy weather years but it takes a good winemaker to make them. It was probably the latest harvest on record. I have a few '07s left and my recent experience tells me I need to drink them up. I think the '07 in particular and to a lesser extent the '11 vintages fooled a lot of people. Luckily some of the better producers still have these vintages in their libraries.
FIFY

...I love 07, 10, and a lot of 2011s as well, so please don’t take my correction as disrespectful. Just that we thinned and then still had to take the time to pick through the fruit cluster by cluster.
Marcus, I perceived not disrespect whatsoever. My disagreement is with the expectations set by WS and to some extent WE vintage charts. I was remiss in not mentioning the 2010 vintage as well. Too many people prejudge and shy away from great wine because the "experts" deem a vintage as a lesser one. That is not my experience with those vintages but my experience is uniquely mine. There is plenty of room for disagreement. "Palates may vary" [cheers.gif]
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#48 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » January 22nd, 2019, 3:18 pm

Michael O'Brien wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 12:39 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 5:36 pm
Michael O'Brien wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 1:46 pm
I completely disagree with Wine Spectator's vintage scores. The '07 and '11 are my favorite vintages. '07 was a crazy weather vintage but it finished cool and producers that sortedenough produced some excellent wine. '11 was another crazy year. I guess I just like wines from crazy weather years but it takes a good winemaker to make them. It was probably the latest harvest on record. I have a few '07s left and my recent experience tells me I need to drink them up. I think the '07 in particular and to a lesser extent the '11 vintages fooled a lot of people. Luckily some of the better producers still have these vintages in their libraries.
FIFY

...I love 07, 10, and a lot of 2011s as well, so please don’t take my correction as disrespectful. Just that we thinned and then still had to take the time to pick through the fruit cluster by cluster.
Marcus, I perceived not disrespect whatsoever. My disagreement is with the expectations set by WS and to some extent WE vintage charts. I was remiss in not mentioning the 2010 vintage as well. Too many people prejudge and shy away from great wine because the "experts" deem a vintage as a lesser one. That is not my experience with those vintages but my experience is uniquely mine. There is plenty of room for disagreement. "Palates may vary" [cheers.gif]
I agree completely, and would add 2004 and 2005 reviews for the Willamette Valley. The WS commentary was to the tune of “challenging years, best to stick to known producers”.
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#49 Post by dsGriswold » January 22nd, 2019, 4:40 pm

Thanks for that reply Richard, in an earlier life I might have entertained jumping into that snake pit. Now I have a challenge writing a comprehensive tasting note that compares favorably with one I wrote previously. It's a definite challenge to bridge the needs of the consumer and the producer. I love reading all the comments people have. I'll leave it to Alberty to report on the state of the local wine scene for now. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Oregon pinot vintage update?

#50 Post by Greg Malcolm » January 22nd, 2019, 7:49 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 8:48 pm
Which brings me back around to you, Ron, and Dennis writing a newsletter... [wink.gif]
I enjoy tasting with Richard and Ron. Part of which is the interaction of giving them grief. champagne.gif I've never met Dennis. Sounds like I need to remedy that.

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