PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

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Kirk.Grant
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PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#1 Post by Kirk.Grant » June 23rd, 2019, 11:36 am

I should say, it took me a little longer than I would have liked to put these notes and thoughts together...but this was one of my favorite moments of gathering with folks from forums. Our hose was gracious and really took great care of us. It's not often that I tip 200% of my cost...but this was worth every penny. The tasting was organized into three flights after tasting the current release (2017). I'll group the tasting notes in the order that they were grouped for us. One final thought...about 1/2 way through the night Doug leaned over and said something akin to, "All these wines are showing really well. I've been to tastings from more expensive producers that don't have this kind of consistency." I agree with him completely. I've always known that I loved these wines...but this experience with these wines was even an eye-opener for me. As to the quality of the wines in the vertical, I think everything was clearly outstanding and some were near epiphany level for me. My final assessment only confirms what I already thought...Patricia Green Cellars is one of the best producers in the Willamette Valley...and the Etzel Block is one of the truly special (and singular) wines from Oregon.

Opening wine

2017: This is a return to a more lean and higher acid vintage for me. In Oregon, I think this is going to be a vintage for lovers of a leaner style. This is a vintage I think will be best for those with patience to sock away for 10+ years in the cellar. It is already enjoyable...but as many in the tasting commented the older wines really showed how special this bottling is with time sideways and a good dose of patience.

Oddball Vintages:These were the outlying vintages that didn't seem to have a common theme in the growing years if I understood Jim Anderson. Say what you want to about these vintages, but Jim Stewart who was sitting to my right seemed to be baffled by the use of 'Oddball', at one point I recall him leaning over and saying, "If the oddball vintages are this good...how good are the great vintages going to be?" For pure drinking pleasure, this was my favorite flight.

2004: This was a crowd favorite of just about everyone within ear-shot. From this tasting there were a few that really stood out and this was clearly in the top 3 of the night for me. There was a "wildness" on the nose of this that was cause for contemplation and constantly drew me back to the glass to smell more as time passed. If you see this in an online auction...you should expect to be bidding against me.

2007: What can you say about this "shitty vintage"...Bob would have been pleased with this. It showed such a lovely and restrained style yet had the acidity and a depth in the nose that leaves me thinking there is 6-8+ years left in these with good storage. I'd have a hard time not opening it now though.

2010: This was one of the other contenders for a favorite of the night for me. Much lighter in color than any of the other vintages...but the nose was haunting. Sous bois with high-toned red fruits...yes please!! After everything was poured this was the second wine I chose to drink all of.

2011: Poor thing...this really suffered by being in a flight full of amazing wines each in their own right, all unique but with a familiar feel (I'll call it 'terroir' for now). I wish I had more of this...based on how well it showed tonight I'm really curious to see where this is in another 6-8 years.

Warm Vintages: These were all very similar in style with some mild difference in each vintage. What stood out for me in this flight was how impressive it was that they still all retained their grace and that "wild" character I associate with this bottling. I also found that in the warmer years that I noticed a lean towards darker fruits like black cherry and boysenberry instead of the strawberry, pomegranate, and raspberry in most of the other vintages.

2009: Hello cuddle muffin! For those that like their Pinot Noir with a little more body this would be a great place to start. Medium bodied, lush fruit, and with enough acidity to frame the wine and pull everything together. I'd be really curious to see where these are in another 5-8 years. I'd bet that these warmer vintages will really reward patience for my tastes...but they also seem so easy to love that they're the perfect wine to pull and enjoy now with food that wants a bit more fruit in the wine.

2013: I would have been happy with this all by it's lonesome...in this flight it stood out as a clear favorite for me. I still wonder if I gave this the attention it deserved. More light-medium bodied, and than the others in this line-up...this was the first of the second flight to be completely consumed. I heard some folks had a hard time in this vintage, Jim clearly did not...if I can find it, I will be buying more.

2014: The warmth of the year since through in this...but that's exactly what I'd want from "real wine". There's no reason not to enjoy this now...it's already enjoyable and ready to go. I'd imagine with a little more time it's going to start to show some of the secondary characteristics I prefer in Pinot Noir.

2015: I think this was one of Jim Stewart's favorites of the night (after the 2004). It's really easy to love and in a great spot for people that prefer a more fruit-driven profile. Again, there was the structure here that this is a wine I could easily see lasting another decade or longer with good storage. It just depends on how you like your wines. For me, the 2015 really held everything together well. I think there's something to this vintage that will be nice to check in on in another decade.

Top Vintages: This was the flight that seemed to be full of "Ohhs & Ahhhs" all around the table. There wasn't a bad vintage here and my general thought of all these wines was that each one still deserved some time sideways. I'm glad that I have more of most of these vintages. These are all vintages that will reward more time and patience...but damn the 2005 is so delicious now. It's so nice to get a feel for what the 2008 or 2012 may become with time. Tasting this flight the quality & structure was on full display here.

2005: This wine was awesome...and I have been drinking this stuff like it has the cure in it. I think I've opened four bottles in the last year and each one has been jaw-drooping. This is so easy to love now, but still clearly has a lot in reserve. I think after this one I've decided to hang onto the magnum that I have for years longer. This was definitely in my top 3 of the evening for the Etzel Block vertical.

2008: This was surprisingly open. I heard a couple people reference this as a favorite of the vertical. I'm going to be as patient as I can be with my remaining bottles. I think this baby will make old bones...at least I hope I can hold off from opening them for that long.

2012: This had all the elements in place and is clearly a world-class wine that could compete with many twice it's price...but I think it's a wine that will show far better with more time sideways. Having said all that...my glass was empty by the end of the night...I certainly believe the hype around the 2012 vintage here.

2016: This was really nice, and had a lovely balance between structure, fruit, and acidity...I think this is a wine I'll want to check in on again in another decade.

There is still a lot to post on this...but these were my initial thoughts on the Vertical. I can't say how awesome it was to have Jim Anderson fly to join us...and that he brought Kelly Fox to join us for this dinner as well. How awesome to have two Icons from the Willamette Valley joining us for this gathering to better understand these truly special wines.
Last edited by Kirk.Grant on June 23rd, 2019, 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#2 Post by Scott Tallman » June 23rd, 2019, 11:46 am

Great notes and I need to drink my Patty Greens.

One comment though, 2011 was not a warm vintage, which is reflected in your note “more light-medium bodied than the others...”
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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#3 Post by Jim Anderson » June 23rd, 2019, 2:10 pm

Scott Tallman wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 11:46 am
Great notes and I need to drink my Patty Greens.

One comment though, 2011 was not a warm vintage, which is reflected in your note “more light-medium bodied than the others...”
I think he has the 2011 2013 wines switched up.
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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#4 Post by Scott Tallman » June 23rd, 2019, 3:08 pm

Jim Anderson wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 2:10 pm
Scott Tallman wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 11:46 am
Great notes and I need to drink my Patty Greens.

One comment though, 2011 was not a warm vintage, which is reflected in your note “more light-medium bodied than the others...”
I think he has the 2011 2013 wines switched up.
That makes sense.
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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#5 Post by Kirk.Grant » June 23rd, 2019, 3:30 pm

Jim Anderson wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 2:10 pm
Scott Tallman wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 11:46 am
Great notes and I need to drink my Patty Greens.

One comment though, 2011 was not a warm vintage, which is reflected in your note “more light-medium bodied than the others...”
I think he has the 2011 2013 wines switched up.
Yes, I flip-flopped my notes...I'll adjust.
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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#6 Post by Scott Tallman » June 23rd, 2019, 3:37 pm

In the context of how you described those vintages vis a vis the others in each grouping, I thought your descriptions rang true even before the adjustment. But I’m a big fan of 11 and 13.
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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#7 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » June 23rd, 2019, 7:27 pm

Great notes! I just joined the wine club beginning with the '15 vintage so I haven't opened any of my Etzels yet. This confirms my sense that I should wait many years before opening mine.

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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#8 Post by Kirk.Grant » June 24th, 2019, 6:17 pm

Dav1d S@wyer wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 7:27 pm
Great notes! I just joined the wine club beginning with the '15 vintage so I haven't opened any of my Etzels yet. This confirms my sense that I should wait many years before opening mine.
David,

You'll be very happy to have them...I'm a bit biased though.
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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#9 Post by Doug Schulman » June 25th, 2019, 12:34 pm

What an event this was! Here are a few of my highlights. The '04 was really fantastic, and the only wine we had that I don't think will improve further (this bottle at least). '05 was showing some nice development too, but had years to go until full maturity. I think it will ultimately prove to be the better of those two wines. '07 was beautiful, which was as expected based on the other '07s I've had in the past few years. '08 was one of my absolute favorites for its harmony, complexity, and Burgundian feel (I think this is one of the rare cases where that term is fitting for a wine not from Burgundy). '12 needs lots of time and will be amazing some day.

Huge thanks to Kirk for organizing and providing so many of the wines, and to Jim for being there, filling in some vintages that Kirk didn't have, and especially for providing such great context on the vintages and wines.

Oh, and the '83 Raveneau 1er that we tasted blind was outstanding. Thanks, David!
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Re: PGC Etzel Block Vertical: 2004, 2005, & 2007-2017 w/ blinds after

#10 Post by David_K » June 25th, 2019, 12:41 pm

Great event, and thanks so much to Kirk and Jim for organizing and setting it up. I don't have a lot of experience with Oregon Pinot, so this was definitely eye-opening to me. The PGC wines were incredibly consistent and on the whole very youthful. My favorites were the '08, '11, and '12.

And the blinds were fun and humbling. I mistook Riesling for Sauvignon Blanc. pileon
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