CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

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R odonnell
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10year CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#1 Post by R odonnell » July 24th, 2019, 6:51 am

I’m having a hard time determining the most expensive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (winery DTC, not secondhand) from either OR or CA

What I’ve come up with so far is:
Chardonnay:
Peter Michael Point Rouge- $225

Pinot Noir:
Domaine Serene Monogram- $275

Anyone heard of anything that costs more than these?
R y a n

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#2 Post by Doug Sher » July 24th, 2019, 7:14 am

Marcassin? No idea what winery DTC might be.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#3 Post by Mike Q » July 24th, 2019, 7:17 am

Marcassin may be more on the secondary market but the release price is $90 (3 sisters, BSL) - $125 (estate) per.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#4 Post by Robert Love » July 24th, 2019, 7:25 am

I wouldn't be surprised if your Peter Michael Point Rouge suggestion is correct. It is quite limited — it is a reserve blend of the best lots from their various vineyards — and priced accordingly.

If you weren't looking for the most expensive single bottle, but rather expensive line up of CA Chardonnay, I'd suspect that is Aubert. (Much preferred to Peter Michael IMO too).

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#5 Post by Anton D » July 24th, 2019, 7:52 am

I don't know the price points of the Kongsgaard chards, but they were always sufficiently high that I never bought any.

I can't think of anything that approaches the Domaine Serene.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#6 Post by Steve Crawford » July 24th, 2019, 7:57 am

Robert Love wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:25 am
I wouldn't be surprised if your Peter Michael Point Rouge suggestion is correct. It is quite limited — it is a reserve blend of the best lots from their various vineyards — and priced accordingly.

If you weren't looking for the most expensive single bottle, but rather expensive line up of CA Chardonnay, I'd suspect that is Aubert. (Much preferred to Peter Michael IMO too).
my guess would be pearl clutcher.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#7 Post by Robert Love » July 24th, 2019, 8:11 am

Anton D wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:52 am
I don't know the price points of the Kongsgaard chards, but they were always sufficiently high that I never bought any.
Kongsgaard The Judge, their most expensive bottle, was $200 I believe in the last offer.

Peter Michael Point Rouge was $225. Close but no!

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#8 Post by James Lyon » July 24th, 2019, 9:23 am

The Eyrie Vineyards releases library wines from time to time. Currently available on the Eyrie website is the 1987 South Block Pinot Noir for $500. I have seen the older Eyrie bottles available at trusted retailers as well.

Beaux Freres has a stash of library wines available at the winery. I haven't been in 4-5 years, but the older vintages were current market price plus $10 for each added year.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#9 Post by Chris D » July 24th, 2019, 9:30 am

Out of curiosity, what's behind your interest Ryan?
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#10 Post by Anton D » July 24th, 2019, 9:59 am

Chris D wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 9:30 am
Out of curiosity, what's behind your interest Ryan?
I figure he's a balla looking to shop.

Is there another explanation?

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#11 Post by Mark Christenson » July 24th, 2019, 10:11 am

Mike Q wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:17 am
Marcassin may be more on the secondary market but the release price is $90 (3 sisters, BSL) - $125 (estate) per.
Pretty sure the Marcassin Estate wines, both Chard and Pinot, have been $150 starting with the 2010 vintage.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#12 Post by Mark Christenson » July 24th, 2019, 10:11 am

Steve Crawford wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:57 am
Robert Love wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:25 am
I wouldn't be surprised if your Peter Michael Point Rouge suggestion is correct. It is quite limited — it is a reserve blend of the best lots from their various vineyards — and priced accordingly.

If you weren't looking for the most expensive single bottle, but rather expensive line up of CA Chardonnay, I'd suspect that is Aubert. (Much preferred to Peter Michael IMO too).
my guess would be pearl clutcher.
Pearl Clutcher was $120.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#13 Post by GregT » July 24th, 2019, 10:13 am

Gift?

For someone who is going to check the price rather than the quality?

Win a bet?

Mollify the wife?

Anyway, come on you guys, there are some expensive Chardonnays. All you have to do is look.

Ryan - don't be cheap. You're talking only $200? Please.

Spend a few bucks. You can't take it with you after all. Get yourself some Ghost Horse for $500+.

Marcassin Estate is probably the most expensive that you can find relatively easily, at over $325 retail. You want to back up the truck for that deal.

But if you're willing to go all in and get the most bang for your buck, go large! A case of this will change your life!

https://www.wine.com/product/rombauer-c ... lsrc=aw.ds [drinkers.gif]
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#14 Post by Chris D » July 24th, 2019, 10:24 am

GregT wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 10:13 am

But if you're willing to go all in and get the most bang for your buck, go large! A case of this will change your life!

https://www.wine.com/product/rombauer-c ... lsrc=aw.ds [drinkers.gif]
Ahhh yes - the panty-dropper won't set you back $250, but it will cost you your dignity
Cheers!

C D€mpst€r

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#15 Post by R odonnell » July 24th, 2019, 11:53 am

Thanks for all of the input.

I’m interested intellectually. The price of too NAPA cab is high and so is Bordeaux. Although not as pricy.

The high end of Burgundy is ridiculous but CA/OR isn’t. In my opinion.

The question is why is our CH and PN high end “low” (relatively)??
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#16 Post by Alan Rath » July 24th, 2019, 11:59 am

R odonnell wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:53 am
The question is why is our CH and PN high end “low” (relatively)??
Demand. It doesn't have the cachet of the top Burgundy producers. Probably for good reason, but you have to be pretty silly to be paying $200 for any domestic Chardonnay.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#17 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 24th, 2019, 12:03 pm

R odonnell wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:53 am
Thanks for all of the input.

I’m interested intellectually. The price of too NAPA cab is high and so is Bordeaux. Although not as pricy.

The high end of Burgundy is ridiculous but CA/OR isn’t. In my opinion.

The question is why is our CH and PN high end “low” (relatively)??

Your logic is solid, but I would guess that you can find equivalent quality in CA/OR Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to the most expensive bottlings from a good number of producers in those areas, and at least for Oregon possibly better depending upon your palate.

Also, there was an Oregon wine released at $300/btl released in Oregon at one point. I can’t remember which project it was but Mark Tarlov was connected.

For expensive Chardonnay in Oregon look to 00 winery (double aught). They are around $125-150, and good wines.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#18 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 24th, 2019, 12:11 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:59 am
R odonnell wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:53 am
The question is why is our CH and PN high end “low” (relatively)??
Demand. It doesn't have the cachet of the top Burgundy producers. Probably for good reason, but you have to be pretty silly to be paying $200 for any domestic Chardonnay.
This...except for the good reason part. Top Willamette Valley Chardonnay can hold it’s own with France. And the Pinot Noir is closing the gap as well, if you are drinking the right wines.

It’s interesting to me that 30 years ago Robert Drouhin held a second tasting of Pinot Noirs, including some of the greatest vineyards and vintages of Burgundy, and had an Oregon wine, produced from young vines, come in second. He was convinced enough to buy and invest in the region. Yet somehow there is still a routine feeling that the Willamette Valley is just a wanna-be region compared to Burgundy? I don’t get it...
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#19 Post by M.Kaplan » July 24th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:11 pm



...Top Willamette Valley Chardonnay can hold it’s own with France. And the Pinot Noir is closing the gap as well, if you are drinking the right wines.
...
Which are the right wines, both Pinot and Chard?

Thanks!
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#20 Post by Alan Rath » July 24th, 2019, 12:38 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Alan Rath wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:59 am
R odonnell wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:53 am
The question is why is our CH and PN high end “low” (relatively)??
Demand. It doesn't have the cachet of the top Burgundy producers. Probably for good reason, but you have to be pretty silly to be paying $200 for any domestic Chardonnay.
This...except for the good reason part. Top Willamette Valley Chardonnay can hold it’s own with France. And the Pinot Noir is closing the gap as well, if you are drinking the right wines.

It’s interesting to me that 30 years ago Robert Drouhin held a second tasting of Pinot Noirs, including some of the greatest vineyards and vintages of Burgundy, and had an Oregon wine, produced from young vines, come in second. He was convinced enough to buy and invest in the region. Yet somehow there is still a routine feeling that the Willamette Valley is just a wanna-be region compared to Burgundy? I don’t get it...
Maybe poor phrasing on my part. I don't think there's much doubt that the *very best* Chardonnay wines are being made in France, but I also am convinced that there are outstanding wines being made in California and Oregon. My point was really that those people who insist on "the very best" (or just the "very best name") aren't shy about spending to buy what are often very limited and allocated wines, thus the exponential price variation between the top French and top American wines.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#21 Post by R odonnell » July 24th, 2019, 12:43 pm

So, could Aubert, Peter Michael, Marcassin, Domaine Serene, 00, etc actually sell a wine that costs as much as these Burgs that are imported? $600-1500/btl.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#22 Post by Steve Crawford » July 24th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Mark Christenson wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 10:11 am
Steve Crawford wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:57 am
Robert Love wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:25 am
I wouldn't be surprised if your Peter Michael Point Rouge suggestion is correct. It is quite limited — it is a reserve blend of the best lots from their various vineyards — and priced accordingly.

If you weren't looking for the most expensive single bottle, but rather expensive line up of CA Chardonnay, I'd suspect that is Aubert. (Much preferred to Peter Michael IMO too).
my guess would be pearl clutcher.
Pearl Clutcher was $120.
i thought he was alluding to secondary, which i was referring to.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#23 Post by GregT » July 24th, 2019, 12:45 pm

R odonnell wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:53 am
Thanks for all of the input.

I’m interested intellectually. The price of too NAPA cab is high and so is Bordeaux. Although not as pricy.

The high end of Burgundy is ridiculous but CA/OR isn’t. In my opinion.

The question is why is our CH and PN high end “low” (relatively)??
It's low or high depending on what your budget is. For some people a few hundred dollars a bottle isn't out of line, for others it's unimaginable.

And as Alan said, there's cachet and marketing. The US wine industry isn't that old relatively speaking, since we destroyed it utterly with Prohibition. So in the 1960s and 1970s it started up, looking at Bordeaux as a model.

The number of wineries and the number of "serious" wineries has been growing for the past few decades, but France has many decades head start. In spite of various wars over the centuries, France has always been producing wine. Places like England that didn't make wine desired it. In the US, until the mid 1970s, the vast majority of serious wine drinkers didn't have the selection in the US and were willing to pay for French wines.

The trendiness of Pinot Noir is even newer. Partly in response to Parker's palate and it's perceived influence on the world of wine, and partly in response to the dominance of Cab/Merlot blends on the "serious" wine front in the US, and partly in response to a stupid movie, Pinot Noir became very trendy in the past fifteen years. There was always some around, but not nearly as much as there is today.

And the market for most US wine is the USA, whereas the market for French wine is the world, including Great Britain and China and India. Moreover, the established regions making PN and Chardonnay in France tend to be subdivided into specific vineyards, which ensures that production is low relative to demand.

Finally, you can price your wine anyway you want to, but if nobody is willing to pay the price, you will have a lot of wine to drink yourself. As more people with big bucks invest in new vineyards and high-priced consultants, the price of the resulting wines will rise even more. Eventually people might realize that it's just stupid to pay $200 for a bottle of wine that tasted without knowing the label, isn't any more pleasurable than a wine costing a fraction of the price. At the highest end, price and quality are completely divorced and you're paying for the label. And that gets back to marketing and cachet.

If you're interested in quality rather than price, Alan is right on. There's a lot of good wine being made and because the US lacks the restrictive laws of the European wine regions, people can explore and innovate and improve and perhaps surpass what you may get elsewhere for more money.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#24 Post by Steve Crawford » July 24th, 2019, 12:46 pm

R odonnell wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:43 pm
So, could Aubert, Peter Michael, Marcassin, Domaine Serene, 00, etc actually sell a wine that costs as much as these Burgs that are imported? $600-1500/btl.
HT is getting old. if she said a wine was going to be her last vintage, maybe say there's only a barrel, yea she could sell a chard for 600ish.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#25 Post by Bryan Carr » July 24th, 2019, 12:59 pm

On a similar note, what's the most expensive bottle out of WA? Is it Hors Categorie at $250/pop?

Also, to the point about whether you can make "as great" wine from Oregon or CA as you can from Bdx or Burgundy, no two wine regions are identical and that's all down to your taste I think. Can you make great wine in all those places? I think the answer is yes, and I don't think that opinion is controversial, preferences aside. The greatest ever OPN will always be different than the greatest Burgundy or Sonoma PN and that's totally fine. I've had knee-buckling wines from all three places. I think if there was as much GC burgundy produced relative to demand as there was OPN prices would probably be somewhat similar. DRC DRC is $$$$$ because it's allocated to hell and back and is the pinnacle of name-recognition unobtanium for people w/ a lot of money to throw around. Is it great? I'm sure it is. If they made 10,000 cases of it a year instead of 3-400 prices would be lower.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#26 Post by M.Kaplan » July 24th, 2019, 1:21 pm

Steve Crawford wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:44 pm
Mark Christenson wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 10:11 am
Steve Crawford wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:57 am


my guess would be pearl clutcher.
Pearl Clutcher was $120.
i thought he was alluding to secondary, which i was referring to.
I've not sold much SQN, but I sold 3 bottles of Pearl Clutcher for $3,750 shortly after release.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#27 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 24th, 2019, 1:25 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:29 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:11 pm



...Top Willamette Valley Chardonnay can hold it’s own with France. And the Pinot Noir is closing the gap as well, if you are drinking the right wines.
...
Which are the right wines, both Pinot and Chard?

Thanks!
Chardonnay:

Cameron-Clos Electrique Blanc
Walter Scott-Ex Novo, Cuvee Anne, Freedom Hill
Bethel Heights-Estate, High Wire
Haden Fig-Juliette
Lingua Franca
Morgan Long
Arterberry Maresh-Maresh Vineyard
Crowley Wines-Four Winds
Brickhouse-Cascadia
Goodfellow(I make these): Whistling Ridge(Richard’s Cuvee), Durant Vineyard

These are the most consistent producers that I am familiar with. Like Burgundy, there are also a number of very good producers who have made excellent wines but that I just haven’t had as many wines from or are working into being more consistent. I also like Eyrie, Ponzi(under rated for Chardonnay), Twill, Grochau, Johan(super wines but they tend to intentionally bottle with a slight bit of lees and while the wines have always been very good, it’s a different expression).

Pinot Noir:

Evesham Wood
Belle Pente
Flaneur
Patricia Green
Kelley Fox
Ayoub
Eyrie
Cameron
Walter Scott-especially Sojourner
Beaux Freres
Arteberry Maresh
Brickhouse
Goodfellow-particularly Whistling Ridge. Again, I make these wines but there’s a TN from David Bueker on the Goodfellow Heritage #7 that validates both the intent and degree of success that I have had narrowing the gap.

That said, this list might be better served of it was a list of vineyards rather than producers. My faves for Pinot Noir:

Arcus-Dundee Hills
Marjorie and Jessie-Eola Amity Hills(Cristom estate wines)
Le puits sec-Eola Amity Hills(Evesham wood)
Temperance Hill-Eola Amity Hills(look for Evesham Wood, J. K. Carriere, Bergstrom)
White Rose Vineyard-Dundee Hills
Abbey Ridge-Dundee Hills
Brickhouse Vineyard-Ribbon Ridge
Beaux Freres Vineyard-Ribbon Ridge
Patricia Green Estate Vineyard-Ribbon Ridge
Durant Vineyard-Dundee Hills
Bethel Heights, Flat Block-Eola Amity Hills
Sojourner-Eola Amity Hills

All of these are incomplete lists, but yhis is a good place to start.
Last edited by Marcus Goodfellow on July 24th, 2019, 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#28 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 24th, 2019, 1:29 pm

Bryan Carr wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:59 pm
On a similar note, what's the most expensive bottle out of WA? Is it Hors Categorie at $250/pop?

Also, to the point about whether you can make "as great" wine from Oregon or CA as you can from Bdx or Burgundy, no two wine regions are identical and that's all down to your taste I think. Can you make great wine in all those places? I think the answer is yes, and I don't think that opinion is controversial, preferences aside. The greatest ever OPN will always be different than the greatest Burgundy or Sonoma PN and that's totally fine. I've had knee-buckling wines from all three places. I think if there was as much GC burgundy produced relative to demand as there was OPN prices would probably be somewhat similar. DRC DRC is $$$$$ because it's allocated to hell and back and is the pinnacle of name-recognition unobtanium for people w/ a lot of money to throw around. Is it great? I'm sure it is. If they made 10,000 cases of it a year instead of 3-400 prices would be lower.
Great post. I agree completely, but would add that Burgundy has the huge advantage of having the vineyards codified. Grand cru is delineated from centuries ago. In Oregon it’s word of mouth, and a lot of the mouth isn’t necessarily from the best wines.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#29 Post by M.Kaplan » July 24th, 2019, 1:30 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 1:25 pm
M.Kaplan wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:29 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 12:11 pm



...Top Willamette Valley Chardonnay can hold it’s own with France. And the Pinot Noir is closing the gap as well, if you are drinking the right wines.
...
Which are the right wines, both Pinot and Chard?

Thanks!
Chardonnay:

Cameron-Clos Electrique Blanc
Walter Scott-Ex Novo, Cuvee Anne, Freedom Hill
Bethel Heights-Estate, High Wire
Haden Fig-Juliette
Lingua Franca
Morgan Long
Arterberry Maresh-Maresh Vineyard
Crowley Wines-Four Winds
Brickhouse-Cascadia
Goodfellow(I make these): Whistling Ridge(Richard’s Cuvee), Durant Vineyard

These are the most consistent producers that I am familiar with. Like Burgundy, there are also a number of very good producers who have made excellent wines but that I just haven’t had as many wines from or are working into being more consistent. I also like Eyrie, Ponzi(under rated for Chardonnay), Twill, Grochau, Johan(super wines but they tend to intentionally bottle with a slight bit of lees and while the wines have always been very good, it’s a different expression).

Pinot Noir:

Evesham Wood
Belle Pente
Flaneur
Kelley Fox
Ayoub
Eyrie
Cameron
Walter Scott
Arteberry Maresh
Brickhouse
Goodfellow-particularly Whistling Ridge. Again, I make these wines but there’s a TN from David Bueker on the Goodfellow Heritage #7 that validates both the intent and degree of success that I have had narrowing the gap.
Thanks!
---Mark

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#30 Post by J a y H a c k » July 24th, 2019, 1:38 pm

I've been buying Aubert since the 2004 vintage and the price is no where near these top levels, so I guess I would have to consider it a good QPR. I bought a bottle of The Judge years ago just to try it when it was well north of $100 but it is too oxidative in style for my taste so I did not buy more.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#31 Post by Nathan Smyth » July 24th, 2019, 3:36 pm

R odonnell wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:53 am
The question is why is our CH and PN high end “low” (relatively)??
Lack of [sufficient] acidity & minerality & sense of place & proven track record of improving in the cellar.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#32 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » July 24th, 2019, 5:44 pm

I’ve recently taken my Aubert inventory and masterfully blended it with young Rombauer in my new release, 2019 “Classy Cougar”. Normally $600 per 750ml at retail, I’ll discount to $593 a bottle if you purchase a case or more.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#33 Post by Dan Kravitz » July 24th, 2019, 5:54 pm

The Rombauer 5L at $500 is the equivalent of $75 a bottle.

I always have some large format wines at my national sales meeting dinners, always including wines I don't represent. If I didn't consider Rombauer P*trid Sw*ll, it would be a no-brainer for the meeting at that price. But as I don't want to drink it, I'll pass. Still, it's a reasonable price considering reputation, popularity and sales.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#34 Post by Mark Y » July 24th, 2019, 7:59 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Chardonnay:

Cameron-Clos Electrique Blanc
Walter Scott-Ex Novo, Cuvee Anne, Freedom Hill
Goodfellow(I make these): Whistling Ridge(Richard’s Cuvee)
My favorite chards from Oregon. I love the Richards cuvee and the ex novo especially. (Great work btw Marcus).

Would be curious to your view if you truly believe these being the best of the best of Oregon stands up to the best from burgundy?
Granted burgundy cost a whole lot more, but if we put price aside (even the 50x price potentially). Do you think these stand up to Roulot, Clean Leflaives, Coche 1er crus? Not to even mention the Monty/hyphen-Monty’s?

I don’t feel like they do (blind). So I think it is for good reason burgundy has the reputation and cachet. But of course once you factor in price and “value” Oregon is back in the game.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#35 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 25th, 2019, 9:45 am

Nathan Smyth wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 3:36 pm
R odonnell wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 11:53 am
The question is why is our CH and PN high end “low” (relatively)??
Lack of [sufficient] acidity & minerality & sense of place & proven track record of improving in the cellar.
Sorry, that’s not actually correct. There are plenty of wines being produced that have both correct acidity and minerality for matching with higher priced European wines.
However, there is no shortage of assumption that Oregon and California wines do not have the same acidity and minerality...

...and no shortage of wines from both areas that are lacking in them as well.
Last edited by Marcus Goodfellow on July 25th, 2019, 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#36 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 25th, 2019, 10:13 am

Mark Y wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 7:59 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Chardonnay:

Cameron-Clos Electrique Blanc
Walter Scott-Ex Novo, Cuvee Anne, Freedom Hill
Goodfellow(I make these): Whistling Ridge(Richard’s Cuvee)
My favorite chards from Oregon. I love the Richards cuvee and the ex novo especially. (Great work btw Marcus).

Would be curious to your view if you truly believe these being the best of the best of Oregon stands up to the best from burgundy?
Granted burgundy cost a whole lot more, but if we put price aside (even the 50x price potentially). Do you think these stand up to Roulot, Clean Leflaives, Coche 1er crus? Not to even mention the Monty/hyphen-Monty’s?

I don’t feel like they do (blind). So I think it is for good reason burgundy has the reputation and cachet. But of course once you factor in price and “value” Oregon is back in the game.
Great question. My basic answer is that the wines you highlighted above match up with the very best 1er Cru vineyards, and occasionally some Grand Crus.

Le Montrachet, Batard, Chevalier...no. Not yet.

We do a tasting for somms and the top retail accounts in Portland every spring putting Goodfellow into a line up with both white and red Burgundies. It’s not meant to be a competition, rather to continue to try and break down the assumption that Willamette Valley wines don’t/can’t have the acidity, tannin, and minerality that wines from Burgundy do.

The wines have to be the same vintage, and we include a library flight as well(this year it was 05). In the past 4 years, the Chardonnays have been a fun tasting. As one would expect, favorites are subjective. But the overall quality of the wines is remarkably even. Typically we’ll have wineries like Jobard, Roulot, PYCM, De Montille, Morey, Boillot, Carillon, and Dauvissat as the French comps. Some villages are easier to see the through line. For me Meursault is the easiest comparison for the better Willamette Valley producers. I also tasted 2015 Coche Muersault alongside the 2015 Richard’s and they were shockingly similar...and I was honestly not expecting that. Coche was/is still one of the producers I feel we are working towards the quality of.

So from a direct comparison, if $$$ is no object, I don’t know if we hit the very top yet. But I do think that the wines are as good as wines made by VERY good houses in Burgundy from everything but the very top sites. Once you look at pricing...then it depends on how much personal attachment you have to a wine.

The reds are also usually a surprise for the tasters. Although I openly feel that we’re more comparable to 1er Cru wines, and not really at Grand Cru top producer quality yet. In the younger wine flights it’s harder to tell which is Oregon and which is France than most tasters expect, i.e. the structural components of my wines is in a correct place for young Pinot Noir.

That said, we are still definitely a work in process. But I do think it would be fun to set up an offline version of this tasting for Berserkers at some point.
Last edited by Marcus Goodfellow on July 25th, 2019, 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#37 Post by GregT » July 25th, 2019, 10:53 am

Done a few tastings like that. Blind, so nobody knows what is what. It's a very good way to address questions regarding relative quality.

Never did Oregon though.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#38 Post by Mark Y » July 25th, 2019, 10:55 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 10:13 am

We do a tasting for somms and the top retail accounts in Portland every spring putting Goodfellow into a line up with both white and red Burgundies. It’s not meant to be a competition, rather to continue to try and break down the assumption that Willamette Valley wines don’t/can’t have the acidity, tannin, and minerality that wines from Burgundy do.
Thanks Marcus, appreciate the response. Quite agree with your perspective, and glad to see the focus on quality from Oregon. I hope the quality continues to grow.. and the prices not quite go where Burgs have gone! [wow.gif]

On the bolded comment above, completely agree.. Bagging the wines blind, the best Oregon has to offer certainly has all the acid/minerality that a Burg can have.. it does take a lot of education and effort to break down dogma.
[cheers.gif]
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 10:13 am
But I do think it would be fun to set up an offline version of this tasting for Berserkers at some point.
Concur! champagne.gif
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#39 Post by PeterH » July 25th, 2019, 10:59 am

I'd travel to Oregon for that tasting, or host in Seattle.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#40 Post by Nathan Smyth » July 25th, 2019, 11:11 am

Muh brutha can certainly talk the talk.

Let's see if he can walk the walk.

Bring. It. On.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#41 Post by Mel Knox » July 26th, 2019, 1:59 pm

It's always nice to say, My wine tastes better than LaTache and therefore you should pay a lot for it. But it is not so easy.

If you look at the Napa Valley:
1/they have milked the Paris tasting for over 40 years...books, movies
2/various winery personnel have staged many many tastings with their wines and first growths...this sort of thing has a cumulative effect.

Pinot Noir benefits from a movie, Sideways, but the chief beneficiaries are in Santa Barbara county.

Josh Jensen created a road show with himself, a Burgundian and an Oregonian. Folks would taste the wines blind and vote. I'm not sure who won but I got a ride in Josh's new Porsche last year so he seems to have done well.

I read an interesting book on pricing strategy called Priceless by a man named Poundstone. What I really learned from it is that if you go to a big company and say, I can cure cancer, bring about world peace and reverse global warming, they might give you a $10,000 grant. But if you say, I can help you increase prices by 2% they will buy you a building for your new institute.

One tactic is used by a Texas steak house that (and adjust for inflation here) that offered a 72 ounce t bone for 72$..if you could eat it in an hour or so it was free. The point is to anchor a price in peoples' minds so they might pass on the 72$ steak but not mind paying $30 for a smaller steak and a baked potato.

Robert Mondavi deliberately priced his Reserve Cabs at a high price so people would compare them to First Growths.

Most people don't know they make chardonnay in Oregon.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#42 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 26th, 2019, 2:22 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 11:11 am
Muh brutha can certainly talk the talk.

Let's see if he can walk the walk.

Bring. It. On.
Sure thing. Where you at?

August is a good month for me.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#43 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » July 26th, 2019, 2:36 pm

Mel Knox wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 1:59 pm
It's always nice to say, My wine tastes better than LaTache and therefore you should pay a lot for it. But it is not so easy.

If you look at the Napa Valley:
1/they have milked the Paris tasting for over 40 years...books, movies
2/various winery personnel have staged many many tastings with their wines and first growths...this sort of thing has a cumulative effect.

Pinot Noir benefits from a movie, Sideways, but the chief beneficiaries are in Santa Barbara county.

Josh Jensen created a road show with himself, a Burgundian and an Oregonian. Folks would taste the wines blind and vote. I'm not sure who won but I got a ride in Josh's new Porsche last year so he seems to have done well.

I read an interesting book on pricing strategy called Priceless by a man named Poundstone. What I really learned from it is that if you go to a big company and say, I can cure cancer, bring about world peace and reverse global warming, they might give you a $10,000 grant. But if you say, I can help you increase prices by 2% they will buy you a building for your new institute.

One tactic is used by a Texas steak house that (and adjust for inflation here) that offered a 72 ounce t bone for 72$..if you could eat it in an hour or so it was free. The point is to anchor a price in peoples' minds so they might pass on the 72$ steak but not mind paying $30 for a smaller steak and a baked potato.

Robert Mondavi deliberately priced his Reserve Cabs at a high price so people would compare them to First Growths.

Most people don't know they make chardonnay in Oregon.
Most people don’t know we make
Chardonnay in Oregon.

And if Nathan and I each had to write a list demonstrating our respective biases with CA/OR wines, his would be a LOT longer than mine. There’s more wines lacking in acidity and minerality than not.

I don’t run my mouth because people know what is possible in Oregon. I run my mouth because of what is possible, and because what is possible won’t happen if people don’t buy in.

I believe what I posted above. Whether others believe or not, the easiest thing to do is put my wines where my mouth is. And I am happy to do that. If I am right, great. If I am close but come up short, still great-Burgundy has centuries on me. If
i look like a fool...I won’t but I would still have had a great day tasting some great wines.

My wines will never be priced like La Tache. But Evening Land priced the Summum Chardonnay at $120, so people would approach the idea of Oregon Chardonnay as similar to white Burgundy in quality. Can you blame them or Mondavi, if that’s what it took to get taken seriously. And 70s, 80s, and early 90s top Napa wines were remarkable wines. (No idea how they stack up to top Bordeaux).
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#44 Post by Gabe Berk » July 26th, 2019, 3:18 pm

Put Aubert, Kongsgaard Judge, Marcassin or Point Rouge blind in a Chevalier bottle and see if people would say its worth it to pay $600-$1,000. My guess is yes.

I used to sell Aubert, Peter Michael and LeFlaive to restaurants and hotels and at first was amazed they would pay so much for the latter. After a while I realized it was the name and place more than anything-the wines were incredible though. That and their customers bought them and made their cellar Grand Award worthy.
Bravo to those who sell AND buy the most expensive domestic chard and pinot champagne.gif

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#45 Post by Mark Y » July 26th, 2019, 3:36 pm

PeterH wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 10:59 am
I'd travel to Oregon for that tasting, or host in Seattle.
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 2:22 pm
Sure thing. Where you at?
August is a good month for me.
I'm in Seattle (as is Peter)! ;)
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#46 Post by Mel Knox » July 26th, 2019, 3:40 pm

Marcus

I know that many great wines are being made in Oregon. But I am somebody who has been going to Oregon on a regular basis since 1954, if only to see the Portland Beavers play the Seattle Rainiers!! Others don't know the region as well.

I think you get my point. Shakespeare said that good wine needed no bush --maybe he meant George--but he was wrong. You need to get out and tell the world....over and over!!
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#47 Post by Nathan Smyth » July 26th, 2019, 8:04 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 2:22 pm
Where you at?
Sadly, I'm about 3000 miles to the East & South of you.

But if ya'll would post some notes of the tasting you're envisioning, then I could live vicariously through y'all.

The tasting has to be blind, though [and as double blind as possible].

Each taster must be sipping each wine with no preconceptions [or similar psychological baggage] whatsoever.

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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#48 Post by Joe Raymond » July 26th, 2019, 8:44 pm

Cirq Snake Oil? $225 for 500ml bottle. 750ml would be approx $337.50. Pretty pricey CA Chardonnay albeit a sweet one
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#49 Post by Doug Ackerman » July 29th, 2019, 3:12 am

Tastings like this are great.
What always surprises me are the diversity of opinions.
Peter/Marcus: let's do this. Late August could work.
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Re: CA/OR most expensive DTC Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

#50 Post by R. Frankel » July 29th, 2019, 11:32 am

Depending where/when I’d love to participate. Been meaning to get up to OR this summer.
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