What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

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Roger Ouellette
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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#51 Post by Roger Ouellette » August 14th, 2019, 11:49 am

Having just been out there visiting over the 4th some of these will be shipped this fall. The Shea wines were just a touch over $65 per.

Goodfellow
Franny Beck
Kelley Fox
Patricia Green
Shea Wine Cellars

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#52 Post by Jim Anderson » August 14th, 2019, 11:58 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:57 am
That said:

Five Whole Cluster producers to try: Every one on this list has been doing this since at least 2002, whether working at a winery or at their own winery.

Cristom-Benchmark but bigger style these days
Goodfellow-my wines, but we do a good job
Kelley Fox
Biggio-Hamina
Brick House

Five Great destemmed producers:

Patricia Green-range of sites is phenomenal
Walter Scott-don’t miss these
Belle Pente
McKinlay
Evesham Wood

Five GREAT old vine Vineyards to try:

Arcus-Dundee Hills
Temperance Hill-Eola-Amity Hills
Abbey Ridge-Dundee Hills(I would say Clos Electrique but it’s not under $65)
Bethel Heights Flat Block and SE Block-Eola-Amity
The trio of Patricia Green’s estate, Whistling Ridge, and Beaux Freres(not under $65)-Ribbon Ridge

Both Jim Anderson and I make the wines from 2 of the trio in Ribbon Ridge, and we post a fair amount. There’s lots of great sites in the Willamette Valley, but between the last three there is a distinct sense of place, even in the hands of three very different wineries. That said, I am very biased towards those three vineyards.
We are mostly some element of whole cluster now. Very few of our bottlings (in 2017 it would have been just 2 of the 27) are completely destemmed and several would be between 50-100% whole cluster. I don’t think we show a lot of what people would consider to be quintessential whole cluster character even at very high levels of it. Just my opinion. But starting in 2012 we began with a more focused attention on whole cluster fermentations and that has grown every year through 2018.
Co-owner, Patricia Green Cellars

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#53 Post by Todd Hamina » August 14th, 2019, 12:19 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 10:45 am
What bothers me is that it must make the handful of top producers who participate on this board feel very uneasy each time this kind of question gets asked-they are damned if they say something and damned if they don't.
True, but a wise man once said joke them if...
Co-Owner, Biggio Hamina Cellars
-BiggioHamina

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#54 Post by John Osburn » August 14th, 2019, 12:24 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 10:25 am
RickieM wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:15 am
Richard T r i m p i wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 7:43 am
Vincent Fritzsche has been making Pinots in the WV for over 10 years. His wines are typically elegant with a Burg leaning. Pinots are his specialty but he makes delicious Gamay too. I haven't tried his full lineup. He's been dialing in his style and growing his operation over the past several years. Very much worth trying and still quite affordable. He's recently been making his wines at John Grochau cellars. John is also a super guy with affordable Pinots worth an effort to seek out. They might not be in the "5 best" but they're knocking on the door with great QPR that shouldn't be overlooked.

https://vincentwinecompany.com/

RT
I second what you said about Vincent. Excellent wines. He's also a Berserker Day participant, although the best deals come from being on his mailing list. His fall pre-offer is taking place right now so my suggestion is to check that out because it is well worth it. I believe I've tried his full lineup and have never been disappointed.
FWIW I'll add that I greatly enjoyed the wines I bought from Vincent the BDay before last. I would have bought more this year (or from his mailing) if I wasn't in cellar downsizing mode. I love his pinots and, when he offers them, his VT wines.

And Vincent is a great guy who was active on the old WLDG wine board 1000 years ago or so before he started the winery.
His pinot blanc is excellent as well.

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#55 Post by K John Joseph » August 14th, 2019, 12:35 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 10:45 am
I hate to be a curmudgeon, but I am what I am. Have you used the search function? Have you read this Board at all over the last five years?
What is the point?
You may as well ask "what are the five best PN producers in Oregon" because the few that charge more than $65/bottle aren't better.
That silly topic-who are the best PN producers in Oregon?-has been asked ten or more times in the last three years.
And guess what? There ain't no best five. There are mediocre producers but most are above that and from there it is a matter of taste and bottling.
What bothers me is that it must make the handful of top producers who participate on this board feel very uneasy each time this kind of question gets asked-they are damned if they say something and damned if they don't.
Mitch,

Thanks for the education. I'll take it into consideration next time I run a search and wade through 7-8 pages with nothing helpful that I should keep going back through more than three years of results so I don't upset you. And shame on me for posting something that led to 2 pages of responses in 18 hours, many of which praised those top producers you're talking about who participate on the board. Many of those have provided really great insight that I appreciate. Other posts I've tagged for their helpfulness, like this one from April that I sent to my Dad and saved to my comp:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=160162

The matter of taste and bottling you note in your response is exactly why I put this out. I can go buy names I've had for a long time before, but if there have been up and comers that are firing on all cylinders now when I'm deploying my capital, I'd like to know who those are. It's not like 3 vintages can't make a material change on what's getting put out there if a winemaker leaves, ownership changes, or "vision" shifts. I can think of any number of places like that where, in a few vintages, they went one way or another.

Sorry you were so bothered. I invite you to take your own advice from the nearly worthless "Best Oregon Pinot" thread from Fall, 2018 in which you stated simply "I refuse to participate in this thread."
J0hn-J-K4ne

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#56 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » August 14th, 2019, 1:14 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 12:19 pm
MitchTallan wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 10:45 am
What bothers me is that it must make the handful of top producers who participate on this board feel very uneasy each time this kind of question gets asked-they are damned if they say something and damned if they don't.
True, but a wise man once said joke them if...
...and better to be damned for someone asking than to be damned for no one caring.
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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#57 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » August 14th, 2019, 1:17 pm

Jim Anderson wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 11:58 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:57 am
That said:

Five Whole Cluster producers to try: Every one on this list has been doing this since at least 2002, whether working at a winery or at their own winery.

Cristom-Benchmark but bigger style these days
Goodfellow-my wines, but we do a good job
Kelley Fox
Biggio-Hamina
Brick House

Five Great destemmed producers:

Patricia Green-range of sites is phenomenal
Walter Scott-don’t miss these
Belle Pente
McKinlay
Evesham Wood

Five GREAT old vine Vineyards to try:

Arcus-Dundee Hills
Temperance Hill-Eola-Amity Hills
Abbey Ridge-Dundee Hills(I would say Clos Electrique but it’s not under $65)
Bethel Heights Flat Block and SE Block-Eola-Amity
The trio of Patricia Green’s estate, Whistling Ridge, and Beaux Freres(not under $65)-Ribbon Ridge

Both Jim Anderson and I make the wines from 2 of the trio in Ribbon Ridge, and we post a fair amount. There’s lots of great sites in the Willamette Valley, but between the last three there is a distinct sense of place, even in the hands of three very different wineries. That said, I am very biased towards those three vineyards.
We are mostly some element of whole cluster now. Very few of our bottlings (in 2017 it would have been just 2 of the 27) are completely destemmed and several would be between 50-100% whole cluster. I don’t think we show a lot of what people would consider to be quintessential whole cluster character even at very high levels of it. Just my opinion. But starting in 2012 we began with a more focused attention on whole cluster fermentations and that has grown every year through 2018.
Sorry Jim, I knew you are/were doing significant whole cluster from at least 2014 but still haven’t mentally shifted PGC as a whole cluster producer(which is a bit ridiculous since I tasted with you this spring).
Goodfellow Family Cellars
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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#58 Post by Jim Anderson » August 14th, 2019, 1:34 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 1:17 pm
Jim Anderson wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 11:58 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:57 am
That said:

Five Whole Cluster producers to try: Every one on this list has been doing this since at least 2002, whether working at a winery or at their own winery.

Cristom-Benchmark but bigger style these days
Goodfellow-my wines, but we do a good job
Kelley Fox
Biggio-Hamina
Brick House

Five Great destemmed producers:

Patricia Green-range of sites is phenomenal
Walter Scott-don’t miss these
Belle Pente
McKinlay
Evesham Wood

Five GREAT old vine Vineyards to try:

Arcus-Dundee Hills
Temperance Hill-Eola-Amity Hills
Abbey Ridge-Dundee Hills(I would say Clos Electrique but it’s not under $65)
Bethel Heights Flat Block and SE Block-Eola-Amity
The trio of Patricia Green’s estate, Whistling Ridge, and Beaux Freres(not under $65)-Ribbon Ridge

Both Jim Anderson and I make the wines from 2 of the trio in Ribbon Ridge, and we post a fair amount. There’s lots of great sites in the Willamette Valley, but between the last three there is a distinct sense of place, even in the hands of three very different wineries. That said, I am very biased towards those three vineyards.
We are mostly some element of whole cluster now. Very few of our bottlings (in 2017 it would have been just 2 of the 27) are completely destemmed and several would be between 50-100% whole cluster. I don’t think we show a lot of what people would consider to be quintessential whole cluster character even at very high levels of it. Just my opinion. But starting in 2012 we began with a more focused attention on whole cluster fermentations and that has grown every year through 2018.
Sorry Jim, I knew you are/were doing significant whole cluster from at least 2014 but still haven’t mentally shifted PGC as a whole cluster producer(which is a bit ridiculous since I tasted with you this spring).
As I type I am hand bottling large format bottles of the 2018 Durant Vineyard, Bishop Block (for those that don’t know we have shared this 40+ year old vine block with Marcus over the years) and it is selected entirely from 100% (mostly) and 50% whole cluster fermentations.
Co-owner, Patricia Green Cellars

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#59 Post by MitchTallan » August 14th, 2019, 1:57 pm

Sorry you were so bothered. I invite you to take your own advice from the nearly worthless "Best Oregon Pinot" thread from Fall, 2018 in which you stated simply "I refuse to participate in this thread."
Like the best Oregon pinot producers, I am fairly consistent regardless of vintages. Unlike the best Oregon producers, I have a strong house-style that eviscerates and overcomes any sense of terroir.
If it makes you feel any better-I never went to finishing school and lack the grace and good manners to interpret the words "what's the best" as Marcus does when he says,
Fortunately, it mostly translates(to me) as “I am just getting back into Willamette Valley wines. So who is doing good work right now?”

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#60 Post by Mattstolz » August 14th, 2019, 2:57 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 10:45 am
I hate to be a curmudgeon, but I am what I am. Have you used the search function? Have you read this Board at all over the last five years?
What is the point?
You may as well ask "what are the five best PN producers in Oregon" because the few that charge more than $65/bottle aren't better.
That silly topic-who are the best PN producers in Oregon?-has been asked ten or more times in the last three years.
And guess what? There ain't no best five. There are mediocre producers but most are above that and from there it is a matter of taste and bottling.
What bothers me is that it must make the handful of top producers who participate on this board feel very uneasy each time this kind of question gets asked-they are damned if they say something and damned if they don't.
how many TRULY unique questions show up on this site typically? I gotta wager most of them have been asked in some form or another over the years. and as much as I love this site, the search function is not the most helpful of its features.

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#61 Post by K John Joseph » August 14th, 2019, 3:05 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 1:57 pm
Like the best Oregon pinot producers, I am fairly consistent regardless of vintages
Which ones are those?
J0hn-J-K4ne

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#62 Post by M1chael Dom1ngo » August 14th, 2019, 3:59 pm

K John Joseph wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 3:05 pm
MitchTallan wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 1:57 pm
Like the best Oregon pinot producers, I am fairly consistent regardless of vintages
Which ones are those?
MitchTallan wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 10:45 am
There ain't no best...

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#63 Post by Rick Allen » August 14th, 2019, 4:17 pm

Good grief! How about it depends? If your tastes run more to the AFWE side of things, I like Goodfellow, Walter Scott, Brick House, PGC, Eyrie, and a host of others. If you like big, juicy, over the top Pinot, probably Shea, Ken Wright, Penner Ash, and I'm sure there's a bunch of others (I usually don't drink this style). If you are interested in the status associated with drinking great wine while hanging out with all your exotic car friends, you probably should steer toward Domain Serene (I'm sure there are others, but I don't have an exotic car so I don't know).

If you really want to learn about Pinot Noir in general and Oregon Pinot Noir more specifically, attend IPNC. Between the myriad of tastings and the dinners you'll figure it out.

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#64 Post by M1chael Dom1ngo » August 14th, 2019, 4:21 pm

Rick Allen wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 4:17 pm
If you are interested in the status associated with drinking great wine while hanging out with all your exotic car friends, you probably should steer toward Domain Serene (I'm sure there are others, but I don't have an exotic car so I don't know).
If you're visiting them, you might even get to meet your favorite Blazers player.

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#65 Post by Jim Anderson » August 14th, 2019, 4:52 pm

Steve Blake came to the winery and bought a case of wine once. That was a long time ago.

Rumor has it, although no one here seems to have seen this so it's hotly debated, Neil Young was at the winery over Memorial Day Weekend. He was in Portland for a concert. I don't recall seeing him. Pretty sure I would have said something.
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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#66 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » August 14th, 2019, 5:02 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 7:28 am
P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
August 13th, 2019, 4:56 pm
Just wanted to point out if you purchase before September 9 from Vincent’s email list you are paying $35 and under. Worth checking out a fellow Berserker. [berserker.gif]
Paul or others, tell me more about Vincent’s wines. First time I’ve heard of them but I’m interested.
Chris,
I’m just getting back to this thread but you’ve received a number of good replies. Check out his SVDs.
Also, off-topic, check out his Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, especially the tardive versions that show up in the spring. He is doing good things with gamay as well. I’m ordering his red Pinot Gris on the current release and am eager to check it out since I missed his first one out last year.
Cheers,
Paul

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#67 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » August 14th, 2019, 6:21 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 10:25 am
RickieM wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:15 am
Richard T r i m p i wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 7:43 am
Vincent Fritzsche has been making Pinots in the WV for over 10 years. His wines are typically elegant with a Burg leaning. Pinots are his specialty but he makes delicious Gamay too. I haven't tried his full lineup. He's been dialing in his style and growing his operation over the past several years. Very much worth trying and still quite affordable. He's recently been making his wines at John Grochau cellars. John is also a super guy with affordable Pinots worth an effort to seek out. They might not be in the "5 best" but they're knocking on the door with great QPR that shouldn't be overlooked.

https://vincentwinecompany.com/

RT
I second what you said about Vincent. Excellent wines. He's also a Berserker Day participant, although the best deals come from being on his mailing list. His fall pre-offer is taking place right now so my suggestion is to check that out because it is well worth it. I believe I've tried his full lineup and have never been disappointed.
FWIW I'll add that I greatly enjoyed the wines I bought from Vincent the BDay before last. I would have bought more this year (or from his mailing) if I wasn't in cellar downsizing mode. I love his pinots and, when he offers them, his VT wines.

And Vincent is a great guy who was active on the old WLDG wine board 1000 years ago or so before he started the winery.
Thanks for such kind words everyone. I agree there is a lot of good input in this thread, lots of terrific producers to seek out.

Jay I particularly appreciate your referencing the past. I wouldn’t be doing this without the people I’ve met over two+ decades of internet wine geekdom. How great to have connected with so many people like you, hope to see you again soon!
Vincent - ITB

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#68 Post by Chris Seiber » August 14th, 2019, 8:02 pm

P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 5:02 pm
Chris Seiber wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 7:28 am
P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
August 13th, 2019, 4:56 pm
Just wanted to point out if you purchase before September 9 from Vincent’s email list you are paying $35 and under. Worth checking out a fellow Berserker. [berserker.gif]
Paul or others, tell me more about Vincent’s wines. First time I’ve heard of them but I’m interested.
Chris,
I’m just getting back to this thread but you’ve received a number of good replies. Check out his SVDs.
Also, off-topic, check out his Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, especially the tardive versions that show up in the spring. He is doing good things with gamay as well. I’m ordering his red Pinot Gris on the current release and am eager to check it out since I missed his first one out last year.
How would you describe the wines? Any stylistic comps?

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#69 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » August 14th, 2019, 8:54 pm

Chris,
This is the one that hooked me...
  • 2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills (11/27/2013)
    Had this last night and didn't take detailed notes. Opened and kept in cellar for about 3 hours before decanting and leaving for 90 minutes or so. Great dark ruby color. Good red fruited nose with some spice and maybe a little spruce? On the palate there is light crunchy fruit and mineral, earth, a touch of spice and some tannic structure. Reminds of a Nuits St. George in being a little backward and brawny, but having lithe body. Finish is good if mildly abrupt due to the obvious youth. Very impressive wine and a real value at $35-40. As this ages it should have a wonderful story to tell. Excellent to Outstanding.
Lately I've been drinking his appellation series. I better get back to sampling the SVDs!
Cheers,
Paul

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#70 Post by Mark Maddox » August 14th, 2019, 9:03 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:57 am
That said:

Five Whole Cluster producers to try: Every one on this list has been doing this since at least 2002, whether working at a winery or at their own winery.

Cristom-Benchmark but bigger style these days
Goodfellow-my wines, but we do a good job
Kelley Fox
Biggio-Hamina
Brick House

Five Great destemmed producers:

Patricia Green-range of sites is phenomenal
Walter Scott-don’t miss these
Belle Pente
McKinlay
Evesham Wood

Five Excellent newer producers:

Vincent
Twill
Martin Woods
Timothy Malone
Violin

Five Great Producers that should have made the above list:

Johan (love these, and don’t miss the Blaufrankisch)
Crowley
Big Table Farm
Grochau(Bjornsen Vineyard)
Jay Somers new project(as he is separated from J. Christopher now)

Five GREAT old vine Vineyards to try:

Arcus-Dundee Hills
Temperance Hill-Eola-Amity Hills
Abbey Ridge-Dundee Hills(I would say Clos Electrique but it’s not under $65)
Bethel Heights Flat Block and SE Block-Eola-Amity
The trio of Patricia Green’s estate, Whistling Ridge, and Beaux Freres(not under $65)-Ribbon Ridge

Both Jim Anderson and I make the wines from 2 of the trio in Ribbon Ridge, and we post a fair amount. There’s lots of great sites in the Willamette Valley, but between the last three there is a distinct sense of place, even in the hands of three very different wineries. That said, I am very biased towards those three vineyards.
May be my favorite post all summer. Headed to the WV in October and I will be visiting our WB brethren.

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#71 Post by Jay Miller » August 14th, 2019, 9:29 pm

Vincent Fritzsche wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 6:21 pm

Jay I particularly appreciate your referencing the past. I wouldn’t be doing this without the people I’ve met over two+ decades of internet wine geekdom. How great to have connected with so many people like you, hope to see you again soon!
As I recall you snuck into NYC this year without a word. Not that I’m bitter or anything... [swearing.gif]
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#72 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » August 14th, 2019, 10:02 pm

I’m coming back next month! Will be in touch.
Vincent - ITB

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#73 Post by Brian Glas » August 14th, 2019, 10:21 pm

Some of my favorites are

Evesham Wood/Haden Fig
St. innocent
Biggio Hamina
Belle Pente
Brick House

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#74 Post by cepotts » August 15th, 2019, 4:01 am

Roger Ouellette wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 11:49 am
Having just been out there visiting over the 4th some of these will be shipped this fall. The Shea wines were just a touch over $65 per.

Goodfellow
Franny Beck
Kelley Fox
Patricia Green
Shea Wine Cellars
Roger,

I'm curious which Franny Beck wines you liked. The blue label WV tends to be more immediately accessible, and we drink a lot of it, but the SV's are starting to really show their finesse and class - especially (to me) the La Chenaie, with Johan very close behind. I'm still waiting for Armstrong to loosen up a bit.

How was your visit? Did you get to taste with Michael or did you just stop into the tasting room?

I recently opened a bottle of the '17 rose and it has come together nicely since release. Tasted shortly after release it had a lot of tension and was aromatically attractive but also a bit puzzling. Not now. It is smelling and drinking beautifully.

Given the OP's question, I should note that none of the Franny Beck wines are over $40, and if you support him on BDay the deals are even more amazing.

We hosted Michael Sterling for a dinner tasting in Virginia in April. We provided the venue and the meal and he brought all the wines. My tasting group is still talking about it. If any of you Berserkers are interested, I know he is only too happy to come show his wines to your tasting group.

I'd like to add another vote for Violin. As a result of our visit with Michael at FB, we were introduced to Will Hamilton who makes his wines at the same coop. With little more than an introduction, the next morning we found ourselves sitting at Will's dining room table tasting his wines. (I just have to say, the hospitality experience in the Willamette Valley is second to none.) Violin wines are pure class, and it will be fun to follow him in the years ahead.

Cheers,
Craig Potts

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#75 Post by J0seph S c h e n c k » August 15th, 2019, 5:24 am

A glaring omission in this thread is Arterberry Maresh. Jim does fantastic work utilizing one of Oregon’s Grand Cru vineyards. The family has been farming here for decades.

From their Dundee hills Pinot and chard bottlings to their stellar single vineyards, Jim’s wines excel at any price point. His expression represents the vintage honestly with employing the appropriate restraint to satisfy those in the AFWE (or whatever that means) camp.

You would be remiss to not try these

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#76 Post by K John Joseph » August 15th, 2019, 7:43 am

Mark Maddox wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 9:03 pm

May be my favorite post all summer. Headed to the WV in October and I will be visiting our WB brethren.
It's just too damn bad I started another stupid "best pinots in Oregon" thread, though. What a waste, right? Nothing good came of this thread other than a ton of great suggestions and commentary, notes on styles and producers, producer inputs, and for me, a bunch of buys that I am eagerly looking forward to in November.
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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#77 Post by K John Joseph » August 15th, 2019, 7:45 am

cepotts wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 4:01 am

I'm curious which Franny Beck wines you liked. The blue label WV tends to be more immediately accessible, and we drink a lot of it, but the SV's are starting to really show their finesse and class - especially (to me) the La Chenaie, with Johan very close behind. I'm still waiting for Armstrong to loosen up a bit.
This is now the third or fourth independent post specifically talking about how good the FB La Chenaie is. For those looking out there, they are still selling the 2016 La Chenaie (which Jim Anderson raved about in a thread in April) and it's like $38 a bottle.
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#78 Post by Chris Seiber » August 15th, 2019, 10:30 am

P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:54 pm
Chris,
This is the one that hooked me...
  • 2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills (11/27/2013)
    Had this last night and didn't take detailed notes. Opened and kept in cellar for about 3 hours before decanting and leaving for 90 minutes or so. Great dark ruby color. Good red fruited nose with some spice and maybe a little spruce? On the palate there is light crunchy fruit and mineral, earth, a touch of spice and some tannic structure. Reminds of a Nuits St. George in being a little backward and brawny, but having lithe body. Finish is good if mildly abrupt due to the obvious youth. Very impressive wine and a real value at $35-40. As this ages it should have a wonderful story to tell. Excellent to Outstanding.
Lately I've been drinking his appellation series. I better get back to sampling the SVDs!
Thanks, Paul. I'm diving in with a mixed case, should be fun exploring the various wines.

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#79 Post by Peter Petersen » August 15th, 2019, 11:42 am

J0seph S c h e n c k wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 5:24 am
A glaring omission in this thread is Arterberry Maresh. Jim does fantastic work utilizing one of Oregon’s Grand Cru vineyards. The family has been farming here for decades.

From their Dundee hills Pinot and chard bottlings to their stellar single vineyards, Jim’s wines excel at any price point. His expression represents the vintage honestly with employing the appropriate restraint to satisfy those in the AFWE (or whatever that means) camp.

You would be remiss to not try these
I have only tried the various '17 Dundee Hills offerings as they are easily available locally. All of them are superb wines at their value points $27-45. Will be getting the really good stuff in fall directly from the winery.

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#80 Post by Jeff_D » August 15th, 2019, 12:06 pm

This is a really helpful thread. Has anyone tried SchoneTal and Prive?

Note: I tend to buy/drink Cameron, Goodfellow, Walter Scott, Evesham Wood and Kelley Fox. (Never tried Thomas but hope to change that going forward and may have to put that in the other thread)
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#81 Post by Sean_S » August 15th, 2019, 1:29 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 10:30 am
P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:54 pm
Chris,
This is the one that hooked me...
  • 2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills (11/27/2013)
    Had this last night and didn't take detailed notes. Opened and kept in cellar for about 3 hours before decanting and leaving for 90 minutes or so. Great dark ruby color. Good red fruited nose with some spice and maybe a little spruce? On the palate there is light crunchy fruit and mineral, earth, a touch of spice and some tannic structure. Reminds of a Nuits St. George in being a little backward and brawny, but having lithe body. Finish is good if mildly abrupt due to the obvious youth. Very impressive wine and a real value at $35-40. As this ages it should have a wonderful story to tell. Excellent to Outstanding.
Lately I've been drinking his appellation series. I better get back to sampling the SVDs!
Thanks, Paul. I'm diving in with a mixed case, should be fun exploring the various wines.

The QPR is there. Finished a 2017 Vincent Zenith last night. Just a baby but yummy.

One another note: The Vincent appellation are chards are chiseled and for acid lovers. The Tardive's aren't quite as bright.
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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#82 Post by PeterH » August 15th, 2019, 1:32 pm

K John Joseph wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 7:45 am
cepotts wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 4:01 am

I'm curious which Franny Beck wines you liked. The blue label WV tends to be more immediately accessible, and we drink a lot of it, but the SV's are starting to really show their finesse and class - especially (to me) the La Chenaie, with Johan very close behind. I'm still waiting for Armstrong to loosen up a bit.
This is now the third or fourth independent post specifically talking about how good the FB La Chenaie is. For those looking out there, they are still selling the 2016 La Chenaie (which Jim Anderson raved about in a thread in April) and it's like $38 a bottle.
I'm adding another thumbs up to the Franny Beck vineyard designate wines. I tasted them in May, and found them to be a big step up from the WV. They are right in the preferred style for this forum, tight at the moment, showing lots of promise.
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#83 Post by PeterH » August 15th, 2019, 1:36 pm

Jeff_D wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 12:06 pm
This is a really helpful thread. Has anyone tried SchoneTal and Prive?

Note: I tend to buy/drink Cameron, Goodfellow, Walter Scott, Evesham Wood and Kelley Fox. (Never tried Thomas but hope to change that going forward and may have to put that in the other thread)
I visited Prive and bought some wine a couple of years, because a friend who I was tasting with was a regular. They fall on the ripe, oaky end of the spectrum. If you like Penner-Ash, you will like Prive. They don't match the style of the other wineries you list. Try Brick House, or per my post above, Franny Beck.
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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#84 Post by Chris Seiber » August 15th, 2019, 1:46 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 10:45 am
I hate to be a curmudgeon, but I am what I am. Have you used the search function? Have you read this Board at all over the last five years?
What is the point?
You may as well ask "what are the five best PN producers in Oregon" because the few that charge more than $65/bottle aren't better.
That silly topic-who are the best PN producers in Oregon?-has been asked ten or more times in the last three years.
And guess what? There ain't no best five. There are mediocre producers but most are above that and from there it is a matter of taste and bottling.
What bothers me is that it must make the handful of top producers who participate on this board feel very uneasy each time this kind of question gets asked-they are damned if they say something and damned if they don't.
My responses would be:

(1) If no question could ever be re-asked on this board, the board would be dead within a few months.

(2) Asking people to give their best five doesn't imply there is some objective best five, it just invites people to respond with their favorites.

(3) This thread produced a lot of discussion and some discovery. I'd never even heard of Vincent Wines, and I just ordered a mixed case this morning.

(4) I'm guessing Oregon producers who participate in this board love to see threads talking up Oregon PN and exchanging ideas about producers to try. They can choose whether to post in it or not, but why wouldn't they love to see this kind of discussion?

(5) A new post on a same topic can often yield new things. Different people post in different threads, some information may have emerged or changed since the last time around, different tangential topics may sprout out. And people can always not click on it if they feel like the topic holds no new interest for them.

Anyway, just my thoughts. No problem that you may feel differently.

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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#85 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » August 15th, 2019, 2:28 pm

Rick Allen wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 4:17 pm
Good grief! How about it depends? If your tastes run more to the AFWE side of things, I like Goodfellow, Walter Scott, Brick House, PGC, Eyrie, and a host of others. If you like big, juicy, over the top Pinot, probably Shea, Ken Wright, Penner Ash, and I'm sure there's a bunch of others (I usually don't drink this style). If you are interested in the status associated with drinking great wine while hanging out with all your exotic car friends, you probably should steer toward Domain Serene (I'm sure there are others, but I don't have an exotic car so I don't know).

If you really want to learn about Pinot Noir in general and Oregon Pinot Noir more specifically, attend IPNC. Between the myriad of tastings and the dinners you'll figure it out.
...and salient to this thread-I tasted through barrels at Shea in spring of 2018 with Blair. Plenty of whole cluster, excellent fruit clarity, judicious use of wood as a whole. I was blown away. The wines were far more my style than I would have guessed, and very well done.
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#86 Post by MitchTallan » August 15th, 2019, 2:32 pm

Mr. Selber-what prompts you to weigh in here? I have never known you to participate much in Oregoncentric threads. Your statement that you have never heard of Vincent bears that out.
Wtf already! I admitted that I was being a curmudgeon. Why is Mr. Kaforne (hell if I can make out what his real name is, so much for being a real names board) up in arms over my comment?
For those of us who DO participate in Oregon pinot threads regularly, getting a "who makes the best" question simply chaffs some of us. What can I say. Call me the reincarnation of the late great Bob Wood.
And also, just wondering if I missed something, is 65 the new 50?

Rick Allen-a man with a reputation for utter civility put it best;
Good grief! How about it depends? If your tastes run more to the AFWE side of things, I like Goodfellow, Walter Scott, Brick House, PGC, Eyrie, and a host of others. If you like big, juicy, over the top Pinot, probably Shea, Ken Wright, Penner Ash, and I'm sure there's a bunch of others (I usually don't drink this style). If you are interested in the status associated with drinking great wine while hanging out with all your exotic car friends, you probably should steer toward Domain Serene (I'm sure there are others, but I don't have an exotic car so I don't know).

If you really want to learn about Pinot Noir in general and Oregon Pinot Noir more specifically, attend IPNC. Between the myriad of tastings and the dinners you'll figure it out.

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#87 Post by Jeff_D » August 15th, 2019, 2:35 pm

PeterH wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 1:36 pm
Jeff_D wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 12:06 pm
This is a really helpful thread. Has anyone tried SchoneTal and Prive?

Note: I tend to buy/drink Cameron, Goodfellow, Walter Scott, Evesham Wood and Kelley Fox. (Never tried Thomas but hope to change that going forward and may have to put that in the other thread)
I visited Prive and bought some wine a couple of years, because a friend who I was tasting with was a regular. They fall on the ripe, oaky end of the spectrum. If you like Penner-Ash, you will like Prive. They don't match the style of the other wineries you list. Try Brick House, or per my post above, Franny Beck.
Thanks Peter, great to know. The FB wines do sound interesting.
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Re: 5 Best Oregon Pinot Noir Producers under $65

#88 Post by Roger Ouellette » August 15th, 2019, 2:54 pm

cepotts wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 4:01 am
Roger Ouellette wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 11:49 am
Having just been out there visiting over the 4th some of these will be shipped this fall. The Shea wines were just a touch over $65 per.

Goodfellow
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Roger,

I'm curious which Franny Beck wines you liked. The blue label WV tends to be more immediately accessible, and we drink a lot of it, but the SV's are starting to really show their finesse and class - especially (to me) the La Chenaie, with Johan very close behind. I'm still waiting for Armstrong to loosen up a bit.

How was your visit? Did you get to taste with Michael or did you just stop into the tasting room?
Craig,
I can say that there wasn't a weak wine in the whole lineup but I really, really liked the La Chenaie followed closely by the Armstrong.

To set up an appointment I went on the Franny Beck website and hit the contact page where I sent Michael a request to taste. Michael met us at his tasting room in Amity where he opened a good number of bottles. We had a great time and I would highly recommend checking him out.

We ended up ordering a mixed case, 2 bottles each of:
Pinot Noir - 2015
White Pinot Noir - 2017
Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard 2015
Pinot Noir Johan Vineyards 2016
Pinot Noir La Chenaie Vineyard 2016
Chardonnay Bieze Vineyard 2017

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#89 Post by Paul price » August 15th, 2019, 3:13 pm

I've seen bethel heights and cristom mentioned a few times already. Both are really really good and if you plan to visit either one you might as well visit the other because they're practically right around the block from one another.

Bethel heights has a fabulous view from the tasting room too.

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#90 Post by K John Joseph » August 15th, 2019, 3:38 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 2:32 pm
Mr. Selber-what prompts you to weigh in here? I have never known you to participate much in Oregoncentric threads. Your statement that you have never heard of Vincent bears that out.
Wtf already! I admitted that I was being a curmudgeon. Why is Mr. Kaforne (hell if I can make out what his real name is, so much for being a real names board) up in arms over my comment?
For those of us who DO participate in Oregon pinot threads regularly, getting a "who makes the best" question simply chaffs some of us. What can I say. Call me the reincarnation of the late great Bob Wood.
And also, just wondering if I missed something, is 65 the new 50?

Rick Allen-a man with a reputation for utter civility put it best;
Good grief! How about it depends? If your tastes run more to the AFWE side of things, I like Goodfellow, Walter Scott, Brick House, PGC, Eyrie, and a host of others. If you like big, juicy, over the top Pinot, probably Shea, Ken Wright, Penner Ash, and I'm sure there's a bunch of others (I usually don't drink this style). If you are interested in the status associated with drinking great wine while hanging out with all your exotic car friends, you probably should steer toward Domain Serene (I'm sure there are others, but I don't have an exotic car so I don't know).

If you really want to learn about Pinot Noir in general and Oregon Pinot Noir more specifically, attend IPNC. Between the myriad of tastings and the dinners you'll figure it out.
Your "I said I was being a curmudgeon" defense is like saying "no offense but" before telling someone you think they're an idiot. Speaking of, no offense but if you don't know that a 4 is a filler for an A...you know what, never mind.

As for Rick's comment, I can't help but think that you and he did something similar, and that's get so caught up in the title that you didn't take a minute to read any of my posts. I asked what YOUR favorites are in my OP, not simply what is the objective best. Then I set some parameters.

Rick's idea "if you really want to learn about Oregon Pinot" suggestion is simply not feasible for most people. But as I've noted, I've been tasting through Oregon wine country and was into it. And I know the styles that many producers make and know many of their wines very well. But what I'd like to do is expand and learn what's new, exciting, and maybe a step or three off the beaten path.

On this forum I know that "best" or "your favorite", especially with Oregon wines, is not likely to equal "who is the best marketing."

I fired back because I thought your comment was shitty and it warranted a response. The fact that you later referenced in one of your comments the "best producers" was to ironic to let slip.
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#91 Post by K John Joseph » August 15th, 2019, 3:43 pm

As for whether $65 is the new $50, I don't know. It's my budget call, which is why I included it. It coincidentally happens to be right where Cristom's wines now fall, and was passed by Bergstrom and DDO and Beaux Freres and...
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#92 Post by PeterH » August 15th, 2019, 4:16 pm

I'll toss out another name that doesn't make my top five, but I prefer to many of the wineries listed so far.

Westry does a great job every year, is less expensive than most comparable wine, and usually makes a better Abby Ridge than Cameron. I also buy their Justice and Oracle regularly.
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#93 Post by Rick Allen » August 15th, 2019, 4:45 pm

John,
My apologies, but it's hard to recommend a producer without knowing what kinds of Pinot you like. You might hate the wines I like yet still find something in Oregon that's in your wheelhouse.

One thought is that Oregon wineries do a series of tastings in other cities called "Pinot in the City". This year they were pouring in Chicago and Boston. Perhaps they'll come to Dallas sometime soon. Another method would be to buy a few different offerings during Berserker Day, give them a try, and let us know what you think.

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#94 Post by PeterH » August 15th, 2019, 5:31 pm

What would be great is for a number of WV winemakers who participate in Berserker Day to put together a BD sampler case. I bet it would sell out quickly.
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#95 Post by Michae1 P0wers » August 15th, 2019, 6:59 pm

PeterH wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 4:16 pm
I'll toss out another name that doesn't make my top five, but I prefer to many of the wineries listed so far.

Westry does a great job every year, is less expensive than most comparable wine, and usually makes a better Abby Ridge than Cameron. I also buy their Justice and Oracle regularly.
I really like Westry wines. Haven't seen them offered as much and as a result have bought less, but this is a good recommendation.

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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#96 Post by Jim Anderson » August 15th, 2019, 7:12 pm

PeterH wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 5:31 pm
What would be great is for a number of WV winemakers who participate in Berserker Day to put together a BD sampler case. I bet it would sell out quickly.
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#97 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » August 15th, 2019, 8:12 pm

PeterH wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 5:31 pm
What would be great is for a number of WV winemakers who participate in Berserker Day to put together a BD sampler case. I bet it would sell out quickly.
I nominate Todd to coordinate and consolidate! ;)
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#98 Post by Todd Hamina » August 15th, 2019, 8:32 pm

Eat shit Marcus.
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#99 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » August 15th, 2019, 8:53 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 8:32 pm
Eat shit Marcus.
Lol...not today my friend
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Re: What 5 Oregon Producers Do You Think Are Firing On All Cylinders Over the Past Few Vintages for Under $65?

#100 Post by K John Joseph » August 16th, 2019, 7:48 am

Rick Allen wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 4:45 pm
John,
My apologies, but it's hard to recommend a producer without knowing what kinds of Pinot you like. You might hate the wines I like yet still find something in Oregon that's in your wheelhouse.

One thought is that Oregon wineries do a series of tastings in other cities called "Pinot in the City". This year they were pouring in Chicago and Boston. Perhaps they'll come to Dallas sometime soon. Another method would be to buy a few different offerings during Berserker Day, give them a try, and let us know what you think.
Rick, no doubt, but I like wines on a broad spectrum and can do my research on the producers if a bunch folks' recommendations are overlapping (like they are here). As for the Pinot in the City, I've been! I went to the Dallas one in January, 2017. It was very fun, but the tickets were a surprise from my Dad (it was around my birthday) and I didn't have a chance to do much research before we went. There were too many producers to get through (with something like 200 total wines to try), so we went to a bunch of familiar folks to try the new 14 releases and to compare 14 and 13, and then hit a few blind or that we'd heard something about. Not the way I'd typically like to do it, but fun nonetheless. I'd hit you goons up first next time, then go try out the recos.
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