2011 Thomas Winery Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills

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M.Twelftree
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2011 Thomas Winery Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills

#1 Post by M.Twelftree » January 9th, 2014, 1:42 am

https://www.brownderby.com/wineproduct.php?pf_id=16934

I don't know if there is a lotta love for these around here but thought this was a good opportunity to stock up, a 2004 a few years back was sheer brilliance

MT
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#2 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 9th, 2014, 7:08 am

Michael, there's considerable love. Glad your 2004 was excellent as some bottles are less brilliant (having tasted some very good and one not so good). A recent 2002 was one of the best Oregon Pinots I've ever tasted.

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#3 Post by Beau Carufel » January 9th, 2014, 9:37 am

Ouch at the $11 markup though. I have a few 2011's sitting in the cellar and am in no hurry to open them.
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#4 Post by KevinP » January 9th, 2014, 12:01 pm

I called Thomas last month and he immediately sent me a mailer. Tried my first 2011 last weekend. If you want the wine, I would just call the winery instead of paying markup.
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#5 Post by M.Twelftree » January 9th, 2014, 5:08 pm

Thanks
They had 21 bottles is stock yesterday and 0 in stock today..........this would suggest Mr Thomas would be best to bring the commercialisation of his business into this century with a website and online ordering
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#6 Post by Beau Carufel » January 9th, 2014, 9:23 pm

M.Twelftree wrote:Thanks
They had 21 bottles is stock yesterday and 0 in stock today..........this would suggest Mr Thomas would be best to bring the commercialisation of his business into this century with a website and online ordering
MT
Why should he? It would appear that he sells (in one way or another) every bottle he makes. Around here some folks have a borderline weird cultish devotion to his wines. They buy as much as they can, and obviously the rest goes into various distribution channels.
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#7 Post by Rick.T » January 9th, 2014, 9:49 pm

Worst case, sign up on the mailing list so you'll hopefully get to purchase some next year. If you frequent the auction sites and CC on this blog, you'll find bottles for sale if your lucky. I'm sure you'll pay a tariff but that's to be expected if you really want the wine.
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#8 Post by Greg Malcolm » January 10th, 2014, 8:11 am

M.Twelftree wrote:Thanks
..........this would suggest Mr Thomas would be best to bring the commercialisation of his business into this century with a website and online ordering.
[rofl.gif]

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#9 Post by Gordon Fitz » January 10th, 2014, 9:00 am

My allocation from John is part of the 3-4 cases of 2011 Oregon wines that I purchased. The 11 Thomas will remain in my cellar until probably 2017 or 2018 when I try the first to see how they're doing. No motivation to even read tasting notes on such a young wine from Thomas, but you baby killers have fun.

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#10 Post by greg gartland » January 10th, 2014, 9:05 am

I have 2 thomas magnums. Do fans think these are 20+ year bottles? (my son was born in 2011.)

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#11 Post by Gordon Fitz » January 11th, 2014, 10:25 am

Greg;;

Tough call. the wine will definitely have the acidity to go the distance, just not sure about the fruit. 2012's no question, but the 11s are iffy. I would hold both, pop one around 2021 and use it as a judge!

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#12 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 11th, 2014, 11:59 am

11s are iffy? Every vintage had clunkers, but Gordon, do you really want to go off half-cocked like the 2007 doubters? [scratch.gif]

Over the past month I've been plowing through multiple 2011 bottles from Cameron, J Christopher, Matello, Westrey, Evesham Wood, Brick House and Ayres...ranging from very good to outstanding.

David Schildknecht describes the vintage: "My intuition is that they are going to display exceptional stamina and that we'll relish the best of them a decade and more from now at least as much as we do today."

Greg, in Magnum (and well stored), you've got a reasonble shot at 20 years.

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#13 Post by J. Shearer » February 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Thought I'd post on this since this seems to be a fan favorite in these parts. I'm a huge fan of Eyrie, Westrey, and Cameron, and was expecting to love this Thomas quite a bit, my first experience with this wine. I came away quite a bit underwhelmed, especially considering the tariff. I understand Thomas has a solid track record with ageability, but based on the high CT marks for this young wine, I guess I just don't get it. Feel free to fire away at my yak palate.
  • 2011 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills (2/8/2014)
    Slow-ox for four hours. Sour cherries, cherry stones, and light oak on the nose. Nice acidity and impeccable balance in the mouth, but the flavors come across as slightly bitter/sour. Like blenderized cherry skins and stones. Medium finish is quite dry. Interesting, elegant, and good concentration, though not entirely delicious. (89 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
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#14 Post by rfelthoven » February 8th, 2014, 8:48 pm

I respect your stones for posting. I am holding mine and appreciate your data point. Cheers.
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#15 Post by George Chadwick » February 9th, 2014, 11:04 am

J. Shearer wrote:Thought I'd post on this since this seems to be a fan favorite in these parts. I'm a huge fan of Eyrie, Westrey, and Cameron, and was expecting to love this Thomas quite a bit, my first experience with this wine. I came away quite a bit underwhelmed, especially considering the tariff. I understand Thomas has a solid track record with ageability, but based on the high CT marks for this young wine, I guess I just don't get it. Feel free to fire away at my yak palate.
  • 2011 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills (2/8/2014)
    Slow-ox for four hours. Sour cherries, cherry stones, and light oak on the nose. Nice acidity and impeccable balance in the mouth, but the flavors come across as slightly bitter/sour. Like blenderized cherry skins and stones. Medium finish is quite dry. Interesting, elegant, and good concentration, though not entirely delicious. (89 pts.)
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Sounds about right. In ten years you'll love it.

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#16 Post by Greg Malcolm » February 9th, 2014, 1:40 pm

At this early stage, I would expect it to show better on day 2 or 3.

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#17 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 9th, 2014, 2:56 pm

Greg Malcolm wrote:At this early stage, I would expect it to show better on day 2 or 3.
As opposed to year 12 or 13? neener

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#18 Post by Brandon T. » February 9th, 2014, 3:21 pm

Not sure I would leave it open that long. ;)
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#19 Post by J. Shearer » February 9th, 2014, 9:35 pm

Greg Malcolm wrote:At this early stage, I would expect it to show better on day 2 or 3.
Fair enough, but that still doesn't explain the high scoring on CT (93-94). After thinking about this some more, I can't recall having read any of the local winemakers who are active here raving about Thomas. Am I wrong? Is there anything to this? [stirthepothal.gif]

I guess it's clear that many here are Thomas believers, which is great. I'm just wondering if there are also those who are familiar with multiple vintages of this wine, even with some age, who think something is lacking. If so, what stylistically is this failing to deliver? Especially considering this is inching towards the upper echelon of Dundee Hills Pinot Noir pricing.
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#20 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 10th, 2014, 6:49 am

Joey, John Thomas is pretty reclusive. Most Oregon winemakers are quite open and even collaborative (quality-wise). I'm not a local winemaker but their reactions to the wines range from "rolling of eyes", sometimes a hint of jealousy and some "accept" it as one of the better OR Pinots. What most experienced tasters agree on is variability. Some bottles are just plain off. Not an appreciable % but enough to be discussed. Some times you get a few fairly mediocre bottles and then find one (or more) that's a home run.

I know that Greg Malcolm, Andy Steinman, myself and a couple other Berserkers have tasted plenty of older and newer bottlings. Two experienced and doubting friends tasted examples this past year that caused them to rethink their blanket skepticism.

In terms of the pricing "inching" towards the upper echelon...the cost seems in line with a lot of the competition. We're talking about the $40 - $55 price range over the past several years. Compare that to Arterberry-Maresh, White Rose, Archery Summit, Domaine Obscene, Winderlea, Cameron and a bunch of other Dundee Hills producers, not to mention Burgundy....or Rhys and a slew of other popular Cali Pinots.

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#21 Post by Andy Steinman » February 10th, 2014, 10:38 am

I think Richard's comments above are spot on.

There can be significant variability among bottles and they may be awkward early. I find them at their best 7+ years beyond vintage but you do need to be prepared for some sub-par bottles.

JT is very much his own man - he does things hands on, by himself, his way and sometimes the results are superb.
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#22 Post by Greg Malcolm » February 10th, 2014, 1:46 pm

Andy Steinman wrote:I think Richard's comments above are spot on.
+1 (For the comments in Post #20, anyway . . .) newhere The string of '04 Thomas clunkers last August were a perfect example of negative variation, while an '02 that same evening was stunning.
J. Shearer wrote:I'm just wondering if there are also those who are familiar with multiple vintages of this wine, even with some age, who think something is lacking. If so, what stylistically is this failing to deliver?
I haven't tasted the '11; thus, I cannont comment specifically on it. However, as one comparison, the '07 had a few rough edges upon release and there were some who panned it. Yet, all the component pieces were there, just as you describe for the '11. Based on that, there was another camp of folks who felt that it had the potential to resolve and improve with age. (I know that there are tasting notes on here somewhere when Richard and I had the '07 Thomas and '07 Westrey Abbey Ridge side-by-side, about 3 years ago. I just don't have time to search, since traveling.) The point being that. on that night, the Westrey was drinking better than the Thomas; but, the thought was was that the Thomas could turn out to be the better wine in the long run. That may be the case. Time will tell. However, I do know that time in bottle has been a very good friend to the '07 Thomas. I'm glad to be sitting on several.

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#23 Post by Greg Malcolm » February 10th, 2014, 1:49 pm

Brandon T. wrote:Not sure I would leave it open that long. ;)
That was funny! [welldone.gif]

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#24 Post by MitchTallan » February 10th, 2014, 2:28 pm

I don't blame other winemakers for rolling their eyes. And I don't doubt for a minute that Mr. Shearer's note is fairly descriptive as to how the '11 tastes at the present moment. Truth is, Thomas probably DOES get undue amount of praise. Under the radar wines are fun. The fact that Thomas only appears on a few retailers shelves and otherwise sells direct is part of this. BUT, part of this, a large part of this, is that Thomas is distinctly restrained and at the same time "thought provoking". That last part-thought provoking-does not apply to all tasters. I don't claim any degree of superiority for finding it to be such. It's subjective as hell. And on top of all that, I have never seen a Thomas fan declare the wines to be some mythical 95-100 pointer. Hell, I think most Thomas fans don't do points. It's just about loving a certain wine, points be damned. I've got every vintage since '04 and don't plan to stop any time soon.

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#25 Post by Kirk.Grant » February 10th, 2014, 4:38 pm

I've only bought the wines in the 2010 & 2011 Vintage...I had a corked 2004 a few years back that could have got me hooked much sooner on his wines. I love the style and grace that's in the wines. I don't know how to describe it...but there is something there in the wine that is hard for me to pin down. I've had the 2010 twice in the last 6 months and I will be holding off on my remaining few bottles and solo magnum for several years. I can see greatness in the wines like I can with the Cameron...but for me they're more enjoyable now than the Cameron Clos Electrique (that's a bottle that I'll be VERY patient with after my last experience). I've spent the last 5-6 years trying to narrow down what wines I can't live without in my cellar and I think I've finally landed on what works well for me. In the end...there has to be a balance of wines that require patience and others that are ready to go early on.
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#26 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » February 10th, 2014, 11:10 pm

I don't blame other winemakers for rolling their eyes. And I don't doubt for a minute that Mr. Shearer's note is fairly descriptive as to how the '11 tastes at the present moment. Truth is, Thomas probably DOES get undue amount of praise. Under the radar wines are fun. The fact that Thomas only appears on a few retailers shelves and otherwise sells direct is part of this. BUT, part of this, a large part of this, is that Thomas is distinctly restrained and at the same time "thought provoking"....
+1 Perfect comment on the Thomas wines as a whole.

As a local winemaker, I actually think the world of JT's wines. I have had mind-blowing wines from Thomas, from enough vintages, that he is someone I respect highly. The TN for the 2011 Thomas is exactly what makes the 2011 vintage great. The vintage as a whole is not an obvious one. For Thomas, enough fans know that's how his wines are every year and the 2011 is nothing to worry about. The flip side is that after our 04 tasting and a few other experiences, I also know John is human and that pretty severe bottle variation is a part of the Thomas experience. My eyes roll and I get annoyed when I am stuck with someone for whom the Thomas wines are no longer "thought" provoking. If I am looking at a beautiful woman with a cleft palate and I note that she's very beautiful but has a cleft palate and the guy next to me says "what? that's not a cleft palate, that's how all the girls in Europe are"...it would annoy the crap out of me too.

Last, I love JT's wines, but I love McKinlay Special Selection just as much, it's very restrained, it's just as ageable, and it is a dynamite wine with 10 years in the bottle. Same goes for Westrey, Brickhouse, Walter Scott(all right...none of these are 10 years old yet, but they are delicious), and PGC. Not all of these wines are as restrained as Thomas, but it really seems as if because these wineries don't make people go on treasure hunts to get a bottle, that they are relegated to a tier below the magical Thomas...and I think that's BS. So I roll my eyes when people talk about Thomas, but I still buy it and cellar it.
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#27 Post by Rick.T » February 11th, 2014, 12:12 am

I am by no means an expert on OR pinot and probably only have about 8 producers represented in my cellar. The OR wine that got my attention was JT pinot, like many I am a big fan. I haven't had the opportunity to taste through numerous vintages but the few I have had were incredible and consistent so I can't attest to any bottle variations yet. But, if I do eventually drink that bottle I will think nothing less of what JT has accomplished and I'm not saying anyone who posted on this thread is. Great feedback so far! IMO, every profound winemaker will have years where they don't get it exactly right. I look to Burgundy when I think of this, sometimes you'll get bottle variation, GM and brett (I don't mind a hint) from the very best.
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Re: 2011 Thomas Winery Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills

#28 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » September 16th, 2020, 11:46 am

We had this wine last night, en Magnum, as my wife has HS friends visiting the area. I am far from an OR fanboy, despite having lived here the past seven years.

This PN is flat-out gorgeous. Lovely, elegant, understated in every way but fresh and with fruit. In this format it lasts another 10-25 years with TLC.

I loved it so much out of Zalto Burg stems I am slightly damaged goods today.
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Re: 2011 Thomas Winery Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills

#29 Post by T. Williams » September 16th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 11:46 am
We had this wine last night, en Magnum, as my wife has HS friends visiting the area. I am far from an OR fanboy, despite having lived here the past seven years.

This PN is flat-out gorgeous. Lovely, elegant, understated in every way but fresh and with fruit. In this format it lasts another 10-25 years with TLC.

I loved it so much out of Zalto Burg stems I am slightly damaged goods today.
Scorn to you for bubbling up a topic that is 6 years old. I clicked the link in the first thread thinking I could stock up on some back vintages! [oops.gif]

Sounds like a great bottle though!

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Re: 2011 Thomas Winery Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills

#30 Post by Robert R » September 16th, 2020, 1:00 pm

LOL....same
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Re: 2011 Thomas Winery Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills

#31 Post by Kirk.Grant » September 17th, 2020, 4:31 am

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 11:46 am
We had this wine last night, en Magnum, as my wife has HS friends visiting the area. I am far from an OR fanboy, despite having lived here the past seven years.

This PN is flat-out gorgeous. Lovely, elegant, understated in every way but fresh and with fruit. In this format it lasts another 10-25 years with TLC.

I loved it so much out of Zalto Burg stems I am slightly damaged goods today.
That sounds awesome!! I opened a magnum of the 2010 at my wedding last year and it was loved by all.

I think you're still holding a magnum of the 2011 for me, am I right, or am I misremembering?
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Re: 2011 Thomas Winery Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills

#32 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » September 17th, 2020, 4:43 am

I got Barbaresco for you!
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Re: 2011 Thomas Winery Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills

#33 Post by Kirk.Grant » September 17th, 2020, 5:07 am

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:
September 17th, 2020, 4:43 am
I got Barbaresco for you!
Gotcha! Thank you Sir!
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