Briceland Vineyards • Humboldt Wines Since 1985

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Andrew Morris
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Briceland Vineyards • Humboldt Wines Since 1985

#1 Post by Andrew Morris » March 19th, 2013, 5:00 pm

Briceland Vineyards is best known for Single Vineyard Humboldt Pinot Noirs, which are made from tiny vineyards established with help from Joe Collins, Briceland's Founding Winemaker dating back to the early 1980's. Their extensive list of small batch wines now includes twelve reds, six whites and a rosé. While over 75% of the production is sourced from tiny hillside vineyards in Southern and Northern Humboldt, they still produce a few wines from Mendocino and one from Lake county.

Founders Joe Collins and Maggie Carey are widely credited with establishing commercial production from Humboldt grown grapes. They started recording weather data and planted an experimental vineyard in 1977. This early research showed that Southern Humboldt is solidly in Zone 1, making certain micro climates ideal for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The experimental vineyard also showed that Sauvignon Blanc did very well.

Over the years, numerous vineyards have been planted both in Southern and Northern Humboldt. Briceland still relies heavily on the original Southern Humboldt Vineyards plus one outstanding North Eastern Humboldt vineyard known as Ishi Pishi Ranch.

Winemaker Andrew Morris is Humboldt's first second generation winemaker and the son and step son of founders Maggie Carey and Joe Collins. He learned winemaking by interning with Joe Collins at the winery for several years prior to taking over the winemaking duties. His undergraduate studies were at UCSB and UCD. He currently runs and owns the winery with his wife Rosie.

Total production averages around 2000 cases per year.

To learn more about Humboldt County wine, there is an article on Appellation America that offers some background: http://www.appellationamerica.com/wine- ... rroir.html

Multiple reviews can be found at on Prince of Pinot here: http://www.princeofpinot.com/winery/366/

Our Cellar Tracker notes can be seen here: https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... 34dbb9503c
Last edited by Andrew Morris on January 31st, 2017, 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Briceland Vineyards • Humboldt Wines Since 1985

#2 Post by Andrew Morris » March 28th, 2013, 1:53 pm

If you are here and want to know more about wine in Humboldt, here is an article http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine ... rroir.html that Appellation America published last year. Written by Clark Smith.

I have previously posted it. It does give some background on our area.
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Big Shake-Up at the PinotFile

#3 Post by Andrew Morris » April 1st, 2013, 8:00 am

Rusty Gaffney, the Prince of Pinot, widely regarded as the most powerful Pinot Noir wine critic, announced today that he has sold his 11-year-old newsletter, the PinotFile, to a group of French investors, Bureau des Audacieux le Fruit Expédient des Vins de Bourgogne for $15 million. The Burgundians, threatened by the current high quality and popularity of California and Oregon Pinot Noir, realize they are fast losing market share to gregarious and immediately gratifying Pinot Noir. Alarmed by the many laudatory reviews of North American Pinot Noir in the PinotFile, the buyers hope to downgrade that hype and limit the visibility of the Pinot Geek. The name, PinotFile, will be changed to PinotQueue.
More... http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/1349/
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Bordeaux Owner Fined for Illegal Carbon Addition

#4 Post by Andrew Morris » April 2nd, 2013, 7:51 am

The owner of an estate in Lussac Saint Emilion has been fined €5,000, with a further €5,000 suspended, for adding oenological carbon to his finished wine.
More... http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/ ... -of-carbon

This is about treating wine for Brett taint before it is bulked out.

Questions:

Should this be illegal?

How often does this happen in the EU where people violate a wine rule and get caught?

Does anyone know of examples of this in the US?
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Appellation America to Remove Pay Wall- Free Unlimited Access Starts June 1

#5 Post by Andrew Morris » May 25th, 2013, 7:57 am

I do like the mission of the site: To: "...celebrate the diversity in wine that arises from each distinctive wine growing area — or appellation ... to identify the defining characteristics of North America's appellations."

http://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=ge ... aid=116981

Will this make the site more useful to drinkers and wineries?
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95 Points? Who cares?

#6 Post by Andrew Morris » July 23rd, 2013, 3:07 am

Rusty Gaffney of Prince of Pinot.com has started bestowing points to wines, along with his reviews, Pinot Geek, and Value symbol just in time for our recent submissions.

It appears that he liked the 3 2011 Pinots very well, giving them 91, 92, and 95 points.

Here is the story: http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/1392/

He also reviewed some whites: . http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/1393/

If any one sees this, let me know.

Btw, I have a decent amount of the Arneis and Chards, but the Pinots are almost gone in the time since the wines were submitted.
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Winemaker Dinner @ Benbow Inn - April 11 - Briceland Vineyards

#7 Post by Andrew Morris » April 7th, 2014, 11:28 pm

I know it is late notice, but I just got word from my contacts at the http://www.benbowinn.com/ that there are spaces still available in our dinner on Friday.

Here is the Menu:
Winemaker Dinner Menu Friday April 11, 2014 7:00 Pm
Humboldt Bay Kumamoto Oysters on the Half Shell
Asian Pear Champagne Mignonette
Humboldt Brut Sparkling NV
Shellfish & Fennel Mélange
Lobster Sauce,
Arneis, Spirit Canyon Vineyard Mendocino, 2012
Prosciutto & Sage Wrapped Quail
Duck Fat Poached Fingerling Potatoes, Grilled Fiddle Head Fern
Pinot Noir, Humboldt, Ronda’s Vineyard, 2012
Humboldt Grass Fed New York Steak
Water Cress, Truffle Emulsion and California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zinfandel, Mendocino, , 2012
Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cheese Cake
Macerated Raspberries, White Chocolate Chantilly Cream and Toasted Almonds
Sparking Brut Rose, Humboldt, NV

If I know you are coming, I will bring along some other special stuff to share as well.

I think dinner is $125 per person, all inclusive. They are offering the first night stay at just $88, and $50 off any additional nights at the in. It is 3.5-4 hrs from the Bay Area. 200 miles.

I know, I should have given you more notice.

The $88 deal is to celebrate 88 years in business at the Inn. I think it applies to week nights in April. Regardless, if anyone wants to take a drive, I will be more than happy to show your around a bit and taste if you can't make it this weekend, but want to come up.
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Winemaker Dinner @ Benbow Inn - April 11 - Briceland Vineyards

#8 Post by Corey N. » April 9th, 2014, 7:45 am

That sounds yummy Andrew, I wish that I were on the left coast to join the fun. The Ronda's/quail pairing sounds fantastic!

Good luck at the event.
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More Prince of Pinot Reviews: 94 Blah, Blah, Blah...

#9 Post by Andrew Morris » January 25th, 2016, 9:25 pm

I know real Berserkers don't give a lot of weight to critics or writers, but it is still nice when people who taste a lot of wine write something nice about yours. Rusty G. of Prince of Pinot does that for Briceland Vineyards and our Humboldt Pinot Noirs here http://princeofpinot.com/article/1771/. 94, 92, 90 for 13 Alderpoint, 12 Reserve & 13 Ronda's respectively, in case you don't want to click.
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More Prince of Pinot Reviews: 94 Blah, Blah, Blah...

#10 Post by Joe Webb » January 27th, 2016, 10:37 am

Congrats!
Drink to remember not to forget!
ITB- Proprietor & Winemaker Foursight Wines, GM Londer Vineyards (RIP 2001-2013)

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More Prince of Pinot Reviews: 94 Blah, Blah, Blah...

#11 Post by Andrew Morris » January 27th, 2016, 10:48 am

Joe Webb wrote:Congrats!
Thanks Joe. We really should get together and have some wine together one of these days.

I don't know how much the reviews help with BDay sales. I think other Berserkers carry more weight. We'll see later today when our offer goes live. [cheers.gif]

It definitely helps with our other sales and it is nice to have a guy who drinks as much PN as Rusty does say nice things about the wine and the winery.
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More Prince of Pinot Reviews: 94 Blah, Blah, Blah...

#12 Post by Corey N. » January 27th, 2016, 11:15 am

I like Rusty's reviews because he always seems very passionate about the grape.

I've had all these wines and have enjoyed them, especially the 12 Reserve and the 13 Ronda's. For my tastes, I'm convinced that Ronda's is the best vineyard for Pinot in Humboldt County. Where do the grapes in the Reserve come from?
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More Prince of Pinot Reviews: 94 Blah, Blah, Blah...

#13 Post by Andrew Morris » January 27th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Corey N. wrote:I like Rusty's reviews because he always seems very passionate about the grape.

I've had all these wines and have enjoyed them, especially the 12 Reserve and the 13 Ronda's. For my tastes, I'm convinced that Ronda's is the best vineyard for Pinot in Humboldt County. Where do the grapes in the Reserve come from?
Hi Corey.

The bulk of the Reserve is made up of Phelps. It typically has the best tannic structure. The balance is from Ronda's and some from Elk Prairie which recently has gone into our non- SVD Humboldt. It is really fun to play with the blend to get just the right amount of structure, fruit and floral aspects. Then, it is even more interesting to see how the wine builds structure with extended time in barrel.
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Rosé of Pinot with PN labels - Special Offer - 4.5 Cases while they last... Briceland

#14 Post by Andrew Morris » February 23rd, 2016, 10:29 am

Winery Retail is $20.

1/2 Case shipped is $95
Full Case shipped is $175

I normally label these NV Rosé of Pinot Noir. I ran out of those and finished the run with NV Humboldt Pinot Noir labels. This is in a clear bottle, so you won't mistake it for a red wine.

Email me, including your phone number, to order: andrew@bricelandvineyards.com
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Rosé of Pinot with PN labels - Special Offer - 4.5 Cases while they last... Briceland

#15 Post by Corey N. » February 23rd, 2016, 10:52 am

The wines are delicious and this is a rocking deal.
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Rosé of Pinot with PN labels - Special Offer - 4.5 Cases while they last... Briceland

#16 Post by Andrew Morris » February 25th, 2016, 6:01 pm

Sorry. It is gone. I should have posted this earlier.
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Blog Post - Briceland's 30th Vintage

#17 Post by Andrew Morris » May 22nd, 2016, 2:34 pm

Humboldt Made, our local producers group has asked me to write for the blog.

http://www.humboldtmade.com/love-humbol ... nic-growth

I am interested in any feedback from people who want to comment on how I can improve my writing for this purpose.
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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#18 Post by Andrew Morris » January 25th, 2017, 1:14 pm

Some of you clearly know Briceland Vineyards. For those of you who have not yet heard the story or sampled the wines, please allow me to introduce myself and the winery that I run with my wife in Humboldt County. I am a second generation winemaker, having apprenticed with my stepfather, Joe Collins. Joe is widely credited with establishing commercial production in Southern Humboldt County based on his work dating back to the ’70’s and has been key to the development of wine production in the broader region.

To check our our offers, go here: http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 9#p2185319

We are best known for wines made from some of the original Southern Humboldt Pinot Noir Vineyards which Joe helped to establish from the early 80’s to early 90’s. One of those wines was Prince of Pinot’s highest rated CA Pinot under $36 for 2016: 2013 Alderpoint Vineyard Humboldt Pinot Noir. He rated it 94 points and listed it on his CA All American Pinot Noirs and his CA All American Value Priced Lists.

Our small batch wines (usually between 75 and 150 cases) are site driven and aim to reveal differences between vineyards. We make restrained wines that are lightly oaked, have moderate to low alcohol and relatively high acidity. The focus of our winemaking is to showcase the unique terroir of each of our vineyards.

Humboldt County is about halfway between Sonoma County and the Oregon border. In some ways, the growing conditions of our region have more in common with southern Oregon than most of the other wine producing regions of California. While most of our fruit comes from Humboldt County, we also work with fruit from neighboring Mendocino County, which is directly south of us. Some recent tasting notes and a comparison of our Humboldt vs Mendocino batches by Isaac James Baker of Terroirist is here: http://www.terroirist.com/2016/11/wine ... st-coast/

More recently, we have started producing a wider range of Humboldt grown wines since we established our relationship with Ishi Pishi Ranch near Orleans in NE Humboldt. Syrah, Zinfandel and a range of other varieties are expertly farmed at that site.

Please check out what we have to offer on Jan. 27. It is our pleasure to offer our wines to you Berserkers!

More background below…

Briceland Vineyards has been producing wine in Southern Humboldt County since 1985. Joe Collins, my step-father who started the winery with my mother Maggie, started researching the viability of planting grapes in our area with a small experimental vineyard in the late 70’s and he is widely credited with establishing commercial wine-growing in our area.

Maggie & Joe built the winery up slowly over 20+ years, gradually increasing production as more local vineyards came online. About 75% of our production is from Humboldt County grapes, almost all of which are farmed organically in tiny hillside vineyards. The remaining 25% is from Mendocino and Lake Counties. We take pride in supporting our local community and our community has supported us as well -- over 90% of our wine sells within 75 miles of the winery without the aid of brokers or distributors.

Briceland Vineyards has long been a proponent of organic farming. Most of the grapes used to make the wines offered above have been farmed organically. Some of the vineyards that we work with are so small that they no longer maintain the certification, but they continue to farm organically. If you’d like details on this, let me know.
__

I haven’t sent our wines to many reviewers because we tend to keep supply and demand in balance as it stands. The best place to read reviews in on our reviews is on PrinceofPinot.com. I am pleased that we have had wines on the All American Lists each of the last 6 years. All our wines that the Prince has reviewed can be found here: http://www.princeofpinot.com/winery_owner/366/ In 2016 he reviewed five of our Pinot Noirs and the scores ranged from 89 to 94. The 94 was for our 2013 Alderpoint Vineyard Humboldt which was on both his CA All American List and his CA All American Value Priced List. It was his top scoring CA Pinot under $36.

You can see our Cellar Tracker Reviews here: https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... 34ec7d6080

Our wines have been well received by Berserkers. It is a lot to sort through, but here is a search: http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/sea ... mit=Search


If you’re interested in learning more about Humboldt County terroir: http://wine.appellationamerica.com/wine ... rroir.html
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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#19 Post by paultgilmore » January 25th, 2017, 5:40 pm

Andrew makes beautifully balanced,crisp, clean PNs. At least those are my favorites. If you haven't tried them, you should.

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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#20 Post by Mike Evans » January 25th, 2017, 7:21 pm

I gave Briceland a shot at my first BD (BD V), and it has become a regular purchase for me in increasing quantities. I've had a lot of fun pouring them blind for sommelier and other ITB friends. No one seems to be able to ID Mendocino Arneis, or Humboldt County Pinot or Cabernet in blind tastings, but they seem to be consistently impressed. Fans of wines with balance and zing should check them out.

The most recent was a 2011 Briceland Pinot Noir Reserve, included in a blind tasting of Pinot Noir from the US and Europe. Tied for #2 on my chart with a 2009 Pascal Marchand Mazy-Chambertin and ahead of some other highly pedigreed wines such as another bottle of the same 2009 Marchand, 2007 Groffier Clos de Beze, 2010 Bart Bonnes Mares, 2006 Follin-Arbelet Romanee-St.-Vivant, and 2010 Faiveley Clos des Cortons, even though all were completely blind to me.

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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#21 Post by mmarcellus » January 25th, 2017, 7:23 pm

paultgilmore wrote:Andrew makes beautifully balanced,crisp, clean PNs. At least those are my favorites. If you haven't tried them, you should.
+1

There's another thread on WB right now that's speculating as to what the next big wine region in CA might be. A lot of people are mentioning Humboldt, and based on the wines I've tried from Andrew that is spot on. For me, his wines eliminate the extreme aspects found in many CA wines, while keeping all that is good about CA. They have full, attractive fruit flavors, but are restrained, balanced, and not over the top. The zinfandel in particular is a revelation, and a unique expression of that grape. They are also not widely distributed, so Berserkerday is a great opportunity to give them a try.
M @ r k

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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#22 Post by John V » January 25th, 2017, 7:42 pm

mmarcellus wrote:
paultgilmore wrote:Andrew makes beautifully balanced,crisp, clean PNs. At least those are my favorites. If you haven't tried them, you should.
+1

There's another thread on WB right now that's speculating as to what the next big wine region in CA might be. A lot of people are mentioning Humboldt, and based on the wines I've tried from Andrew that is spot on. For me, his wines eliminate the extreme aspects found in many CA wines, while keeping all that is good about CA. They have full, attractive fruit flavors, but are restrained, balanced, and not over the top. The zinfandel in particular is a revelation, and a unique expression of that grape. They are also not widely distributed, so Berserkerday is a great opportunity to give them a try.
Another +1

Picked up a 6 pack of Briceland SVD Pinots last year and they were all excellent. These Humboldt pinots are unique and definitely worth seeking out!

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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#23 Post by Jeremy C » January 25th, 2017, 9:18 pm

I have no problem recommending this producer. For CA standards, definitely leans AFWE. Very nice acidity for the pinots. Tremendous QPR.

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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#24 Post by Andrew Morris » January 26th, 2017, 7:50 am

Mike Evans wrote:I gave Briceland a shot at my first BD (BD V), and it has become a regular purchase for me in increasing quantities. I've had a lot of fun pouring them blind for sommelier and other ITB friends. No one seems to be able to ID Mendocino Arneis, or Humboldt County Pinot or Cabernet in blind tastings, but they seem to be consistently impressed. Fans of wines with balance and zing should check them out.

The most recent was a 2011 Briceland Pinot Noir Reserve, included in a blind tasting of Pinot Noir from the US and Europe. Tied for #2 on my chart with a 2009 Pascal Marchand Mazy-Chambertin and ahead of some other highly pedigreed wines such as another bottle of the same 2009 Marchand, 2007 Groffier Clos de Beze, 2010 Bart Bonnes Mares, 2006 Follin-Arbelet Romanee-St.-Vivant, and 2010 Faiveley Clos des Cortons, even though all were completely blind to me.
Firstly, thanks guys, for your kind words and for taking the time to post.

Secondly, man. I need to get to Atlanta to party with Mike & Friends!
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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#25 Post by Dan F » January 26th, 2017, 7:58 am

I bought a mixed 6 of pinots last year on Berserker day (my introduction to Briceland). I drank a Ronda's recently which I really enjoyed - some earth with red fruit. Someone posted a note comparing one of the Zinfandels to a hypothetical Loire style of zin - so this year I am looking forward to trying out the zins (and more Pinot!)
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Oldie re-INTRODCTION Briceland Vineyards 30 years in Humboldt

#26 Post by Corey N. » January 26th, 2017, 8:23 am

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this comment, but...

Has anyone else noticed that a heavy dose of florals is a signature of the Briceland wines even across varieties? I really enjoy finding that floral note.
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Briceland Vineyards • Humboldt Wines Since 1985

#27 Post by Adam G » January 26th, 2017, 10:52 pm

Big fan of Andrew's work at Briceland. The Pinots are delicious and I especially enjoy the Humboldt Zinfandel. It's rather different from most CA Zins, which is why I like it so much! But with confidence!
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