2006 EIEIO PN - Meredith Mitchell Vineyard

A very lovely and restrained pinot given the the vintage and the vineyard. Jay MacDonald did a fabulous job to keep everything in balance and to produce this beauty with aromas and flavors of red cherry, red raspberry, tobacco leaf, spicebox, and red flowers. There is adequate acidity to allow this one to sit for a while and gain some more complexity.

interesting, DJ. The '06 Ken Wright MM hardly looks, smells, or tastes like Pinot. This sounds like a better effort.


In speaking to the winemaker, he said that he struggled for years to get the tannins and extract in line. The vineyard is on shallow soil over basalt and yields small berries in small clusters. Compound that with the additional fact that the vineyard is situated near the mouth of the Van Duzer corridor and get all of those afternoon winds off of the Pacific, and end up with thicker skins, etc. So you end up with an extremely low juice to skin ratio, and you can see how you might end up with something more resembling Syrah than Pinot if you don’t aggressively manage the extract level.

Interesting info, DJ. That certainly explains how a table of experienced tasters thought a bagged bottle of the '06 Ken Wright MM was a Syrah or GSM … and that was AFTER I told them it was a Pinot — they thought I was lying!! After tasting it myself, I couldn’t blame 'em.

DJ - thanks for all of the great Oregon notes you’ve been posting.

Jay is a buddy of mine and I helped him bottle some magnums one day last Fall. We also tasted through barrels of - geez, must be 08’s - and there was a barrel of Meredith Mitchell that absolutely rocked. He gave me a mag, but was otherwise planning for it to go into one of the blends. But I was all but begging him to bottle it as a single-barrel release. You won’t be surprised that he said he’d only do it if I bought the 25 cases. I said I’d only buy one, but at any price he chose and gave him some wacky gold-plated pig label ideas and encouraged a crazy-high price, but no dice. Phenomenal wine. I’ve e-mailed him for clarification as to exactly what the barrel was. But it was definitely Meredith Mitchell.

And to complete the thought, Jay got back to me…

2008 Meredith-Mitchell. ‘Barrel 3’ - which is kind of arbitrary but how it was identified on the line. And DTB - direct to bottle, good old fashioned siphoning - no SO2.