2013 Oregon pinots (Goodfellow, Green, Art+Science, Evening Land, Cristom)

(MOSTLY) 2013 OREGON PINOTS - Chicago, IL (5/3/2016)

Cantonese roast duck and pinot is always a good combination.

  • 2012 Hamacher Chardonnay Cuvée Forêts Diverses - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    This is a really convincing example of new world chardonnay. There’s quite a bit of brightness to it, with some nice sweet apples and pears. On top of that, there’s a slight tinge of green herbs, which is perhaps something I might get more in a Teutonic grape rather than chardonnay, but it certainly adds quite a bit of interest. At the $35 price point, I certainly don’t think that this is expensive. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    #03-14, 7.5% abv. Bottled under screwcap. The nose shows some funky reduction at first (I swear, it’s not Gilman writing this), but that blows off in no time, revealing a very attractive core of sweet fruit. Not too complex, the really nice thing about this bottle is its balance. Given the really tough vintage, I’d have expected an acid knife, but that this certainly was not. Quite rounded with a fair bit of sweetness to round it out. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir Durant Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    These days, I’m not much of an enthusiast for those super light and airy wines fermented like they were gamay. This is slightly in that style, as the two Goodfellow wines tonight were the lightest, but there’s actually a lot of compelling stuffing in this bottle. There’s a touch of volatile acidity on the nose, as well as heaps of super crunchy red fruit. The tannins on the palate are a bit coarse at the moment. There’s a nice tone of minerality here as well, which I think is brought out by the lighter tones and wispy acids. While absolutely delicious now, I’d be quite curious to see how a wine made in this style ages. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    This was completely outdone by the far more complex Durant next to it. It’s clear however that these wines are related in that they have much of the same crunchy red fruit, touch of volatile acidity, and tannic feel. For the price, this is a great price, but I would easily choose to spend the extra for the Durant, which is a much more convincing example of pinot noir. I feel like this is the sort of red wine that you ought to chill down a little bit and quaff with some salmon in the summer. (85 pts.)
  • 2013 Art + Science Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
    This is probably the darkest of the wines tonight. There’s a heavy overtone of spice and sweeter black fruit, though the palate density is lighter than what the flavours would suggest. Kind of interesting in that way. A relatively meaty and weighty example, this finishes with just a touch of heat which detracts from an otherwise good, if large-scaled wine. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Cristom Pinot Noir Mt. Jefferson Cuvée - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    This was perhaps the most average of the wines tonight, in that there was nothing particularly striking about it. It had all the requisite elements but there was nothing that stood out in particular. Take care to note that that’s not saying that this was a bad wine, just that it was a very good example of the Oregon pinot noir archetype for me: crunchy tart red berries with a touch of minerality (I always get more mineral than earth or dirt from Oregon wines). This does have a touch of astringency on the back end, though I’m not sure if that’s the stems or just young tannins. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Estate Etzel Block - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
    This was super spritzy when I first opened it, but a quadruple decant helped take care of that. For me, this was the wine of the night, edging out the Goodfellow Durant by a little. This just took the palate complexity to a whole other level: much more multilayered, with a nice composition of red and black fruits. I picked up a nice touch of vegetal character here, which I’m going to chalk up to some whole cluster being included. The tannins are a bit bracing right now, but that’s not surprising given this wine’s age. (90 pts.)
  • 2013 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir Seven Springs Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
    This is the earthiest of the wines we opened tonight, which I really liked. You get a good dose of dirt on the nose, but without the mushroomy quality you might find in Burgundy. I found the palate a bit weaker than the nose though, with fruit that didn’t seem quite integrated properly, followed by some orange peel notes that I hadn’t encountered since a 2013 Californian pinot noir tasting at the beginning of the year. A fairly solid bottle of pinot, though at the end of the day, there’s not much here to really excite me. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Dundee Hills - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    I found this really muted, with some unpleasant vegetal characteristics, and not much fruit at all on the palate. Somewhat unintegrated too, with the disparate fruit elements just not really coming together with the acidity and tannins. Not a big fan of this bottle, which just seemed really clunky to me. (83 pts.)

I have loved the Etzel Block for many, many years. I was really bummed to see that it’s now only available to the wine club. 2013 was most likely the last vintage for me unless I can find it elsewhere…Etzel Block is second in my cellar only to Thomas. It becomes magical with 10+ years in the bottle. Pick a few up and forget them in the cellar. You’ll be more than happy. Etzel Block is one of the best wines in the PG stable. It does make sense they’d want people to invest in other wines of theirs to get it.

A couple of things. The Estate Vineyard, Etzel Block is an homage to Mike Etzel next door. This section slopes to the northwest and looks right into Beaux aftershocks Vineyard. The 2013 combines Dijon 114 done with 50% whole clusters and Pommard completely de-stemmed.

The wine club was a necessary function to better deal with sales issues that wineries with tight productions on certain things run into. It, however, is not necessarily the lock box it is proclaimed to be. I seem to be able to still assert some level of influence around there sometimes. Let me KG and we can work it out. Alternately you could tell them the only wine you want for club shipments is the Etzel Block. That works too I believe.

I agree completely except for one little thing-personally, I joined the wine club. I asked for a slight change in the line-up last shipment and Margaret said “no problem”. I love Margaret.

I’ll try to add some additional notes later, but a few random takeaways.

All in all, it was a nice collection of wines, but they showed very primary, with the PG Etzel having the most complexity at this early stage. Most of these wines would not be confused with California Pinots of the same vintage, with perhaps the exception of the Art + Science (I had a bottle of this previously and thought it could have been mistaken for an Anderson Valley PN, perhaps less so last night) and the Evening Land.

The color of the Goodfellow Pinots was extremely light; Adrian joked that it was lighter than a SQN rosé (come to think of it, I don’t think he was joking). I brought the Goodfellows and though I opened them about 7 hours before serving, they could have used additional aeration because there’s a crazy amount of structure to these wines, especially the Durant.

One very weird note…Rich Anaconanda called out the Cristom as having Vosne-type spice on the nose. My glass and Adrian’s glass had a significantly more reticent nose, even after vigorous swirling. It was kind of wild, to have two glasses side by side – same wine, same stemware, poured mere seconds apart – that had such profoundly different bouquets.

As always, it was a fun night at Sun Wah. A special shoutout to Nick, our visitor from Ohio, for taking the time to join us.

FWIW, with young wines I think extended aeration can make the tannin seem more prominent.



I poured a bit off just after noon, in order to increase the headspace in the bottle (I was at work and could not decant). The small pours seemed very closed on pop and pour, but if Marcus sees this thread and chips in, I’ll defer to his experience.

There was a small amount remaining that I plan to sample tonight in the name of science.

There are others on this board with more experience with Marcus’ wines, but after drinking the Pinots for a few years I’ve realized they need LOTS of time to really strut their stuff or as Rich Trimpi noted in another thread LOTS of aeration (as in days).

For Durant, I’ve found they can be very nice shortly after release. Otherwise, I’ll wait at least 4-5 years.

For Whistling Ridge, I’ll wait at least 6 years. I recently acquired an 07 and 09, and will likely crack one later this year to get a better feel on the aging curve.

For Bishop Creek, similar to Durant.

As for the Arterberry Maresh, IIRC Jim Maresh wasn’t as crazy about his '13s vis-a-vis '12 and '14. Definitely seek out other vintages and especially the Maresh Vineyard bottling. I’ve yet to have a less than stellar bottle from that vineyard. I thought the Kelley Fox Maresh bottling from '13 was dynamite.

Nice comparison lineup, thanks for the well-done notes. Haven’t had the Art + Science, and it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea, despite being a fan of many other expressions of Armstrong Vineyard.

Yes, hands off Goodfellow for a while is the ticket, if you haven’t got that message yet…