Best Oregon PN Producers report

There has been an interesting thread on the Parker board answering the question “Who are the top 5 PN producers in Oregon?” Most people followed the rule, some had less than 5 and some more. Some ranked them, many didn’t. There were 355 votes for 66 wineries. I ignored the top 5 rule and just included all the votes. There were about 70 responses. I am not suggesting this is anything definitive but there are some knowledgeable and passion folks there just like here. So FWIW…" onclick=";return false;

Tier 1 with 20% or more of the voters:
Thomas 27 38%
St. Innocent 21 30%
Shea 17 24%
Beaux Freres 16 23%
Cameron 16 23%
Antica Terra 15 21%
Patricia Green 15 21%
Cristom 14 20%

Tier 2 with 10 to 19%
Evesham Wood 13 18%
Soter 12 17%
Belle Pente 11 15%
Ken Wright 11 15%
Brick House 10 14%
Argyle 9 13%
Dom Drouhin 9 13%
Bergstrom 8 11%
Eyrie 8 11%
Sineann 8 11%
Dom Serene 7 10%
Le Cadeau 7 10%

Tier 3 with 5 to 9%
Scott Paul 6 8%
Ayoub 5 7%
Lemelson 5 7%
Prive 5 7%
Archery Sum 4 6%
Bethel Heights 4 6%
Crowley 4 6%
Owen Roe 4 6%
Westrey 4 6%

33 wineries got 1 to 3 votes.

Reactions, surprises?

Me, I’ve only had one Antica Terra and it was good but I’m thinking AT might have gotten some votes because Maggie Harrison is hot, hot, hot.

Run the same poll here - I bet you don’t get Beaux Freres on the top 10.

I don’t know very many of those, but I’ve been far more impressed with Belle Pente than any other OR wines I’ve had

Interesting analysis. Except for a few wineries, I think this better represents the best of the broadly distributed. Thomas is on top because its probably the only true “cult” pinot in Oregon. Shea is rated highly because it’s a name that is on a lot of labels. The wineries in Tier I that looked really good IMO were Cameron and Antica Terra, because their distribution is very spotty out of state and their production is tiny. Domaine Serene, Argyle, Archery Summit, and Domaine Drouhin did worse than I would have expected given their broad distribution, large production, and good scores from critics. Kind of an anti-oak vote I think. neener

The name that I think is missing (and I missed it myself when I responded - just forgot about them) is Broadley. Their wines are terrific - their 2002 Salud! Cuvee (Claudia’s Choice barrel select) is on my top 5 all time list for Oregon Pinot. I don’t think they get visited as often because of their location further south in the Willamette Valley, so the out of staters don’t know the name. Another name missing is Seven of Hearts. I haven’t had a bad wine from that winery.

I’ve really liked Seven of Hearts too. But their production is miniscule (several of their SVDs are what… 50 cases, and even their entry level blends top out at a whopping 400 cases or so), so it’s not surprising that they are flying under the radar of a poll like this.

Hey, more for us that way… [cheers.gif]

Todd, do you think the question is better or perhaps a poll? I could just change the thread title and ask folks to list their top 5 here. Belle Pente is definitely in my top 5.

Rick, Broadley got 2 votes (rest of the votes below). I’ve only had 1 Broadley but I loved it. Here’s what I wrote from my Sept trip:

“Broadley Shea Vyd Yamhill 2007 – This was my favorite of the night and one of top 07s of the trip. A wonderful nose of spice, tart fruit, smoke and a little earth was followed by a medium weight wine of great definition and clarity. On the palate, spicy, earthy, fairly rich, medium bodied with a bit of tannin. I expect this to be a treat for several years. Solid A, maybe 92 points”

I think Serene might have lost a few votes for being a**holes. My SO is pretty pissed because her favorite, Torii Mor, didn’t get a single vote!

Overall I thought the list is pretty good based on my limited experience, plus I have some new wineries to try!

Auteur 3 4%
Chehalem 3 4%
DePonte Cellars 3 4%
J.K. Carriere 3 4%
Patton Valley 3 4%
Penner-Ash 3 4%
Winderlea 3 4%
Arterberry Maresh 2 3%
Ayres 2 3%
Boedecker 2 3%
Broadley 2 3%
Elk Cove 2 3%
Johan 2 3%
Matello 2 3%
Ponzi 2 3%
Willakenzie 2 3%
ADEA 1 1%
Adelsheim 1 1%
Anne Amie 1 1%
Bryce Vineyard 1 1%
Calicaro Wine 1 1%
Dave Ball 1 1%
Dobbes 1 1%
Dominio IV 1 1%
Dusky Goose 1 1%
Eminent Domaine 1 1%
Evening Land 1 1%
Hamacher 1 1%
Panther Creek 1 1%
Raptor Ridge 1 1%
Retour 1 1%
Ribbon Ridge Winery 1 1%
Robert Brittan 1 1%
Stangeland 1 1%
Stoller 1 1%
Tyson Crowley 1 1%
White Rose 1 1%

I don’t know Prive or Crowley, but I have had at least 1 bottle from every other producer. i think they all make high quality wine, so no i’m not surprised.

Obviously there is a wide style mix across all the tiers, so this aggregated list may not be of value except to folks still looking to sample across a wide range of styles. So yes, therefore top to bottom should be spread by distribution, branding/familiarity - except clearly skewed because it is coming from a geek wine board, not the general market.

But if you have identified a style, or perhaps a ‘weight’ of OR pinot you prefer I don’t think the aggregation helps. Better to look at the individual top fives and see other new wines that are included on lists that include a producer you like.

Decide on the list, then do a poll.

Add that Byron is just now beginning to release his second vintage.

I almost always buy wines based on the `hottie’ factor of the winemaker, Chris… so thanx for bringing AT to my attention…

+1 Broadley
Also like Coleman, not on either list, although not all vintages are equally good. Really like the 2004.

I put my two cents in. I would add that having tasted some older 10+ year old duck juice in the last year has been an eye opening experience. I’m loving how well many of these wines have aged especially from 99’ and 98’. “The answer” to that question is coming in with abandon imho. Oregon Pinot ages very very well.

It is most certainly better than a cute animal mascot or an insulting/disgusting name!

Does that Panther Piss have bits of real panther?

I think it is most interesting to see how some wineries have fallen.

The top group didn’t surprise me a whole lot. I think Shea offers some fabulous wines - IMHO it is more than just the vineyard name putting them on the list. I could have seen Bergstrom and Brick House in the top group. Was surprised Ken Wright wasn’t in the top group, even though I’ve not always loved the wines (though I do his 07’s). On the other hand, while I have liked Thomas and Antica Terra (talk about pairing wine opposites in this sentence) I wonder how much of the voting is based more on cultiness than on what is in the bottle. Is St. Innocent there for the extremely minerally wines Mark used to make or the fruitier ones he makes now? Cameron surprises me a bit because the wines are fairly hard to find.

In tier two, (no comment on Belle Pente from me). Solid bunch of wines. Serene is hurt in polls by the lawsuit PR. I’m surprised to see Sineann there, even though I love their wines. I still don’t get the love for Eyrie - they must have dramatically improved in recent years. (On the poll on here, I had the same reaction to votes for Adelsheim.)

In tier three - when Gary owned the winery, Archery Summit would have been a lot higher up the poll. Panther Creek seems to have slid (in perception) since Ron and Linda sold the wienry - though Michael is obviously still there.

While I have bought and drunk a lot of Broadley over the years, they make some odd wines that require age and aren’t always successful. It’s been a long time since WS gave the 94 CC a huge score that shot them into folk’s attention.

Expected more love for Bethel Heights from those who like ageworthy, well-structured PN. Surprised Chehalem didn’t make one of the tiers, but their juice needs bottle age. And their white overshadow their PN. No Evening Lands? Ha! I guess people are avoiding $175 PN. (Must admit I have bought a few bottles of deeply discounted Evening Lands that I have yet to open.)

Absolutely. While I am increasing my pace as I finish 98’s, the better made 99’s could have another decade to go. Estimated drinking windows on well-made OPN are too narrow. My theory is that before 98 there just weren’t lots of bottles of good OPN being made so it make the aging point moot. It was less a question of Can it age? and more a question of Why age it?. I believe that angle biased those estimating drinking windows.

All you Oregon PinotHeads make sure you vote in the poll!

“At the first pole, it’s Belle Pente (betting line 5-1) with 8 votes neck and neck with favorite Thomas (2-1) with 7. There’s a pack chasing the leaders with 5 votes, home favorite Patty Green, the Commodore’s owned Brick House, big, bold Ken Wright muscling in with Cameron, another early favorite and Evesham. Much of the rest of the field has fallen back, but there still time on this two mile oval track for that longshot Torii Mor (100-1 odds) to make a move…”


Unfortunately Williamette Valley Vineyards was a late scratch.

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Scroll down to the Oregon section. Those who have had it say it was the best Oregon vintage ever 1983. Someone thinks they can get 3 bills for a bottle of 83 Eyrie.

A bit of a biased poll, I think. But any poll asking best or favorite is biased for one reason or another. Quality wise there is no reason why D.S. is not in the top tier. To many people responding to purely non wine issues. Don’t know why but Soter doesn’t even appear! I find their wines probably at least in the second group.

I’d like to see a blind line-up wines and then the votes.

Gordan, Soter got 12 votes or 17% of the people who voted. They were number 2 in the 2nd Tier.

Soter is the 2nd wine in Tier 2.

Serene should be higher - they invented white pinot. neener