Goodfellow World Tour - Seattle Recap

Lovely event 2+ years in the making. We had this confirmed for feb/mar-ish 2020, and we all know what happened then… :frowning:

Marcus/Megan came up to Seattle, and PeterH graciously hosted us at his home. Beautiful weather to sit out on the deck with good company!

I didn’t take super detailed notes so i’ll leave that to others. All the wines were blinded except the riesling flight (some single, some ringers thrown in double blind).
Brief Notes / Favorites / Take Aways:

  • Riesling Flight - 2008 Matello Riesling Carey Creek Vineyard - Surprising how well this wine has held up with its vibrancy and freshness, juicy acid, but gaining the complexity with age.

  • Chardonnay Flight - My take away here is if you want to know what the wines are like, ask Marcus, politely nod, and then go ask Megan what the wines are really like. [wow.gif] Megan blind called most of the wines. impressive… Richard Cuvee was fav for me (as it usually is it seems)

  • 2018 Whistling Ridge Flight - Beloved Acre - This reminded me of the Heritage bottlings from WR, and well, turns out this IS the block that usually gets bottled as Heritage. In 2018 tho, the Heritage was a blend of Long, House, and Beloved, and Beloved got its own block bottling. Although all of them were
    unique/different/pretty solid wines.
    To make this anymore complex, Marcus just needs to sell a row of grapes to a niece who marries someone from PGC, who then gifts inheritance to Ken/Erica’s grand nephew. Domaine Patricia Goodfellow Scott…

  • 2017 Horizontal Flight - All the wines showed well, the ringer was identifiable as old world, altho I did not see a sancerre rouge at all. I thought it was a lesser known Burg appellation. My favorite here was the Durant vineyard. Balanced and ready/approachable. Longest ‘potential’ turned out to be Heritage, no surprise there.

  • Somewhat Older Trio - The 2010 Whistling Ridge was the most pleasurable drinking wise. The Jadot i thought had a sulphuric rotten egg note so perhaps a slightly off btl.

  • Olderrrrr Trio - All 3 were lovely. the two Matello has a very similar note to me. I guessed 05/06ish Whistling Ridge. There was a slight sulphur note on the PGC initially that blew off. Definitely shows potential of aging, and hard to pick a favorite out of these 3.

    Thank you Megan and Marcus for the informative, educational tasting! Thanks Peter/Carol for hosting!



Nice post, Mark! Sounds like fun. You guys sure nailed the weather!

It was a really fun evening, and about as perfect a day as we’ve had all year. The view from Peter’s house is 100 points.

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This was a phenomenal evening. Thank you again Marcus for throwing it together, to Peter for hosting, and to everyone for bringing great ringers. Megan’s palate was eerily spot-on the whole night.

Agreed with Mark, but will add the Temperance Hill Chardonnay had this really charming warm spice note to it and is a vineyard I’ll start buying more regularly.

I realized after I hopped in the Lyft that my PYCM wasn’t going to be very blind as I didn’t remove the wax. :man_facepalming: Does anyone have tips on how to melt the wax off without ruining what’s in the bottle?

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I’ve chipped hard wax off Jura bottles (Tissot) for the same reason. Takes a while and makes a mess unless you wrap in plastic wrap to help retain the chips.


Don’t have any PYCM, but with every wax bottle I have (Marcel Lapierre, Arnot Roberts, etc.) it’s far better to tear / chip off the wax than trying to melt it.

I think the PYCM would have stuck out with or without the wax. It was a fun wine and a great example of the more reductive style of Chardonnay. I really don’t think us knowing the producer really hurt anything.

It was indeed a great evening all around. Thanks Mark for the impressions and the photos. It is kind of shocking how many wines our little group tasted. I personally favorite for me was the 2005 Matello Whistling Ridge. Even though Marcus made this many years ago and his style and skill has evolved, it still showed just how wonderfully his Pinots can develop. I felt like that wine still had many years of life left in it. So don’t worry when you buy lots of Goodfellow reds. Just remember to wait 17 years before opening them. [wow.gif]

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Regarding the PYCM intending to be served blind, if you have a wine that can bear the early air exposure just do an old bottle switch. Transfer it to a clean empty to serve and bring the empty and concealed PYCM for the reveal. I’ve done it a few times, like filling a German riesling bottle with a California petite sirah. It has the benefit of throwing off those trying to clue in from the bottle shape!

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Just a few thoughts on the wines, and tasting overall.

  1. Riesling…nothing in all of Oregon makes me more sad than the situation with Riesling. It’s a grape that grows wonderfully well in many parts of the Willamette Valley and is capable of absolutely outstanding wines. Almost none of which is being acted upon with serious intention(IMO). As a grape, there is very little financial incentive for planting it, no real research being done to determine marrying varietal and site, choices in clonal material, or best methods for planting and establishing the vines. Old vines are routinely being grafted over or replanted to other more fiscally intelligent varietals. Few wineries are dedicating themselves to focusing the same attention on Riesling that they do on Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, with predictable results, and the few that do often find themselves in need of new fruit sources within a year or two due to the aforementioned replanting strategies. Talented producers often stop producing Riesling (Jay Sommers and Josh Bergstrom both made excellent Rieslings in the early 2000s), others such as myself limit production to amounts that are more for personal pleasure than any attempt at being a Riesling producer. It’s a terrible situation for a great grape varietal to find itself in, especially for one that seems to work so well.

Yet when handled well, fruit from rather humble origin can often yield delicious, refreshing, and wines competitive with most other Riesling growing regions. The 2008 Carey Creek is from younger vines(6th leaf in 2008), farmed by someone with almost no experience in farming grape vines(he bought the property with 10 rows of Riesling planted just a year or two ahead of the sale) and was learning on the fly, while working a full time job. It was only .5 tons which limited my options for how to handle the fruit substantially. Yet 14 years post vintage it is alive and well, and a rather delicious expression of Riesling that held up well in the line up. The 2018 Whistling Ridge was also enjoyable and in my opinion of comparable quality to the German wines, while having a distinctly different nature from the Carey Creek wine. I enjoyed all of the Rieslings in the flight, but found little difference in overall quality. Which given the position of Riesling in Germany vs. Oregon surprises me a bit and exacerbates the feelings I have regarding the diminishment of this varietal in the Willamette valley.

  1. Chardonnays-it was a really lovely set of wines overall. Both white Burgundies were excellent, and it was nice to taste an example of Jim Maresh’s new Tan fruit project. At this point, I think viewing white Burgundy and Willamette Valley Chardonnay as an either/or for purchasing is really unnecessary. It’s hard for me to see being able to enjoy one of the regions and not the other. Over the past month, all of the white Burgundy wines I have tasted have been exceptional, and without signs of pre-mox(not a huge sample size, but enough to be encouraging).

  2. I was really happy to see how well everything showed. The 2018s seemed to be shutting down a bit and were quieter than I expected. The 2017s really were a bit more open than I expected. Particularly the Durant. And the Vacheron Sancerre Rouge that Chris James brought was obviously an outlier, but was one of the best examples of Sancerre Rouge I have had (small sample size again…though primarily due to the lack of enjoyment of most previous Sancerre rouge). The older wines all showed maturity but, IMO, all in their prime. As a winemaker, it’s both gratifying to see your work from 17 years ago as a successful effort, but it’s also hard not cringe at how raw I was at the time. Proof that great wine is made by the vineyard. I’m anxious to see the wines we are producing today at the same age, but wonder if the experience will still be similar.

4)The 2010 Jadot was a bummer, but it had unwound a bit from the sulfur by today. Still very tight and seems like it’s definitely in need of a few more years.


I’ve drunk a fair bit of Goodfellow over the years (even in the Matello days), but I’ve never had the chance to try so many across the years and sites as Thursday night. Incredible educational, not to mention delicious and enjoyable. I don’t have much of value to add, but the Rieslings were all high class and the 2008 has years of life yet. Must get more OR Riesling. The individual blocks of Whistling Ridge were distinctive and I can understand why they are bottled separately. I’m super happy I got to attend, and also super happy I discovered Goodfellow so long ago and have plenty in the cellar. Thank you to all involved. And great to meet y’all in person!

How was the Tank Fruit showing? I picked up one bottle, meaning to try it early. . . but life* got in the way and it all sold out before I could taste it. So now I’ve got a single bottle, and no idea when I should open it.

*By “life”, I actually mean “drinking other wine”.

Thank you, all attendees, for making the event a success with your presence, food, and selected wines.
The biggest thanks go to Marcus and Megan for arranging the tasting and providing the bulk of the wines.

I’m up at our vacation cabin now with grandchildren vying for attention, and the internet is spotty, but I’ll try to make a few comments.

Dry Rieslings are not usually my first choice when reaching for a dry white. When I do, I usually pick an older one. All four tasted were at least pleasant, with both Goodfellows having more complexity than the German wines. I much preferred the '08 Matello to the rest.

Most of the Chardonnays seemed way too young to be drinking. A few had reductive odors that blew off with some aeration, except for the PYCM which stayed funky. My favorite was the Richard’s Cuvee.
I was surprised when I looked up the Tank. it is a fine wine, but certainly not better than any of the Goodfellow’s. I’d be willing to pay about half the asking price.

The surprise with the different block selections from the same vineyard is that there are noticeable differences. Many people think that even vineyard selection put too much burden on the wine drinkers to educate themselves, but after decades more experimentation that is how excellence and distinction will arise. I would not venture to rate or rank these wines which are babes in the bottle.

Same goes for the AVAs, with, of course, more variation. No way to rate or rank at this stage of development.
The Sancerre rouge was open, rounded, and top notch for what it is, but not in the same league.

The older wines were a much different drinking experience. Many Oregon wine makers feel that if they make wines that don’t reach potential for ten years or more. I think that by now enough consumers are willing to treat them more like Burgundies.
The '10 and the '12 still taste young, even with a trace of tannin. The nose is developed, and the fruit seeming much fuller and deeper than the young wines. 2012 was a warm year, and 2010 quite cool. Both have a range of fruit from light to dark, and good structure to back it up.

Getting to the '08 and '05s was the real reward. These wines are at the top of their game, and a joy have in the glass.

Brian O’Donnell at Belle Pente has been working with Riesling for some time IIRC…“small quantities”. Isn’t Paetra one of the main keepers of the flame? I seem to remember some half decent R. Stuart offerings?

Yes, I imagine it’s a very low/no profit grape. Just speculating, but isn’t climate change more problematic for it than for some other varieties?


I talked to Rob Stuart about his Riesling, and his issue was that, given what he had to pay for the fruit, there was no way to make money on the wine. I have several bottles of his 2008 and 2010 in my cellar (my daughter Lisa made the 2010), and pull one out occasionally. They are nice wines, but I have to admit that I like Goodfellow Chardonnay better.

I’m also interested in perspectives on the Tan Fruit Tank Fruit, as I went in for a mixed case and most of the early CT ratings on these wines have very little in common with the WA ratings. Do they just need more time?