Post Oregon Chardonnay Celebration 2010 Tasting

Paul Willenberg organized this tasting of 2010 Oregon Chardonnays on the day after the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration. 16 of us tasted 20 wines at the Goodfellow/Matello winery. Some notes are here, in the Offline Section, but I thought that the discussion of the wine should be in Wine Talk.

All of the wines showed well, with only a couple that tasted tired, and one was, to my palate, slightly advanced. For me, the top wines were: Arterberry Maresh (incredibly concentrated with a great acid spine and the group’s consensus best wine), Crowley Maresh (similar to the AM wine but less concentrated), Crowley Four Winds (a close match to the AM), Evening Lands La Source (somewhat reduced but opens up nicely with a little air), Cameron Clos Electrique (some earth and red fruit in the nose followed by great concentration and finish), and Eyrie Reserve (this wine seemed to change every time you put a nose in it - lemon, then matchstick, then green apple, then hazelnuts, combined with great length).

The interesting thing shared by these top wines is that 1) with one exception, the vines were planted over 30 years ago, and 2) the clones/selections came from California, so no Dijon clones were among this group of wines. Another interesting point is the Cameron influence on this list. Jim Maresh worked for John Paul at Cameron for a couple of years, and Tyson Crowley was Assistant Winemaker there for a number of years.

All in all a very interesting tasting.

Thanks Rick – sounds like a great tasting. I have one bottle of the 2010 Crowley Maresh. Any suggestions on when to drink it?

Also – I’m assuming there was a Matello Richard’s Cuvee in the group? Curious how that is doing as I think I have a couple.

Here are my notes. I’m getting over pneumonia so maybe they are worthless. I accidentally deleted some soil and clonal info but I have all the tech sheets if anyone wants them.

I liked the Maresh, Winderlea, Stoller, Eyrie. In contrast to Rick, I found the Evening Land a bit simple and of course, my dislike of Cameron well noted. I agree with Rick that older vines showed well and can’t say for certain if it was that or clones that were the paramount factor.

Wine >> Flight >> ava >> clone >> vine age >> Soil >> Notes
Stoller Stoller 1 Dundee Dijon 95, 76, some 96 1997 Red Volcanic Jory and Nekia clean, bright, round, lees, full mouthfeel, a bit of indian spice tumeric?,
Adelsheim Stoller 1 Dundee Dijon 95, 76, some 96 1997 Red Volcanic Jory and Nekia cabbage, stale, damp, very forward, lots of fruit, lacks the excitement of the stoller, stoller. also a lingering greennees which is odd given the bruised red apple.
Belle Pente Belle Pente 1 Yamhill Carlton 42% Dijon 95, 32% Dijon 76, 14% Dijon 96, 12% Espiguette 352 1999 willakenzie simple, clean nose, white flowers in the mouth, touch of alchol in the finish. a bit harsh.

Brittan (Thistle, Carabella, Hyland) 2 Dundee, Chehalem, McMinville 76, 96, 548. Hyland 108. 94,96 Basalt, Volcanic oak, vanilla, carmel. crawfish. hot, ripe bruised pear, saline
Matello 2 Ribbon Ridge 76, 96, 108, espegeutte 1998 Willakenzie sedimentary saline, cool stones, porcini, seaweed. sweet fruit, lemon, good acid, grapfruit pith,
Anderson Family 2 Dundee Dijon 96 92 & 98 volcanic basalt medicinal nose, alkaline?, enourmous, ripe fruit, holding together really well given how forward it is. botrytis? lingering sweetness.

Winderlea 3 Chehalem “53% Carabella (Chehalem), Dijon 76, 26% Hyland (McMinnville
AVA), 108 & 4, 21% Thistle (Dundee Hills AVA), Dijon 95 & 76” 1996 volcanic (Nekia, Saum, Jory) delicate, floral nose, ocean breeze. tight. young. a bit of candlewax and apple skin on the palate. really alive and exciting. pretty white flowers
Carabella 3 Chehalem Dijon 76 1996 volcanic (Nekia, Saum, Jory) a bit of redcutionon the nose, meaty palate with some savory pork priducts, nice long grip to the finish. sweet meyer lemon peel.
DDO Arthur 3 Dundee Dijon 1994 rubber eraser on the nose, soft, pretty fruit , chalk, talcum, nicely integrated. well made wine.
Brickhouse Cascadia 3 Ribbon Ridge Dijon 75,76,78 & 96 95 & 92 Willakenzie series of sedimentary clay loam redcution. griping pitch, tart. bit of spice on the finish.

Arterberry-Maresh Maresh 4 Dundee 108 1983 soft nose. bit of cat piss. beautful precise wine with crisp fuji apple. rocky. granite. great length. maybe something vegtal emerging
Crowley Maresh 4 Dundee 108 1983 a bit oxidative. darker yellow in the glass than the Maresh maresh. green grass, big rich mouthfeel. more bruised apple but good fruit. big. decent acid on a long finish. full mouthfeel.
Crowley Four Winds 4 McMinville Wente 1993 Jory, Nekiah a bit oxidateive, soft, pretty mouthfeel, a bit funky on the nose. beautiful acidity on the finish.
“Longplay ““Lia’s””” 4 Chehalem Wente 1991 beef broth, savory, indian spices, vanilla, cardamom.

Evening Land Seven Springs La Source 5 Eola-Amity Dijon 76 1984 Volcanic bit of reduction. huge wine with driving acidity, clean though. orange jolly rancher.
Copain Brossau Vineyard 5 Chalone Wente 1980 Limestone, Granite stale leaf strewn outdoor pool water. rosemary, herbs, coconut, tropical
“07 Longplay ““Lia’s””” 5 Chehalem Wente 1991 jory sweet riesling, botrytis, slightly sour, apple.

Eyrie Original Vines 6 Dundee Draper 1966 toast. tangerine juice. jucy, lime. good acid, lingering, granite.
Clos Electrique 6 Dundee draper, spring mountain, mount Eden, rued, cotton 1985 jory lots of stale gym socks, cleaning solution. sweet fruit at first. candied lemon. lingering acidity
Ayoub Thistle Vineyard (Red Hill rd) 6 Dundee Dijon 76, 95, 96 1994? Jory, red volcanic candle wax, astringent, simple. cat piss

Ron, I don’t know if you’re going to get anything more out of it than is there right now, and it is delicious. I believe the Matello we had was from Whistling Ridge.

Two wines we didn’t have from 2010 that would have been interesting to try are the Blackcap Chardonnay, which is my list of all-time Oregon Chardonnays, and the Westrey Oracle Chardonnay. The Oracle vineyard abuts Abbey Ridge, and was planted in the 70’s, but neglected for a couple decades before Amy and David bought the property and nursed the vineyard back to health.

The Matello was the Richard’s Cuvee which was Whistling Ridge source. I’d drink it now.

The Maresh is prime but could improve over the next 5 years. I’m going to keep one just to see what it’s like at 20. It’s got all the stuffing to go the distance.

Thanks Paul. Are those your notes or Tom Hill’s? :slight_smile:

Thanks for the notes, guys. It sounds like a great tasting. The '10 Arterberry Maresh has been impressive from the ‘get-go’. RT and I tasted it from barrel in August of 2011. (Wow! – 4 1/2 years ago now.) Richard’s notes are here. I ripped through 3 bottles of a 6-pack, shortly after they were shipped, and decided that I needed to hide the rest.

2011s next year: Save one or source one!

I didn’t notice any trademark cameron funk in the Clos… but my palate clearly needs a much higher PPM to even notice let alone be offended by it. :slight_smile:

I didn’t notice any funk on the Cameron either, and I’m fairly sensitive to it.

I had an absolute blast at this event.

There were really only about 2 or 3 wines I just wouldn’t buy. It was a really nice representation of Oregon chardonnay.

“Lemon flavored cheetos” still holds strong as my favorite tasting note from one of the wine makers :slight_smile:

The Cameron was interesting to me as well in the sense that it wasn’t what I was expecting. The nose was like nothing else I’ve experienced. I still distinctly remember the wine smelling like a camomile liquor plus a little hint of peanut butter. I loved the wine, definitely in my top 5 of the day.

Top wine for me was Cameron Clos Eleqtrique. It had an electricity that for me was unrivaled. Unlike others I did not taste any funk or socks. It reminded me of what I love most about OR Chardonnay. I’ve seen it in every Cameron CE or AR I’ve tried, the '11, '12 and '13 Crowley Four Winds (although the '10 Four Winds we tasted was really good, it lacked in this department), '12 Goodfellow Whistling Ridge and '13 Richard’s, '13 Goodfellow Durant, and '13 and '14 Walter Scott X-Novo and Vojtilla. Perhaps I’m mistating his point and I hope he corrects me if I do, but I thought Marcus noted that the composition, structure and energy of the Cameron represented the heights that OR Chardonnay should strive for. I agree wholeheartedly.

Also really enjoyed the Arterberry Maresh Maresh (agree with Rick’s note that this was fantastic), Crowley Maresh, Crowley Four Winds, Evening Land La Source, Eyrie Original Vines, Matello Richard’s, DDO Arthur, Stoller Stoller and Brickhouse Cascadia. A few weren’t in my wheelhouse, but on the whole a really impressive lineup.

Thanks again to Paul for arranging and to Marcus for hosting. I’ve already got some '11s from producers whose '10s showed well and will source more from other producers before next year.

Oregon is making great strides with Chardonnay in recent years. There seem to be much collaboration and improvements in clonal selection.

Walter Scott Vojtilla is the best I have had. Along with Rhys Alpine they are my top 2 favorite domestic Chardonnays.

You won’t go wrong with either of those two. The Vojtilla has consistently been my personal pick of the Walter Scott Chards. I haven’t had them side-by-side, but need to do that.

Ron-I’m going to take the opposite stance from Paul. I would hold it for at least another 2-3 years. (If you do and it’s over the hill,
I’ll replace it with a newer vintage).

Aromatically a little odd for the moment, I didn’t love the wine or flight 2 that much, but while the wines on either side were tired, the Richard’s Cuvée got better. I had to jump on a plane, but the last thing I did before running out the door was taste the Richard’s one more time. It was continuing to move and change, improving over the notes but showing very fresh.
I will second Rick’s commentary about the old vine California clone observation. We’ll see how the Dijon clones do as the vines age, but the idea that our early clones were ill suited for Oregon could not have been rebutted more clearly than it was on Sunday.

And Scott, I am in total agreement with you about the Cameron Clos Electrique. It was my favorite wine Sunday.

Paul-great job providing the soil and clonal background information.

I accidentally deleted some of the info but have it all in tech sheets or e-mails from the winemakers if there’s a wine you want to know more about.

Okay Marcus – it’s a deal. But I’m tempted to fake disliking the wine if that means you’ll send me more of the 2012 Richard’s. :slight_smile:
I have a feeling we will be talking about that wine several years from now as a very special vintage. Admittedly I haven’t had it since your tasting room, but boy did that wine have some intensity to it.

Great stuff guys. Thanks for the notes and details.


Late to the thread but a really fun and interesting tasting. Glad to have been there. I’ll agree with Rick on the top wines, that flight with Arterberry Marrsh and the two Crowleys was incredibly good. Chard has quite a future here I think. And already quite a past!