TNs: 3 from Oregon - Matello and Biggio-Hamina

Over the last week I had a chance to sample three wines from Oregon BB regulars Marcus and Todd.

2014 Matello Whistling Ridge White Wine - The nose says Riesling with faint petrol but there’s more to it. Hints of minerality. The aromas are old school Alsatian. A blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Gewurtztraminer. The attack is new world and unexpectedly vibrant with a potpourri of yellow/white fruits including nectarines, pear, gooseberry and even a hint of grapefruit. Excellent freshness, balancing acidity, the mid palate is full with a long finish. $21 at retail? Bargain! Perhaps modeled after field blends from Marcel Deiss or Albert Boxler, old world charm with new world sass. I’d buy this again in a heartbeat.

2012 Biggio-Hamina Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir - Earthy ripe Pinot aromas flirting near but below Cola level. New worldy with nicely integrated wood, moderate acidity, relatively jammy fruit and some resinous ripeness. Enjoyable depth and length. Ripe and warm but not hot. There’s no mistaking it for Burgundy. Temperature control was helpful IMHO, which resulted in my wife quaffing it! True to place without letting vintage character “over-express” itself.

2014 Biggio-Hamina Youngberg Hill McMinnville AVA Pinot Noir - Well, you don’t see a lot of McMinnville AVA wines around…at least here in PA. The nose jumps out with joyful bouncy woodsy Pinosity. Hard to describe the fruit other than red leaning with briary elements, strawberry preserve, cherry…a moving target which enticed me to repeatedly lower my schnoz and breathe deep. Captivating aromas. Flavor-wise the oak needs time and stands out a little too willingly. Happily it receded in fairly short order. Decent acidity. Ripe, yet restrained considering the vintage. Worth the entry fee just for the nose. Consumed at a Memorial Day Picnic with several Pinot-heads expressing pleasure.


edited for some spelling pedantry

Thanks for the notes Richard, glad there was something for everyone.

The YH is 50% wc, Pommard and Wad. But I think the Wad makes the nose go.

Nice notes. Thanks for sharing. I haven’t posted any in a while. I need to step up my game, though it won’t be as informative as yours. Cheers.

I think I have a couple to those waiting for me to pick up. Better head out to the valley. [cheers.gif]

Todd, I’m often a sucker for Wadenswil. In a moment of pure blasphemy…there are those occasional instances when Pommard does better in OR than the “motherland”.

Ron, I’m also out of TN practice. Geeking out is great, but of late I’ve been trying to limit the analyses. With any luck, I might hear more of what the wines might try to say.


I was thinking the exact same thing (subbing me for you, as it were).

Thanks, Rich.

You do, let me know when you are planning a visit.

Todd - can you remind me of the difference between the regular Zenith and the Caroline Zenith?

Caroline Zenith is 100% whole cluster. Any Caroline has to be 100% wc, and usually has mostly Pommard in it. We made one in 2010, and 2012. I was close in 2014 and 2015, but that 100% wc portion went/is going into the Youngberg Hill and Holmes Gap vineyards (respectively) blend instead (we no longer work with Zenith fruit). There are some candidates in 2016 to be Caroline, but it is still early to know for sure.

I had a several of Todd’s 10 Carolines and just the zenith. Some of my favorite oregon wines to date.

I also love the WR white from Marcus. I loaded up on his 10 and 11 as he was trying to move it to make room for the bumper crop of 12 and havent had any of a recent vintage. I can tell you the older ones are really now coming into their own.

Thanks for the info, Todd. That 2012 Caroline was a favorite from our visit a couple years ago.