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2016 Medici Vineyard Pinot Noir

2016 Medici Vineyard Pinot Noir
2016 Medici Vineyard Pinot Noir

Appellation:Chehalem Mountain   Location: Bell Rd.

Elevation:800’                         Soil Type: Jory

Year Planted:1976 and 1980  Clonal Material: Pommard and Dijon 777

Size:Vineyard 25 acres/PGC Blocks total 2 acres

Vinification:One 2.5 ton open-top fermenter 100% de-stemmed

Picking Date:September 16    Tons/Acre: 1.3
This is one of the most historically heralded vineyards in Oregon. Originally planted in 1976 on a steep hillside above Bell Road, this vineyard was daring for its pitch, elevation and for the fact that it was well outside of the Dundee Hills where the vast majority of quality vineyards were being planted at the time. The 2016 bottling is a humbling tribute to just how good Medici Vineyard actually is. A spring storm cut yields severely and the clusters were compressed. From a visual perspective this fruit looked quite underwhelming when it arrived at the winery. There was so little fruit that we combined the 1976 planting of Pommard and the 1980 planting of Dijon 777 in equal parts into a 2.5 ton fermenter. Despite our best efforts at having a normal fermentation the fruit had other plans and started fermenting after less than 48 hours and finished fermentation in about a week. Regardless of this much quicker than normal activity the wine is incredibly intense, focused and beautifully complex. While having the red fruits associated with volcanic soils and higher elevations this wine subtly incorporates some blue fruit tones into the mix especially as the tannins build in the back of the wine. As much as our wines are pure products of their place this wine manages to capture the characteristics and personality of the site. Only 7 barrels made.


Wine history: Chehalem Mountains' winegrowing history dates back to 1968 when UC Davis refugee Dick Erath purchased 49 acres on Dopp Road in Yamhill County. He aptly called the property Chehalem Mountain Vineyards. By the mid to late 1970s, there was a patchwork of vineyards in the area, including those owned by such modern wine pioneers as the Adelsheims and the Ponzis. Over the next three decades other reputable winegrowers planted roots in the area. The appellation was approved in the late fall of 2006.

Climate: Chehalem Mountains' elevation goes from 200 to 1,633 feet, resulting in varied annual precipitation (37 inches at the lowest point and 60 inches at the highest) as well as the greatest variation in temperature within the Willamette Valley. These variations can result in three-week differences in the ripening of Pinot noir grapes.

Soils: Chehalem Mountains have a combination of Columbia River basalt, ocean sedimentation, and wind-blown loess derivation soil types.

Topography: Chehalem Mountains is a single landmass made up of several hilltops, ridges and spurs that is uplifted from the Willamette Valley floor. The appellation includes all land in the area above the 200-foot elevation. They are the highest mountains in the Willamette Valley with their tallest point, Bald Peak, at 1,633 feet above sea level.

Site Characteristics: At a time when the Dundee Hills almost exclusively were the home to the burgeoning Oregon wine industries’ initial craftspeople Hal Medici planted his first vines in 1976 to the northeast of the Dundee Hill on Bell Rd. due north of downtown Newberg in an area that is now part of the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Over the course of the next 25 years the vineyard was expanded to its current size. While it has Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling planted in it Patricia Green Cellars sources only Pinot Noir from four distinct sections.

Medici Vineyard is a good analogy for what one might find in the large, diverse and far-ranging Chehalem Mountains AVA. Our other two vineyards in this AVA are largely planted in Marine Sedimentary soil. However, Medici begins at over 500’ in elevation and rises to close to 900’ elevation putting it squarely into the sections of hillsides where one would find Volcanic soil. And Medici is, in fact, planted in Jory soil which gives it a flavor profile more in common with our Dundee Hills’ wines than wines from the same appellation just down the way on the same road.

AVA: Chehalem Mountains      LOCATION: Bell Rd.

SOIL TYPE: Jory                        YEAR PLANTED:1976, 1980

CLONAL MATERIAL: Pommard, Dijon 777             VINEYARD SIZE: 25+ acres

VINIFICATION: One open top 2.5-ton fermenter, 100% de-stemmed      

PICKING DATE: 9/16/16             TONS/ACRE: 1.25                 

OWNERS: Hal Medici                PRODUCTION: 161 cases bottled

This wine consists of 1976 planting of Pommard and a 1980 planting of Chardonnay that was grafted to Dijon 777 sometime in the 90s.  Consistency is great, however in this case it comes of the form of drastically limited material with which to work. Nonetheless we received enough to do a co-fermentation of the two clones in a 2.5 ton fermenter. A relatively quick fermentation was followed by a relatively long (by our standards) post-alcohol maceration to ensure that we were not missing anything. Pretty sure we did not. This wine is just so different than anything else we have. It has all the hallmarks of Jory soil wine from a textural standpoint (silky, super-fine tannins) but has a much darker fruit profile than the more red-fruit oriented Dundee Hills produce. It is a really unique and special wine from a terrific vineyard. This is historical and delicious. Two great things that go great together. We are privileged to work with such a great vineyard site.

VarietalPinot Noir
AppellationChehalem Mountains
Volume750 ml
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