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2016 Estate Vineyard, Etzel Block Pinot Noir Magnum

2016 Estate Vineyard, Etzel Block Pinot Noir Magnum
2016 Estate Vineyard, Etzel Block Pinot Noir Magnum

Appellation:Ribbon Ridge       Location: North Valley Rd.

Elevation:400’-475’                  Soil Type: Wellsdale

Year Planted:1987                   Clonal Material: Pommard and Dijon 114

Size:Vineyard 30 acres/East Etzel 2.25 acres

Vinification:Two 1.5 ton open-top fermenters. The fermenter containing the Dijon 114 was 50% whole cluster fruit, the one with the Pommard was 20% whole cluster fruit.

Picking Date:September 14    Tons/Acre: 1.76

Planted on a north/northwest slope in 1986 this is the second oldest block in the vineyard. It is called the Etzel block since it faces our neighbor’s (Mike Etzel) property and we wanted to honor him and his distinct contributions to this particular part of the wine growing region. We have been using elements from both the 1986 Pommard planting and the 2001 Dijon 114 planting since 2014 and it has resulted in strong wines with deep personalities. The younger vines are coming into a fun age where the wines, when done well, have a special, energetic quality. The older Pommard brings that nuanced, earthy, quartzy-laced fruit to the table and the two combine in a way that is completely unique. Structured black fruit sets the tone in this wine with a tendency toward the earth driven shades finishing with an aromatic twist that is impossible to resist. 

Wine history:In 1980, Harry Peterson-Nedry planted the first wine grapes on Ribbon Ridge at his Ridgecrest Vineyards. Two years later, the first commercial vineyard was established with the planting of 54 acres of Pinot noir and Chardonnay. It was Yamhill Valley Vineyards who first used these grapes to make wine in 1985. Other vineyards were soon planted in this relatively small ridge. The appellation became official in 2005.

Climate: Protected by geographical features to the north, south and west, Ribbon Ridge's grape-growing hillsides are slightly warmer and drier when compared to the adjacent valley floors. Ribbon Ridge's moderate climate is well suited for early grape growth in the spring, consistent and even ripening over the summer and a long, full maturing season in the fall.

Soils: The Ribbon Ridge region contains primarily sedimentary soils that are younger, finer and more uniform than the alluvial sedimentary and volcanic soils of neighboring regions. These moderately deep, well-drained silty-clay loam soils are part of the Willakenzie soil series and are of low fertility and ideal for growing high-quality wine grapes.

Topography: Geographically, Ribbon Ridge is a 3.5-mile long by 1.75-mile wide ridge that extends from the Chehalem Mountains. The ridge rises 683 feet from the Chehalem Valley floor, giving it an island-like appearance.

Site Characteristics:There are no other vineyards we work with that are as difficult to summarize in a neat package than our Estate Vineyard. There are 18 sections of Pinot Noir based on vine age and clone (as well a section of Sauvignon Blanc), elevation ranges from 250’ to 475’, Pinot Noir plantings were done in ten different vintages ranging from as early as 1984 to as recent as 2010. The vineyard is mostly Pommard but there is also 3 acres of Wadensvil, 3 acres of Dijon 114 and an acre of Dijon 777. Spacing varies from 5 x 6 to 5 x 8. Some blocks are inter-planted with every other row being of one age and every other a quite different age. Two blocks are inter-planted with two rows of the same age followed by one row of a different age. To add a greater level of confusion the vast majority of the site (the 25 acres at the higher elevation) is planted directly on top of the hill with a 360 degree aspect to the vineyard. Then there is the geology of the site which is an extremely sandy Marine Sedimentary soil sitting atop a large bed of sandstone sub-soil with a water table that is very deep and highly mineralized. This is a unique site to say the least.

Relatively early on into our time here we began to conclude that there were different natures not only to the separate blocks but a distinct stylistic difference between the two sets of plantings (vines planted between 1984-1990 and the vines planted between 1997-2001 along with the new 2010 planting). Since we dry farm here to encourage the downward growth of roots the older plants and the younger plants are at different root depth levels in the sub-soil and consequently have access to different levels and types of water, nutrients and minerals. The root system is what feeds the plants and ultimately the fruit on the vine and in this soft Marine soil this translates into very different flavor and texture profiles in the grapes.

AVA: Ribbon Ridge      LOCATION: North Valley Rd.  

ELEVATION: 450’      SOIL TYPE: Wellsdale

CLONAL MATERIAL: Pommard, Dijon 114      YEAR PLANTED: 1986, 2001

VINEYARD SIZE: 30-acre vineyard, 2.55-acre block    VINIFICATION: 20% whole cluster fermentations

PICKING DATE: 9/14/16      TONS/ACRE: 1.55

OWNERS: Patricia Green Cellars   

*Wine Club Only

Wine Making and Notes: Named as such because this section of our vineyard planted in 1986 slopes to the northeast directly toward our neighbor Beaux Freres. The name is an homage to the owner and winemaker there, Mike Etzel. This wine has always pulled some of the most interesting characteristics out of the site and that is its reason for existing on its own. For some reason this has always been the most nuanced, most mineral-driven, most particularly Pinot Noir-sous bois sort of thing going on of all our wines. There are 2 sections within the East Etzel Block and for the first time they are both being used in this bottling. The older Pommard (planted in 1986) was 20% whole cluster and went through a standard cold soak of about 5 day, fermented in a single 1.75 ton open top fermenter and was pigeaged 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. The Dijon 114 was done 100% de-stemmed, went through a standard cold soak of about 5 days, fermented in two separate 1.75 ton open top fermenters and was pumped over until fermentation started and then it was only pigeaged 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. This spent a little less than a year in 17% new barrels along with a combination of a one time and a four times used barrel. This wine is aromatically extremely complex and nuanced to a fault. Minerality and seductive darker fruits combine with great complexity on the palate to create a wine that shows how elegant, intricate, intense and soil-influenced older vine Pinot Noirs from Ribbon Ridge can be. The addition of whole cluster fermentation furthers the aromatic qualities and drives the graphite notes on the palate and tightens the tannins up on the back end.

Vintage2016
VarietalPinot Noir
AppellationRibbon Ridge
VineyardEstate
Alcohol14.50%
Volume1.5 liter
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