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2015 Balcombe Block 1B Pinot Noir

Wine Making and Notes:This was, technically, the 18th Balcombe Block 1B ever bottled. Two, however, were at Torii Mor where we started working with this vineyard. The fermentation was done with 20% whole clusters, went through a standard cold soak of about 5-6 days, fermented in a single 2.5 ton open top fermenter and was pumped over 1x/day until fermentation began and then was pigeaged 1x/day until dry and then pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. This spent a little less than a year in 18% new barrels along with a combination of one, two and three times used barrels. Darkly fruited, brooding in its youth and much more structured and earthy than the regular Balcombe bottling. This section of the vineyard is a worker. It just cranks out an incredible wine every single year. Every year the vines get more mature and at 26 years of vine age are just entering full maturity. This is a gorgeous uber-rendition of Dundee Hills Pinot Noir.  This wine has been our single most popular bottling since our inception. In the past seven vintages (2006-2013) it has received scores of 92, 90, 93, 93, 93, 93, 93 and 93 from Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.  *WINE CLUB ONLY

Production: 243 cases bottled

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2015 Balcombe Vineyard Pinot Noir

Wine Making and Notes: The importance of having a relationship that in 2015 was 19 years in the works cannot be understated. Knowing how and when the vineyard ripens and how the fruit responds to different fermentation techniques and barrel regimens is an incredible asset in winemaking that is not always afforded to a winemaker. The fruit was around 20% whole cluster fermentation, went through a standard cold soak of about 5-6 days, fermented in 1.75 ton open top fermenters and was pumped over 1x/day until fermentation began and then it was pigeaged 1x/day until going dry and then being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days at which point the wine went to barrel. This spent a little less than a year in 4% new barrels along with a nearly equal combination of one through four times used barrels. As mentioned earlier there are five sections of Balcombe Vineyard. Four of the sections are used to create the Balcombe Vineyard bottling. The section called 1B is separated out into a different bottling. The Balcombe Vineyard bottling is certainly the quintessential Dundee Hills Pinot Noir that we make. Ever since we first bottled it in 2000 this wine has been about how the texture and the flavor co-mingle to deliver the experience that is this wine. This is consistently floral on the nose with subtle elements of red-fruit and smoked meat. The texture is silky, generous and saliva-generating to say the least. The acidity is crisp which keeps the fruit bright and makes you want to keep coming back to the glass. This wine has sneaky ageability to it since it does have such an approachable-when-young nature to it, but recent tastes of the 2001 and 2002 show those wines cruising along beautifully. Drink it for its lovely, youthful nature or save it because it will be a delicious treat 10+ years into the future. Either way you cannot lose.

 

Production: 571 cases bottled.

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2015 Durant Vineyard, Bishop Block Pinot Noir

This wine knows exactly what it wants to be. This is finesse, subtleness, elegance and discreet balance all backed up by a sneaky and looming firmness that comes on in the back of the wine. Only older vines make wines like this. This is not a wine that needs to make a dramatic entrance because all the work is done on the back end.

Production:318 cases bottled.

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Price $48.00 / per bottle
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2015 Durant Vineyard, Madrone Blk, Pinot Noir

Wine Making and Notes:The Madrone Block’s Dijon 115 planting creates a much different Pinot Noir than the Pommard Clone from the Bishop Block and it is unique enough and special enough to be bottled on its own to show a slightly different characteristic of this Dundee Hills site. The fruit was 100% de-stemmed and went through a normal cold soak of about 4 to 5 days and then was fermented in an 8 ton open top fermenter and was punched down while being pumped over1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days.  This spent about 10 months in a variety of barrels. In an effort to show off this block as much as possible only seven barrels were chosen from the twenty-nine that were barreled down and all of them were barrels that had been used four times previously. This brings in the velvety texture that Dundee Hills Pinot Noirs can have. This is deep in fruit and oozing with textural appeal. This borders right on sultry. Almost certainly the single vineyard designate with the most upfront appeal to it. This will show sweet red fruits which are certainly a staple of the vintage with classic Dundee Hill sweet spices. Hard not to like.

Production: 170 cases bottled.

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Price $42.00 / per bottle
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2015 Estate Vineyard Old Vine Pinot Noir

Wine Making and Notes: As the Estate vines tap their roots deep into the soft sub-soil they eventually make contact with the mineralized water on the property. This brings a whole new element to bear in the flavor and texture profile of the wine. This bottling comes from the original 1984 planting of Pommard which was fermented with 33% whole clusters, a 1990 planting of Pinot Gris that was grafted to Pommard in 2002 and a 1997 planting of Pommard on a steep west facing slope. The fruit from these two blocks were 100% de-stemmed, went through a standard cold soak of about 4-7 days depending on the block, fermented in 1.75 ton open top fermenters and was punched down 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. This spent a little less than a year in just 8% new barrels along with a combination of one-six times used barrels.

The difference between the older and younger blocks here is always pretty amazing to people. Our water is spring fed and very minerally in nature. That is what these older vines have tapped into and that is what they pull up and put into the fruit. Savory and bringing in both black and red fruit spectrums so this has a wide range in the mid-palate. Ultimately this wine is defined by the mineral laden “ribbon” that intertwines the fruit and carries the flavors onto the sinewy tannin structure underlying the wine. This is refined and elegant while still being surprisingly broad shouldered.

Production: 1,056 cases bottled

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2015 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

Wine Making and Notes:This bottling has always been the powerful view of this vineyard site. The wine is dark in color, dense in earth-tinged dark fruits and relatively thick with tannins. However, as the vineyard has aged fewer blocks are still producing this style of wine that seems to be indicative of the young vines than the older one. This comes from just two blocks: a 1998 southwest facing planting of Pommard and a 2000 south facing planting of Dijon 777. The wine is two-thirds Pommard and one third Dijon 777. The fruit was 100% de-stemmed, went through a standard cold soak of about 4-7 days depending on the block, fermented in 1.75 ton open top fermenters and was punched down 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. This spent a little less than a year entirely in barrels that were previously used between three and six times so there is little to no oak influence in this wine.

These vines do not have the root depth of the significantly older sections of the vineyard and therefore do not necessarily feed upon and drink the same material. Since we dry farm these younger vines, even at 16-18 years of vine age they are still under a bit of duress. This leads to small, tight clusters and generally fairly thick skins. This gives the wine its trademark dark, almost purplish color and hefty, dense tannic structure. This is filled in quite easily by liqueur-like dark fruit. This can be a bit savage in nature when youthful but it comes around surprisingly quickly and, of course, is good for years and years.

Production:417 cases bottled.

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2015 Estate Vineyard, Etzel Block Pinot Noir

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 100% de-stemmed, went through a standard cold soak of about 5 days depending on the block, fermented in a single 1.75 ton open top fermenter and was punched down 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. The Dijon 114 was done with a 15% whole cluster fermentation, went through a standard cold soak of about 5 days, fermented in a single 2.5 ton open top fermenter 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 insane and nuanced to a fault. Minerality and seductive red fruit combine with great complexity on the palate to create a wine that shows how elegant, intricate, red-fruited and soil-influenced older vine Pinot Noirs from Ribbon Ridge can be. The addition of whole cluster fermentation furthers the aromatic qualities, drives the herbal and graphite notes on the palate and tightens the tannins up on the back end. *WINE CLUB ONLY

Production:283 cases bottled.

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2015 Estate Vineyard, Wadensvil Block Pinot Noir

Wine Making and Notes:This 3.1 acre block in the very back of the vineyard was planted in 1997. When we bought the property in 2000 this section was had nearly quite had it. In July of 2000 this section was already entirely rife with yellow leaves. The plants were simply over-taxed from a large crop load in their first year of production followed by a dry summer and there was no hope that the fruit was going to ripen so it was all dropped off in hopes of rescuing the plants. Over the next several years this block was attended to with a special fury and the wine got incrementally better. By 2014 the block had made a complete transformations and was serving as one of the major components of the Estate Vineyard bottling.

In 2015 this took the step from very good to great. We have long believed that Wadensvil planted in marine soils produced some of the best wines in the cellar, the only problem is finding it outside of our vineyard (Olenik Vineyard, Wadensvil Block is also planted in marine soils). Wadensvil is a little later ripening, a little lighter, a little more elegant and just plain pretty and when combined with the minerally effect of marine soils it blossoms into a stunningly beautiful wine given the right conditions. This wine has incredible pure, fruit driven and penetrating aromatics. The fruit is sweet in nature but savory in character and underlayed by a pure beam of acidity that keeps the wine in balance. Despite its elegant nature it has a base of tannins that are firm and chewy enough to buffer this wine and give it some back palate heft. This will be a gorgeous wine for years and years to come. We are more proud of this wine than anything else we made in 2015 because of the long, long agricultural journey that had to be undertaken for this wine to even exist at all. *WINE CLUB ONLY

Production: 341 cases bottled.

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2015 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

This bottling is comprised of 91% Dijon 115 across all three blocks. About 10% of those barrels were completely de-stemmed. Another 15% came from 100% whole cluster ferments with balance from barrels containing wine that had 15%-50% whole cluster fermentations. The Coury and Pommard round out the blend. This wine was in barrel for a little less than a year in 13% new oak and a combination of once-five times used barrels. This has the deep pigmentation, floral aromatics, intense mid-palate sweetness and structured finishing tannins that provide the wine with enough fortitude to hold the fruit sweetness well in check. This balances at a very high level. For all the dry extract-laden fruit here there is a wealth of acidity and tannin that are actually the dominant forces in the wine and ensure that this is a focused, smart and incredibly delicious Pinot Noir. This has so much to it that it will drink well almost immediately but has an upside that is clearly well more than a decade away.

Production: 898 cases bottled.

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2015 Freedom Hill Vineyard, Coury Clone Pinot Noir

Wine Making and Notes:Coury Clone Pinot Noir has a fascinating background tale that is literally rooted in the earliest history of the Oregon wine industry. The short version is that Charles Coury submitted his master’s thesis for cool climate winegrowing to the University of California at Davis while studying in Alsace, France in 1964. He brought cuttings back to the U.S. when he returned that summer. From these small and straight forward beginnings the plantings and legend of the Coury Clone begins. For a full and detailed account of this very, very interesting agricultural story that was lost to history for some time please go to The Price of Pinot’s website (http://www.princeofpinot.com/article/1214/) and read for yourself.

This section of the vineyard was planted in 2000 and the cuttings came from the 1972 section of Coury Clone at Hyland Vineyard. What all this amounts to is that this is one of the most fascinating single wines we have ever made. Much like the Dijon 115 whole cluster fermenters, pumpovers were nearly the sole manner in which the one 2.5 ton fermenter was handled. We believe that the Coury clone, in particular, responded especially positively to this ultra-gentle handling. This wine just comes loaded with an array of non-fruit based flavors that all somehow contribute to the wine having a distinctly complex fruit and spice character. Even with about 50% whole cluster fermentation this is not a big wine or an overtly structured wine. This wine spent just under a year in 33% new barrel. This shows the flipside of Freedom Hill Vineyard which is known for power, intensity, sap-laden wines with lots of structure. This is graceful, aromatic and while it is intense it does so very discretely. Amongst the staff at Patricia Green Cellars this particular bottling is a distinct favorite. *WINE CLUB ONLY

Production:144 cases bottled.

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Price $75.00 / per bottle
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