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2016 Balcombe Block 1B Pinot Noir 5 Litre

AVA: Dundee Hills       Location: Breyman Orchards Rd

Elevation: 600’                         Soil Type: Jory

Year Planted: 1990                 Clonal Material: 100% Pommard

Size: Vineyard 7.75 acres/Block 1B 1.5 acres

Vinification: 60% whole cluster in an open-top 2.5 ton fermenter

Picking Date: September 20    Tons/Acre: 1.80

By specific measure, this is the 20th bottling of Block 1B bottling from Balcombe Vineyard. That does pre-date the inception of PGC, but that only goes to show that this vineyard has stayed with us over the course of two wineries and continues to prove its remarkable consistency every year. Block 1B is a small block that produces only around 8 barrels per year and is the most popular wine we make each vintage. This wine, as always, is dense and burly with surprising power and grip to it for a Dundee Hills wine. Its youthful power serves this bottling well. A recently tasted bottle of the 1998 vintage was incredible! Extremely powerful and distinctly structured, this is a wine for the long term. Due to its long history and limited production, this wine is offered on futures only to Club Members.

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2016 Balcombe Vineyard Pinot Noir 5 Litre

Wine Making and Notes: 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 wine saw no new barrels and of the 16 selected for this bottling only 2 were even once 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. 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.

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2016 Durant Vineyard, Bishop Block Pinot Noir 5 Litre

AVA: Dundee Hills       Location: Breyman Orchards Rd

Elevation: 500’                         Soil Type: Jory

Year Planted: 1973                 Clonal Material: 100% Pommard

Size: Vineyard 60 acres/PGC Blocks total 4 acres

Vinification: 2 open-top 1.5 ton fermenters done with 100% whole clusters and 3 fermenters done with 20% whole clusters

Picking Date: September 13    Tons/Acre:  2.1

This is old school Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. The elegance is based on the vine age of 40+ years. Very few wineries in Oregon have a wide range of plantings dating back into the 1980s let alone back into the 1970s. The Durants were truly pioneers when they planted this section of the vineyard in 1973. Their farming, presence and healthy energy is as much a part of this vineyard’s terroir as is the soil and air. The wine that comes from this block reflects that individuality perhaps more so than any wine in the cellar. It knows what it wants to be from the get go the day the fruit comes through the door. This bottling will be chosen from 20% and 100% whole cluster fermentations. Red fruited with spices associated with the Dundee Hills, but a distinct minerality only found with older vines. Expect to find an introspective and soulful wine that is both concentrated and deft at the same time.

Two fermenters of fruit were 100% de-stemmed and went through a normal cold soak of about 4 to 5 days and then was fermented in 1.75 ton open top fermenters and was punched down 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. Two other fermenters were done with 20% whole clusters, went through a standard cold soak of about 5-6 days, 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 The wine spent about 10 months in barrel in 33% new oak. 5 and ½ barrels of the 20% whole cluster fermentation barrels were selected and 3 ½ from the 100% whole cluster fermentations. The combination allows for the forward, supple nature of Dundee Hill fruit to pour forth while being held tightly in check by the old vine, mineral-driven elements of the 100% whole cluster barrels. This is a wine that has old bones and sensibilities to it while still having the stuffing that Dundee Hill wines are known for.

These now monster vines were planted back in 1973 making them some of the oldest vines in Oregon and thus giving this bottling an historical aspect to it. 44 year-old vines in Oregon are exceptionally rare both because there was so little planted acreage back then and because some of that acreage has been re-planted due to phylloxera That this site and wine exist at all is somewhat of a minor miracle. In part due to this, 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: 196 cases bottled

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Price $270.00 / per bottle
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2016 Estate Vineyard Old Vine Pinot Noir 5 Litre

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 1987 planting of Chardonnay grafted to Pommard Clone in 1998, 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. Given the diversity within the vineyard (we have a 360 degree aspect on our hillside vineyard) and the range of vine age (20-33 years) we were able to pick at multiple different times and had fermentations that ranged from 100% de-stemmed to 50% whole cluster. The assemblage for this particular wine is always fascinating because you can see the wine come together as the elements from each block are added in. This wine is one of the few truly older vine bottlings that exists from Ribbon Ridge at this juncture and it shows how the best, older vineyards here have the capacity to translate the mineral laden nature of our water and soil into the refined, focused nature of the fruit we can grow here. This AVA is a special place and as interesting, dramatic and amazing as some of our specialty bottlings from this site are this one is the mother of them all and the true definer of wine from this site. The 2015 was listed as the #39 wine in The Wine Enthusiast 2017 Top 100 wines.

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Price $295.00 / per bottle
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2016 Estate Vineyard, Bonshaw Block Pinot Noir 3 Litre

The Bonshaw Block is on the south slope of our Estate hillside, around 1.5 acres. We only harvested approximately 1.4 tons from this section of 100% old vine Pommard Clone. Needless to say, this vintage nailed it. This bottling has intensity and power with dark fruit notes, all while maintaining the classic Pinot Noir sweetness displayed when the block is on its game. What has always made this bottling stand out is the combination of texture and structure. This wine has a full, round, opulent palate, but at the same time it brings in forceful tannins so there is context to all its dimensions.

 

Production: 65 cases bottled

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2016 Estate Vineyard, Etzel Block Pinot Noir 5 Litre

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. *WINE CLUB ONLY

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2016 Estate Vineyard, Wadensvil Block Pinot Noir 5 Litre

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. 2015 was the beginning of what is sure to be a fascinating journey with the wine this block can produce. 2016 shows the forward progress that we feel is inevitable. All the fruit was fermented with 20% whole clusters to further coax aromatics, nuance and elegance from a clone already predisposed toward those aspects. The 2016 is a little more tense, wild, dark and restrained than the more open knit and larger scale (100% de-stemmed) 2015 version. The fruit is focused, the minerality in the soil is on display, the texture is Ribbon Ridge-y fine with firm tannins and everything works harmoniously. This is a terrific wine and this block is going to produce extraordinary wines over the coming years. Time to get on board before everyone knows that. *WINE CLUB ONLY

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2016 Freedom Hill Vineyard, Coury Clone Pinot Noir 5 Litre

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. 

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2016 Freedom Hill Vineyard, Dijon 115 Clone 50% Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 5 Litre

Wine Making and Notes: As always this is simply perfect material from one single block of Dijon 115 Clone Pinot Noir (East Liberty Block) of the vineyard planted in 2004. This bottling has always emphasized the ability of whole cluster fementation to shine with fruit from this vineyard. Nine barrels came from 50% whole cluster ferments, 5 from 100% and 4 from 20% whole cluster ferments. This mix deftly mixes the more fruit forward aspects of lower whole cluster usage with the aromatic and complexity inherent to higher whole cluster ferments.  There are no new barrels on this wine and, in fact, there is only one barrel that was used just once previously. The bulk of the barrels used for this wine were completely neutral so to further enhance the incredible nature of this vineyard driven bottling. This has a strong, black-fruited tone to it with a range of flavors and spices mingling in for complexity. The tannins are sticky and firm and born entirely of the fruit. This wine will reward with a long life of aging, but will also be appreciated by fans of intense and sinewy Pinots in its youth.

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2016 Freedom Hill Vineyard, Pommard Clone Pinot Noir 5 Litre

Of the three block-designated wines we have here this one may best capture what may be the historical view of Freedom Hill Vineyard. This section of the vineyard was re-planted in 2001. This wine was in barrel for a little less than a year in 17% new barrel and a combination of once-four times used barrels. Pommard Clone has such as broad range to it and in Freedom Hill Vineyard it can really stretch out its legs as it were. The 2012-2015 bottlings of the Freedom Hill Pommard Clone bottling have ranged from very dark to really, very dark. Freedom Hill runs that way, the Pommard Clone especially so and that those vintages in general have produced a bevy of darker toned wines. This vintage this is a bit different. The intense red tones are what dominate this wine in 2016. Still concentrated and lacking for nothing this version of the Pommard has run towards raspberries, rose petals, spicy sorts of spices and a little easier tannin structure than the past couple of vintages. It is nice to see how the vintage impacts sources you are very familiar with. This is a little less sauvage than in the past, a little more elegant, still very wild, very becoming and will last for a long, long time.

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