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2016 Balcombe Block 1B Pinot Noir

Wine Making and Notes:This is the most popular wine at Patricia Green Cellars. The Wine Club exists because of it. This block happens to produce wine utterly like anything else from the rest of the vineyard. It is darker, much more structured, more earth bound and deeper than the much higher toned fruit in the regular Balcombe Vineyard bottling. This block has been this different since our first time working with this site in 1997. Nothing has changed. We were able to do a fermentation that was done with 60% whole clusters and another with 20% whole clusters. Both went through a standard cold soak of about 5-6 days, one fermented in a single 2.5 ton open top fermenter, the other in a 1.75 ton and both were exclusively pigeaged 1x/day until dry and then pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. This spent a little less than a year in 12% new barrels along with a combination of one, two and three times used barrels. The whole cluster element lends spices and herbs to the super-darkly fruited nature of the wine creating depth and complexity. As usual, the wine is brooding in its youth and has incredible longevity. Tastings of the 1997 and 1998 bottlings (from the previous place of employ) over the past year revealed wines that were in tremendous shape. We are better at what we do now than we were then and the vineyard is nearly 30 years old now, not just getting to 10.  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 27 years of vine age are just entering full maturity. This is a gorgeous uber-rendition of Dundee Hills Pinot Noir.  In the past seven vintages (2008-2014) it has received scores of 93, 93, 93, 93, 93, 93 and 93 from Steve Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.  *WINE CLUB ONLY

 

Production:173 cases bottled.

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2016 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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2016 Estate Vineyard, Bonshaw Block Pinot Noir

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 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

This bottling is comprised of 94% Dijon 115 across all three blocks. About 7% of those barrels were completely de-stemmed. Another 25% came from 100% whole cluster ferments with balance from barrels containing wine that had 20%-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 9% 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. It is funny to us that this is our “regular” bottling of Freedom Hill simply due to the existence of our small clonal bottlings. By any measure this is a terrific, site-specific Pinot Noir from one of Oregon’s classic and historical vineyards. This has incredibly well-farmed material in it and it is a gorgeous wine with great intensity and balance. This is far from “regular” but nonetheless here at PGC that is what it is. Bang for the buck/Quality-to-price ratio/however you want to term it, this wine is off the charts. 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: 819 cases bottled.

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2016 Reserve Pinot Noir

In short, this wine is a smoking deal!  This bottling comes from terrific sources. This is extremely high quality wine across the board. Four Dundee Hill site ranging in age from 18-44 years make up about 30% of the bottling. Another third (slightly more) comes from our Estate Vineyard and almost all of the rest from Freedom Hill. There are seriously great bones here and this wine will stand up to many, many much higher priced bottlings.

Production: 2,917 cases bottled.

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Price $27.00 / per bottle
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2016 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 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

 

Production: 281 cases bottled.

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2016 Notorious Pinot Noir

In 2016 the selected barrels come from Balcombe Vineyard (3 barrels of Pommard planted in 1990 and fermented with 20% whole cluster) and Durant Vineyard-Bishop Block (1 barrel from 43 year old Pommard clone vines and fermented with 15% whole clusters). Both of these vineyards are planted in the Dundee Hills. 3 total barrels from Freedom Hill Vineyard (2 barrels from the Dijon 115 sections that were done with 50% whole cluster fermentations and 1 barrel from the Pommard Clone block that is always entirely de-stemmed). Freedom Hill Vineyard is located just outside of the Eola-Amity Hills. Lastly a quarter barrel was utilized from Olenik Vineyard’s Wadensvil Block. This block was planted in 1991 and was done with a 60% whole cluster fermentation. Olenik Vineyard is located in the heart of the Chehalem Mountains AVA.  

Production: 179 cases

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2016 Mysterious Pinot Noir

This is just the 3rd time (2009 and 2014 were the previous two vintages) but we certainly never shy away from taking it. Missing out on 2015 was not due to lack of effort on our part, for sure. This is one of the great Pinot Noir vineyards in America. This is a steeply pitched vineyard that resembles a cone. The farming is impeccable. It is on a hillside replete with some of the oldest and most noteworthy vineyards in Oregon, but beyond that it is on a hillside that is filled with people who love their vines and love this special place in Dundee. There is magic here for sure. In 2014 we were getting two sections of the vineyard, one that made structured, subtle wine and one that made wow wine. In 2016 we had to settle for the wow section. 27 year-old Pommard Clone vines on a very steep, southeast facing part of the slope planted at high-density produce intense, wonderful fruit. Low tonnage to the acre amped things up a bit as well. Two fermenters were done with 20% whole clusters and one with 100% whole clusters. They were assembled before bottling at those ratios. 17% new barrel was used with a combination of once to four times used to round out the barrel program. This wine wants to be perfect. It is youthful and jumpy right now. There is so much material roiling around with fruit and tannin sort of all over the place at the moment. Not unusual for great wines to begin at stages like this. This has power, concentration, dry extract, subtle spice undertones and enormous length to it. This is not necessarily a powerhouse but it just has so much to it that it is impossible not to think that there is profundity in this wine’s future.

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2016 Balcombe Vineyard Pinot Noir

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.

 

Production: 353 cases bottled.

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2016 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. 

Production:184 cases bottled.

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