1. 2001 Chardonnay
Quantity made- 500 cases
Vineyard sources- Four Winds- Wente Clone (66%),
Shea 108 Clone 33%
Oak- 15% new oak, rest neutral barrels
Yeast- Native yeast fermentation for first half
of fermentation, then added Prisse de Mousse (Champagne yeast)
Comments from Avalon: Patty and Jim like an elevated
acidity in their highly in demand white wines- they go for a good texture
and mouth feel- which this wine definitely has. There are hints of
tropical fruit nicely integrated with flinty, mineral qualities. Lots
of delightful complexity. Ann commented that it reminds her of a New
Zealand Sauvignon Blanc- lots of minerals matched with spice and fruit.
A most pleasant bottle of wine.
From the winemakers:
" Last year we had a vineyard designate Chardonnay from Four Winds Vineyard.
While we feel this wine is as high quality as that wine we blended two vineyards
together to create what we thought was the best Chardonnay possible from our
cellar in 2001. 67% of this wine's volume comes from the Wente Clone vines at
Four Winds while the other 33% comes from an older planting of the Davis 108
Clone at Shea Vineyard.
We combined the two wines as we felt that they
were perfect complements to one another. The Four Winds is high toned
in nature with wonderful aromatics and nice touches of green apples
and Bartlett pears on the palate. The wine is medium-bodied and nicely
elegant with just a touch of the nutty quality that made some people
think of good Macon or village Meursault with our 2000. The Shea wine
is much lower-toned with almost a muscular sort of framework that gives
it more than a handful of density.
The two wines combine
to bring out the best in each other. When blended the wine has the
fruity aromatics of the Four Winds with a touch of the cinnamon laced
fruit from Shea and a great deal of weight provided by the 108 Clone
without becoming ponderous due to the flashy acidity the Four Winds
possesses. As always we rein in the use of new wood in the Chardonnay.
There are 3 new barrels and 4 once filled barrels while the other
14 barrels are mostly 4th use or older. There is a touch of toast
in the wine but it is mild at most. There are 500 cases of this wine.
2. 2001 "Oregon" Pinot
Quantity made- 800 cases (the 500 cases of the 2000 disappeared immediately
Vineyard sources- Bradley Vyd in western Umpqua (66%) Estate and Four
Winds (33%) plus one barrel of Balcombe that was aged in Hungarian
Avalon Comments: Patty and Jim work hardest
on this, their least expensive Pinot noir. They try to offer the
best possible $20 Pinot noir they
can each year in their "Oregon" product. To find good grapes
at a price that allows them to offer this wine for $20 suggested retail,
they turned to Patty's connections in Southern Oregon and came up with
the Bradley Vineyard in westernmost Umpqua Valley. It is a 22-year-old
vineyard of self-rooted Pommard clone Pinot noir.
The wine has an earthy barnyard nose and
a big round, supple bing cherry and spice flavor. The finish is dry,
the wine is well balanced,
and Jim says it should age for 5-6 years. It is immediately accessible
and drinkable, a lovely, very complete Pinot noir. Very nice for the
price, as good or better than any other Pinot noir available at the
price, and it has a hint of that wonderful "Patty" nose and
flavor that characterizes her wines. This would be a wonderful glass
pour for a restaurant wanting a great wine at a great price.
From the winemakers:
" It's a bit funny that what we are
known for is our line of expressive vineyard designated Pinot Noirs
when the wine we work hardest
on both conceptually and in the cellar is this one. Crafting high caliber
Pinot Noir that can retail for $20 starts months before we begin thinking
about our other wines. This wine needs to show the expression of our
winemaking style, be balanced and have enough complexity to make it
interesting and be affordable for us to produce. Well, the cost of
Pinot Noir fruit in the northern Willamette Valley did not get any
cheaper in 2001 especially for older vine fruit. So we went off the
board a bit. Patty called a contact from her old-timey days of working
in the Unpqua Valley and came up with 11 tons of Pinot Noir from a
22 year old vineyard set up high and back in one of the innumerable
valleys in the Umpqua growing region (about 150 miles south of our
Bradley Vineyard makes up about 64% of this blend and it brings high
toned aromatics, bright, focused cherry fruit and some nice inherent
structure that serves as the backbone for the wine. The wine is accentuated
by the addition of fruit from Four Winds Vineyard for some roundness,
depth and bramble and a few barrels of 2nd and 3rd production fruit
from the Estate Vineyard for some fore-palate brightness and intensity.
Voila! A pretty damn fine and interesting wine composed of fruit from
3 distinct viticultural areas making it truly an Oregon Pinot Noir.
There are about 805 cases of this wine which makes it one of the larger
bottlings we produced in 2001. For years we have worked to produce
an Oregon Pinot Noir that showed the house style, showed the things
that make Oregon Pinot interesting and in a way that made it an everyday
sort of wine without being simple. We think this may be as fine an
effort as we have turned out.
The wine has the signature bright, flashy
fruit that is the hallmark of the 2001 vintage while also bringing
in some earth tones, peppery
spice and enough structure to give the wine some guts and age ability
without making it too hard for immediate consumption. This is going
to be a popular item across the country and there probably aren't going
to be any second chances at this one so load up!"
3. 2001 Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir
Quantity made: 345 cases
Vineyard sources: Four Winds Vineyard, Pommard clone on rootstock
Oak: 35% new oak, rest neutral
Avalon Comments: I loved this wine, it is such a wonderfully Burgundian
Village-style offering. It has a classic Burgundian barnyard nose,
and lovely, berry predominating fruit. Jim says this is their most
perplexing wine- they do nothing different to achieve the style, it
is the vineyards' terroir and native yeast that produce this decidedly
French styled wine.
Jim says that sell most of this wine on the East Coast, to people
who know and love the barnyardy wines of the vineyards high in the
hills of the Cote du Beaune, not the premier cru vineyards, but the
village style wines that show gamy and wild influences. The funk of
the nose is partnered with flavors of black raspberry, chocolate, exotic
spice, and the simple friendliness of a rustic styled wine.
As is typical of PGC wines, it is delicately balanced and shows hints
of complexity that intrigue and draw you in to the wine. If there was
ever a wine made for Provencal cuisine, it is this one. I made a Cassoulet
this weekend with it and served it with the Cassoulet and crusty bread
and hunks of cave aged Gouda and let me tell you, that was some wonderful
eating and drinking!
From the winemakers:
"When you get to this wine you know
we are as all about terroir as we can be. Gone are the sweet, high-toned
mid-palates and perfumed
cherry noses. This site is set toward the Coast Range in western McMinnville
and it is a different experience altogether. Four Winds is an isolated
vineyard that Jon Steinhart and Julie Donnelly planted back in 1994.
We have been fortunate to work with the site since its first harvest
in 1997. We have farmed this vineyard to capture the qualities that
set this site apart not only geographically but also within the context
of our cellar. Being closer to the Coast Range and at an elevation
of over 700 feet this site has a good deal more maritime influence
than any of our other sites as well as a good deal more weather. These
factors along with the mix of Nokia and Jory soil and the blend of
Pommard and various Dijon clones all contribute to making this vineyard's
wine quite distinct.
The immediate distinction is in the nose.
This wine has that certain gaminess, that gout de terroir, that barnyardy
quality that the occasional
Pinot Noir can get. If you like rock 'em, sock 'em West Coast Pinot
Noir fruit bombs this is probably not your thing. If, however, you
like the off-beat villages of Burgundy such as Fiixn, Auxey-Duresses
and Pernand-Vergelesses than this might be up your alley. On the palate
the sauvage nature of the aromatics gives way to ripe blackberries,
bramble, peppery spice and toast from 36% new oak. The mouth feel is
very round with loads of plushness and just a hint of tannin on the
finish. This is an interesting little vineyard whose wines have gained
in complexity each year we have made them. 345 cases this year."
4. 2001 Eason Vineyard Pinot noir
Quantity made: 510 cases
Vineyard sources: Eason Vineyard, in the Dundee Hills off of Brey
Orchard Road, along with Domaine Drouhin's Estate vineyard, Balcombe
Vineyard and the vineyards of Domaine Serene. It is at about 450 ft
elevation, at the bottom of the road in a concave slope. It would seem
that this lower site would ripen more quickly than the sites above
it, and might produce more fruit per acre with good results, but no,
Patty and Jim have to cut off lots of fruit to keep the harvest below
2 tons an acre, or there are no flavors. The vineyard was planted in
1986 to Pommard on root stock, and Patty and Jim have managed the vineyard
Oak: 33% new
Avalon Comments: The wine's nose is a rich mix of floral, buttery
vanilla bean, and anise, the flavors are of swwet berry and cherry
fruits, with a silky texture in the mouth and a long, long finish with
fine tea type tannins. It is a jazzy, round red wine, just delightful,
especially in its expressive silky, glyceriny finish. Yumm!
Ann thinks this wine screams to be served with lamb chops, new potatoes,
mint jelly, and fresh spinach. Whatever you have it with, prepare to
enjoy. Will age for 5-6 years.
From the winemakers: "Sometimes a
vineyard just becomes the apple of your eye. Eason Vineyard is that
for us. We have worked with the
fruit from this site since 1994 when Patty and Jose agreed to a deal
with the owner, Ward Eason, to rescue this site from the blackberries
that had overtaken nearly the entirety of the 4.3 acre site. For 8
years we have worked on recovering and upgrading this vineyard that
was planted in 1986. The past two vintages have more than rewarded
out efforts. The vineyard, interestingly, is just about 2 miles down
the hill from Balcombe Vineyard but is much lower in elevation at about
425 feet and is set into the side of the hill in a bowl shaped configuration
making it a warm, relatively early ripening site. We are very protective
of this site and limit the crop load to less than 2 tons per acre every
vintage. Even with the larger sized clusters of 2001 we came in at
Eason displays great depth of black cherry fruit, kirsch, licorice,
iron and smoky but subtle toast from 33% new oak. The wine is slightly
more masculine than Balcombe Vineyard with a greater sense of structure
delivered in the back of the wine and a denser, less ethereal mouth
feel that highlights the warm spice tones that the vineyard's fruit
produces. This wine is as well balanced as any of our Pinots and with
the age of the vines as a backbone should be an excellent candidate
for several years of cellaring. There are 505 cases of this wine.
5. 2001 Balcombe Vineyard
Quantity made- 500 cases
Vineyard sources- Balcombe Vineyard, off Brey Orchard Road at 750
ft elevation, just down from Domaine Drouhin at 900 feet. The vineyard
is on a convex slope, was planted in 1986.
Oak- 55% new oak, rest neutral barrels- toast on the new barrels was
a little heavier than on the other wines
Yeast- Native yeast
Avalon Comments:Well here's a story- who
would' a thunk! This is the same vineyard that, pre PGC, was used
to grow grapes for Willamette
Valley Vineyard's "Oregon Trail" Pinot noir- a very ordinary
wine, certainly showing none of the potential of what has become source
for PGC's most popular and age able Pinots. OF course, PGC crops back
to a little over 2 tons and acre and the vineyard was producing over
5 tons an acre for the WVV wine.
Jim says that they have performed extensive cover cropping, pruning,
replanting, etc since 1997, when Patty took over management of the
vineyard- a key point- Patty and Jim manage most of the vineyards their
fruit comes from, nothing like having day to day control over the grape
growing process for getting the best possible fruit for wine production.
The wine has a silky easy mouth feel and a sultry, sensual quality
that was so enticing in the 2000 vintage. Although only a stone's throw
from the Eason vineyard, this wine has much more licorice, black pepper,
and deep flavors than the Eason. The nose has butter, toast, smoke,
and liquour-like fruit. The flavors are black berries, cassis, creamy
blueberry, hints of bing cherry, fresh leather, chocolate, licorice,
and black pepper. The finish is long with hints of tea tannins and
From the winery: "The 2001 Balcombe
Vineyard was probably the wine of the vintage for us. For the past
two years Balcombe Vineyard
has produced the highest toned, silkiest and most aromatically expressive
wine in the cellar. The 7.25 acre vineyard is set high up in the Dundee
Hills. While the elevation and its great exposure provide it with the
suppleness and texture that make Pinot Noir so incredible those two
factors force us to work harder in this vineyard than any other. Since
we operate in a fairly marginal climactic part of the world we always
have an eye on the calendar as we get deeper into October. In 2001
we felt that the larger sized clusters would be delayed in achieving
physiological ripeness in this generally late ripening site. Consequently
we dropped fruit on numerous occasions and ended up with a resulting
tonnage of about 1.4 tons per acre. While we harvested less fruit than
we are generally accustomed to the quality is supreme!
This is pure Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. It
has deep aromatics of black cherries, crushed raspberries, fresh
rose petals, red earth spices
and a touch of sweet oak. The wine has the signature velvety texture,
richness and long, spicy finish that make Balcombe extraordinary and
highly sought. For those of you in the know there is also a bottling
called Balcombe Block 1B that was sold on futures that is more masculine
and powerful. The regular bottling of Balcombe Vineyard is perhaps
the wine we get most excited about (the 2000 bottling was the wine
we featured at the 2002 International Pinot Noir Celebration). There
are only 470 cases of this wine."
6. 2001 Shea Vineyard
Quantity made- 1000 cases
Vineyard sources- Blocks throughout the Shea Vineyard, 97% Pommard
clone, 3% Wadenswil clone, all original plantings from 1989. Shea is
on Willakenzie soil.
Oak- 35% new oak, rest neutral barrels
Yeast- Native yeast
Avalon Comments: Patty and Jim made wine
for Shea Vineyards as well as for their own label this vintage and
had an advantage in the large
number of barrels of different Shea blocks from which they worked.
They even had a section of the winery called "Shea Stadium" for
the whole section was barrels from different parts of the vineyard!
While this wine was in barrel, it was the one everyone wanted more
of. It has a nose full of violets and black cherry, flavors to match,
with hints of dried rose petals, sugared plum, and berry, and a long,
silky and rich finish.
This vintage of the PGC Shea was very fruit forward while in barrel
but has tightened up in bottle and needs at least 6-8 months to come
around. While tight when tasted 11/8/02, the wine has lovely lush hints
of big black plum and cherry flavors, with a lovely finish with fine
tea-like tannins. Jim says this wine will cellar for 5-7 years.
From the winery: "What can we say
other than that this vineyard is a complete pleasure to work with?
I guess the other thing to say
would be that we have around 1,100 cases of this bottling as opposed
to 137 cases in 2000! A coup for Pinot Noir lovers!
5 blocks from the original 1989 planting make up this wine and each
block lends a unique element of complexity into this wine. Shea Vineyard
is a sprawling site of, at this juncture, about 100 acres spread across
2 hillsides which are just over the ridge from our winery. Dick Shea,
with his vineyard manager Javier Marin, has done an excellent job of
tending to this site and working with excellent producers in an effort
to make this vineyard one of Oregon's top Pinot Noir names.
We were fortunate to receive nearly 18 tons of fruit from 6 different
parcels in 2001. The diversity of older blocks and a touch of clonal
diversity (the wine is 93% Pommard and 7% Wadensvil) combined with
some winemaking influence (the wine is 15% whole cluster) allowed us
to create a wonderfully complex and compelling wine that is absolutely
true to the terroir of this wonderful vineyard!
The nose is an array of floral tones dominated by spring violets.
While medium-bodied in nature Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir carries a subtle
richness to it that gives it a texture and density that is both appealing
and striking. Complex rings of fruit are layered through the mid-palate.
Ripe black cherries are the predominant note but hints of blackberry,
blueberry and dried rose petals fill out the wine. The wine has exceptional
length and finishes with floral qualities that are jazzed up with wet
stones and subtle spices. The wine has terrific balance and it only
saw 33% new oak so the touch of toast is greatly downplayed in this
If it sounds like we enjoy drinking this
wine you are correct! It's a wonder there is any left at all! This
wine, amazingly enough, constitutes
our largest bottling in 2001. 1,020 cases made."
7. 2001 Estate Pinot noir
Quantity made- 500 cases
Vineyard sources- PGC Estate vineyard- Willakenzie soil, subclass
Wellesdale- sandstone subsoil
Oak- 50% new oak, rest neutral barrels
Avalon Comments: When Patty and Jim purchased their vineyard and winery
in 1999, they began a large-scale intensive vineyard management program
including cover crops, re-trellising, tearing out much of the vineyard
and replanting, changing the canopy management, in essence, turning
the vineyard into their dream of what they want their Estate vineyard
to be. So 1999, there was really nothing, 2000 was their first and
excellent estate Pinot, and with the 2001, we see where they are heading,
and it is very nice indeed.
The 2001 Estate is 20% whole cluster fermented.
As Jim explains it, when the stems are ripe enough that they are
neutral in flavor, these "good" stems
(versus icky green tasting stems) heighten the intensity of the wine.
The anaerobic fermentation that occurs between grapes that are tightly
sealed around the stem in a whole cluster leads to a more explosive,
perfumey, tangy flavor, lending complexity and depth to the wine. This
wine reminds me of one from Dujac, famous for their 100% wholes cluster
fermented wines that are intensely perfumed. We see some of that here.
From the winemakers: "Between 2000
and 2001 we took the radical step of taking out nearly 6.5 acres
of 15 year old vines in the Estate
Vineyard. Why? Everything that we have done on the Estate property
is part of a long term goal to make this one of the great Pinot Noir
vineyards in Oregon. Sometimes you have to back up to go forward. In
the case of these older vines there were unhealthy plants, a trellising
system not well suited for Pinot Noir or this climate and distances
between the rows of vines that were not in line with our vision of
The effect of all this? In the short term it means that instead of
this being our largest bottling as it was in 2000 it is much smaller
at about 525 cases (down 300 cases from 2000). In the long term it
will mean even greater quality of wine from a site and region that
we believe in wholeheartedly. A recent tasting of the 2000 Estate,
2000 Beaux Freres and 2000 Brick House was very exciting as it showed
a clear similarity between these Ribbon Ridge wines!
The 2001 Estate shows the qualities that we believe this region (and
eventually appellation) will come to be known for: Namely a silky mid-palate,
excellent tannic structure, a huge core of black cherry fruit, earth-toned
spices and a distinct note of minerality on the finish of the wine.
5 fermenters were chosen to represent the Estate wine. Two of those
fermenters had 50% of the fruit left as whole cluster to enhance the
aromatics, provide greater structure and accentuate the perfumy cherry
qualities of fruit in the mid-palate of the wine. Our best barrels
were chosen for the elevage and the wine is 47% new oak.
We feel this vintage represents a true jumping off point for our Estate
bottling as we had full control of the vineyard for the entire growing
season. Many exciting things and wines will follow of the next few
years but this is as good a start as we could have hoped for.
8. 2001 Balcombe Block 1B
Quantity made- 170 cases
Vineyard sources- One block of Balcombe Vineyard, 1B, a block of 12
year old vines with such unique characteristics that is best processed
and bottled as a single block
Oak- 57% new oak, rest neutral barrels
Yeast- Native yeast
Avalon Comments: This 1 ½ acre part of the Balcombe vineyard
has a vein of soil running though it that is shallower and rockier
than the surrounding land. The result from the grapes grown in this
block is a wine that is darker and denser, that exhibits more of the
characteristics usually called "terroir", and a distinctive
and very impressive finish with intense berry, cassis, creamy fruit,
nuts, and licorice. There is a wonderful gamey note to the wine, a
heavier black fruit, muscular quality. Balance and ageability are top
notch with this wine, it is well structured and should age up to 10
Ann says this wine would go well with barbequed raccoon (her father
was a coon hunter). I think personally, I'll look for a different recipe,
but for you coon hunters, this is your wine!
From the winemakers: "We have decided,
in an effort to show the site as distinctly as possible, to divide
the bottling of Balcombe
up. This bottling is made up entirely of one of the five blocks in
the vineyard. As in the 2000 vintage Block 1B tends to produce the
darkest, deepest and most tannic fruit in the vineyard. There were
only 7 barrels of this wine. The wine is incredibly dark in color and
has a big nose of ripe, succulent black cherries, blueberries, mocha,
iron, red spices and, depending on the barrel, well integrated sweet
French oak. This is a fairly muscular, powerful wine with a deep mid-palate
and fine tannins on the back of the wine. If you like them chewier,
big and age-worthy this is your wine. It has characteristics that are
in line with the normal bottling of Balcombe but we feel there is not
only a greater sense of depth and strength in this wine but a greater
sense of terroir as well. It all comes out to just about 165 cases
of wine. This is EASILY our most popular wine."
9. 2001 Bonshaw Vineyard
Quantity made- 95 cases
Vineyard sources- Four Winds- Wente Clone (66%), Shea 108 Clone 33%
Oak- 15% new oak, rest neutral barrels
Avalon Comments: The Bonshaw vineyard is
one part of the PGC Estate vineyard with very different characteristics
from the rest of the vineyard.
One of PGC's best customers call this wine "flamboyant" and
we agree. It is pure muscle in your face, very hearty and full bodied,
with a big barnyard nose.
The site is only approximately 1 ¼ acres,
although the slope is so steep it's hard to tell. It is the first
section picked each
year and gets very ripe. Even with the hugeness, the flavors are complex,
with rich plum and silky, rich, plush fruits, baked stone fruits, and
spicy pepper notes. It was picked at a Brix of 25.5 to 26, and had
a higher PH than many of the vineyards in 2001, with a PH of 3.75.
The wine could cellar as long as 8 years.
These wines will settle, expand, and exhibit
a broader range of flavors than it does presently. Right now it pretty
much shows as "huge!!!"
Ray says have this with Elk steak, venison, if you can't get game,
try it with roasted leg of lamb with lots of garlic and pepper.
From the winemakers: "This is a very
particular 2 acre block from the Estate Vineyard of old vines that
were grafted to Pinot Noir
in 1999 and produced Pinot for the first time in 2000. This block is
located on the steep, west-facing slope of the vineyard and was the
first Pinot Noir PGC picked in 2001.
As it did last year the wine shows a very different display of fruit
than any of their other wines. There are hints of cherry but the wine
has a nearly preternatural sweetness reminiscent of boysenberries.
The wine has great richness from the exceptional ripeness but is exceptionally
well balanced with a racy streak of acidity that carries the sweet
fruit of the wine making it deft and interesting through its long finish.
10. 2001 Shea Vineyard Block 7
Quantity made- 145 cases
Vineyard sources- Block 7 of Shea Vineyard
Oak- 35% new oak, rest neutral barrels
Avalon Comments: Patty and Jim made the wines for Shea Vineyard in
2001 and chose this one block to pull out as a separate bottling. It
is from the steepest and highest part of the Shea Vineyard, and it
was cropped at 1.25 tons per acre. The grapes were extremely small,
the grape skins a super black color, and the flavors are HUGE.
The nose is barnyard and big black marionberry, the flavors are of
leather, marionberry, cola, big black fruit and berries, spicy oak,
and a big, wonderfully balanced, long, complex finish. This is the
one wine of the PGC 2001s that can really take some aging- at 10-12
years of proper cellaring this wine should still be lively.
From the winemakers: "There may not
be a site more heralded in Oregon than Shea Vineyard. We have the
good fortune of having the largest
representation of Shea Vineyard wines, not just this vintage, but ever
assembled anywhere! This is, in part, because we are making Pinot Noir
for our label and for the Shea Wine Cellars label. Due to this we have
wine from 7 different blocks in the vineyard (there are over 120 barrels
of Shea in our winery and we have one whole room that has nothing but
Shea wine in it and it has been dubbed Shea Stadium-pure torture for
this life long Red Sox fan).
Block 7 stands out from all the blocks of fruit. It is part of the
original planting (1989) of the vineyard. The block is high up on the
hill at a due west facing on a very steep slope. The vines have since
been ripped out due to phylloxera but we got the last harvest from
them and what a harvest it was! The wine is atypical of Shea Vineyard
wines. It is dense, dark, brooding, loaded with black fruit and all
in all just a monster of a wine. There is intense concentration of
blackberry, boysenberry and ripe cherries. Hints of clove, licorice
and black tea bolster the back of the wine and lead into very firm
but very ripe tannins. There are 140 cases of this wine and it has
proved to be nearly as popular as Balcombe Block 1B in barrel tastings
we have conducted.
There are only 6 barrels of this particular bottling and this will
be the only time the label will ever appear so it is a true rarity!
11. 2001 "Notorious" Pinot noir
Quantity made- 45 cases
Vineyard sources- Two barrels of Balcombe with lees added back in
(see comments below)
Oak- 100% new oak
Avalon Comments: This is the best wine PGC makes, aged in 100% new
Cadus barrels and yet you don't taste the oak as being out of balance.
They truly unique part of the making of this wine is the aging on lees.
The lees are the solids left in the bottom of a barrel and 5 gallons
of lees were added back to each of the two barrels of Balcombe vineyard
juice that were chosen for this wine.
Lees can be bitter, coarse, or have no flavor, but in the case of
the Balcombe vineyard, the lees sometimes have a wonderful quality.
When added back into the barrel they add viscosity, density, richness
and sweetness. The lees by themselves are similar in flavor to blackberry
yogurt, fluffy and rich, and they are only added to new barrels- the
flavor enhancement does not work in neutral barrels,
The wine's nose is exotically rich, coffee and chocolate, the flavors
are silky and viscous, with intense black fruit, spice, and pepper
well integrated with the intense yet balanced tannins- there are hints
of pomegranate, persimmon, autumn fruits, and tea in the long long
finish. This wine will age well for up to 12 years.
From the winemakers: "Mostly winemaking
consists of growing great fruit and then making a huge effort not
to screw it up. Once again
we managed to do something in the cellar that we thought was pretty
interesting and pretty exciting. This year there are two barrels that
we have chosen to represent our most interesting wine. Both barrels
are from Balcombe Vineyard and were allowed 11 months in new Cadus
barrels. The wine, much like the one barrel we produced in 2000, has
characteristics of the Balcombe bottling except the fruit is even sweeter
(if that is possible), the mid-palate richer and more velvety and the
finish has a touch more structure and nuance to it. While the wine
is 100% new oak it is very difficult to tell due to the quality of
coopering that Cadus employs. This wine is very sensuous and will be
the best cellar candidate we made in 2001 although if you taste it
you will have a hard time not wanting to open a bottle or two right
away! 47 cases will be produced."