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Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Balcombe Vineyard 2011
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Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Coury Clone 2012

Patricia Green Cellars

$69.95 Regular

in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case




Tanzer 94 points: (made with 50% whole clusters): Vivid ruby. A heady, exotically perfumed bouquet evokes candied red berries, sandalwood, star anise and potpourri, with a strong mineral overtone. Stains the palate with powerful red fruit liqueur and floralpastille flavors that put on weight with air. Shows a suave blend of power and vivacity, finishing with emphatic red berry character and smooth tannins that meld with the wine's intense fruit.

I should have taken the hint from Patricia Green Cellars co-owner Jim Anderson, known for his deadpan expression. He was grinning from ear to ear.

I'm on a Pinot noir high because finally, after 6 months of waiting, I can tell you about Jim's wine. Patricia Green Cellars Freedom Hill Coury Clone 2012.

Why am I so high on this wine? It started on a cold day in March in a frigid warehouse. Jim met us for a tasting of their 2012s in barrel. He grabbed his thief and led us into the larger of two barrel rooms where we went through over a dozen wines, all outstanding in their different ways.

Then we went to the small annex where they keep their favorite small-lot barrels. He kept saying "just wait..." as we went through beautiful Pinot after Pinot. Of the wines available, the Freedom Hill Pinot was my favorite and we featured it in our first offer of Patty Green futures back in May.

But then came the wine he was grinning about. A tiny production from a few rows of Coury Clone vines. I begged for some but it wasn't yet available. That's changed, and today we have a tiny allocation of futures. You want to try it because it's unlike any other Pinot you've tasted. In a wonderful way.

The Coury Clone is also known as the "Suitcase Clone" and was brought here by Coury from the Alsace region of France, and some people say that it's not even a true clone. That meshes with my impression. It's different.

I'll try to describe it, but words don't do it justice. What makes the Coury Clone so flabbergasting is the range of ever changing, fascinating aromas. As Jim puts it, "freakishly sublime aromatics." Roses and violets, black tea, red currants, earth and five spices are woven together with a melange of blackberry, plum and exotic fruit flavors in a framework of silky tannins. Irresistible. I'll open a few bottles when it arrives, but it's a keeper. I'm counting on it lasting for a dozen years of celebrations and congratulations. - Jean

From The Winery

Sometimes you just know. This was one of those times. There isn't a lot of "Coury Clone" planted any longer. The history of this clone is part Oregon history and part Oregon lore. Here is some background on this clone from a well researched essay at the, "The Pommard clone UCD 4 was brought to Oregon by Dick Erath and Charles Coury. It produced a flavor profile that was complimentary to the Wädenswil clone and is the most widely planted Pinot Noir clone in Oregon. Coury sold cuttings from his nursery that purportedly were Pommard and became known as the Coury clone, but these cuttings, which are widely planted in Oregon vineyards are not the same as Pommard clone, probably represent one or more suitcase selections brought into the US by Coury from Alsace, are not a true clone." This is one version of the story. There are others as well (including one that postulates that Coury Clone Pinot Noir may, in fact, not even be Pinot Noir).

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 these two fermenters were touched. We believe that the Coury clone, in particular, responded especially positively to this ultra-gentle handling. The two fermenters were, at first, very, very light in color in contrast to everything else we received from the vineyard. However, it was the aromatics that told us that while we initially lacked color we, in fact, had something special on our hands. While the wine has darkened it is far more red-centric and clear than the other Freedom Hill cuvees. Where this wine breaks from the pack though is in its array of flavors, its sheer elegance and its freakishly sublime aromatics. This is rose petals, black tea, currants, earthen spices and, in the cases of the few new barrels on it, incredibly well integrated wood notes that are a tremendous framing agent for all the fruit-born characteristics. This is something really unique and quite special.

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