from Jean at Avalon Wine -
I know you're super busy with the holiday
weekend coming, so maybe you can tuck this email aside to read after
the turkey! Several small producers of Oregon Pinot
noir have released their annual offerings. If history is any judge, they'll be snapped up
quickly. In case you'd like some, here are reviews and recommendations.
You might like to check out the website this weekend- we have a new article
about the 2004 Oregon Pinot noirs from Cole Danehower (Oregon Wine Report)
where he waxes poetic about the vintage.
Here are the Best of the New, Small Production
Patricia Green Cellars Etzel Block 2004
When PGC first released wine, almost all was made from purchased fruit.
Extensive work was required to improve the Estate Vineyard. After four
years of very hard work, PGC's best wine is made from Estate fruit.
The PGC Estate Vineyard is contiguous with
Beaux Freres' Estate vineyard, in the heart of the Ribbon Ridge Appellation.
Purchased in 2000, the vineyard's potential shows here, and it's quite
impressive. With this wine, the winery reaches a new level of quality.
The wine is made from the block of vines closest to Beaux Freres' vineyard
and is named after Beaux Freres' winemaker Mike Etzel.
Aside from displaying the sweetness and
smokiness from the oak the wine has great aromatics of blackberries,
raspberries, tar, tobacco and exotic spices. The wine is concentrated
and full, with tremendous length.
You can read more about the PGC Estate Vineyard
and see a map of the blocks here:
Carter Vineyard Pinot noir Hillblock 2003
A fair portion of Ken Wright's reputation for Pinot noir derives from his
Carter Vineyard Pinots. When Jack and Kathleen Carter decided to make
a bit of wine under their own name, Ken was tapped to make it, and the
results of this, the third vintage of the wine, is first-class. The wine
is made from the 22 year old Hillblock section of the vineyard, which produced
a low yield of highly flavorful fruit in 2004.
Wine Spectator gave
last year's 2003 vintage 92 points.
Although not quite as forward as the 03, it's a lovely, approachable
wine that shows all Ken's skills as a winemaker. If not as fruit forward
as the 2003, the structure and balance of the splendid 2004 vintage made
a deeply satisfying wine with majestic complexity.
THe 2004 Hillblock, made
by Ken Wright, is filled with black cherries and plum in the nose, along with the rich,
earthy notes typical of Carter Vineyard. The mouth has bright, red pie
cherry flavors in the front of the palate, diffusing to deeper, dark
cherry flavors and hints of cinnamon and clove in the long, sweet finish.
The wine should age for 7-10 years, and we expect this smaller than usual
vintage to disappear quickly.
Broadley Vineyard Pinot noir Marcile Lorraine
In our opinion, this is Broadley's best wine of the vintage, with their
04 Claudia's Reserve making it a dead heat. This wine, along with the 2004
Claudia's (to be released in May 2006) is the best since Broadley's 1999
Claudia's made the Wine Spectator "Top 100" list.
The Marcile Lorraine is a very limited wine
with world class complexity, aromatics, and flavor. Craig and Morgan
Broadley (father and son) make richly Burgundian Pinot noirs, wines that
appeal to experienced wine collectors who know the real thing when they
find it. Very very limited.
The 2004 Marcile Lorraine is typical of
Broadley's big style, with a deep garnet color, scents of fresh
saddle leather, earth, and black cherry, and flavors of black cherries,
smoke, blackberries, and a streak of tannins that holds the wine together
and needs some decanting to tame (if you want to drink it right now).
Cole Danehower (Oregon
Wine Report) said
about Broadley's Marcile Lorraine: "Try
this wine with bold foods, like a barbecued flank of lamb where the smoke
and spice of the meat can play off against the tart fruit and taught
tannins of the wine—and
save your other bottles for a few more years of maturation; meld those
big flavors, mellow that youthful exuberance, mitigate those forward
tannins, . . . and free the core character of the wine (and the Broadleys)
to speak for itself!"
The 2004 Marcile Lorraine is made from one
2 acre block of the Broadley Estate VIneyard at the top of the site.
It's a blend of older Pomard and Wadenswil planted in 1983 on the unusual"
lyre" trellis style. You can see a photo of the Lyre trellis at the bottom
of this article about trellising:
Siltstone Pinot noir 03 $26.77/$29.75
Guadalupe Vineyard's manager Joel Myers offers his own Gudalupe Vineyard
wine, called Siltstone. Past Guadalupe Pinot noirs have been described
by us as being like Mohammed Ali- hugely powerful, yet light on their
feet. You may have heard of the Ken Wright Guadalupe Vineyard Pinot noir,
a wine known for its big body and multi-layered flavors. If you get your
Ken Wright Pinots from Avalon, you know we love the Guadalupe for its
huge exuberance and layered flavors.
Ah - a secret - Siltstone is somewhat coy
about the winemaker- who is it? Their literature does not say. Could
it be that the winemaker also makes a Guadalupe Pinot at twice the price
for his not-to-be-named winery? A winery whose wines "topple Romanee-Conti"?
If you can't figure it out, email me and I'll give you the inside stuff.
Let's just say, this wine is a bargain. Less expensive than the Ken Wright
or other single vineyard wines made from its fruit, it offers a bucket
of savory flavor. I know it's a 2003, but the Joel has the luxury of
letting his wines age a year longer than most. It's not to be missed.
Carlton Cellars Roads End Pinot noir 04
It's Ken Wright day today, I guess. Ken
Wright makes this wine for Dave Grooters, his friend and co-worker (Dave
has managed vineyards for Ken and joined him in developing a new winery
in Carlton). Ken makes his only blended Pinot noir (all
of his other wines are single vineyard selections) for Carlton Cellars
Winery with fruit from Canary Hill, Nysa, and McCrone vineyards.
2004 vintage is rich and lush, a really enormous wine, even larger than
the 2003 Pinot. The wine is just a bit more fruit-forward than the 2003,
with a tad more structure in the finish. The tannins are quite well integrated
and quite smooth. Aged in 65% new Cadus French Oak, this wine should
age for 4-7 years.
If you like the wines of Ken Wright, you'll
enjoy this unique opportunity to experience Ken's take on a blended Oregon
Pinot noir. There are a limited number of quite showy magnums of this
Ribbon Ridge Vineyard Pinot noir 04 $30.56/$33.95
The second vintage produced by this new winery, entirely from Ribbon Ridge
Vineyard fruit, it's even better than the Wine Spectator
91 point rated 2003 Ribbon RIdge Vineyard Pinot noir . The vineyard
is still young, and we see more ebullient and profuse fruit flavors than
we do the complexity found in older vineyard-based wines. Don't get me
wrong, the wine is delicious - it's balanced and big, more ageable than
the 2003, with hints of spice and earth that begin to tell us what the
grapes will give us in years to come. It would be very interesting to build
a vertical collection of this wine, and try it in about five years with
wineloving friends. I suspect the evolution of the vineyard, as reflected
in the wine, will be fascinating to experience.
Andrew Rich Pinot noir Reserve 03 $44.95/$49.95
Definitely the best Pinot noir that Andrew's ever made, a very limited
release made from a few of the best barrels of his 2003 wines. I'm still
waiting for tasting notes from him, but I fear it'll be gone by the time
I can write about it, so here it is.
OTHER WINES WORTH NOTING
Beaux Freres has a limited number of magnums
Beaux Freres Pinot noir Estate 2000 MAGNUM
2000 Estate Pinot noir: Dense ruby-colored with plenty of purple hues.
The nose offers aromas of white flowers intermixed with sweet black cherries
and a hint of Oregon huckleberries. Medium to full-bodied, fat, and fleshy,
with good acidity and ripe tannin, it is just beginning to shrug off its
early bottling slumber and strut its stuff. This gorgeous MAGNUM bottle
makes a spectacular statement at a party or as a corporate gift. Wine Spectator
We also still have a tiny bit of the 2003
Beaux Freres Belles Soeurs 03:
Beaux Freres Belles Soeurs Pinot noir 03 $40.46/$44.95
Wine Spectator 93 points (5/1/05): "Supple, silky, and generous. Not
a huge wine, but has enormous flavors, from raspberry to cherry to smoky
spice and weaving in floral and mineral notes, persisting on the long,
long finish. Tremendous refinement. Drink now through 2015." H.S.
color, intense and succulent aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, clean
earth,hints of rose petal. Flavors of sweet plum, blackberry, black raspberry,cherry,
and earthy spice, a bit fruit forward, but balanced with a surprisingly
fresh, crisp finish with nicely balanced tannins. No problem at Beaux
Freres with the tempermental 2003 vintage, there's not a trace of heat,
just a long, spicy finish with white pepper, pie spices, and continued
echoes of juicy black plum and berry. Delicious, complex, sophisticated,
and promising even more with a bit of cellaring.-jy
Evesham Wood Pinot noir Seven Springs 03
I know this wine was mentioned in a previous email, but it's so good,
and such good value, it deserves one more mention.
Soter Pinot noir "Beacon Hill" 03 $44.55/$49.50
There's no 2004 Beacon Hill, so this is the last of Tony's estate vineyard
high-end Pinot until at least 2007.
J Christopher Pinot noir "Sandra Adele"
So limited we don't have it on the website, call today if you want some.
Check out the very limited BIG reds of Owen
Roe, Sineann, Owen Sullivan, and more on our Highest Rated Big Reds page:
FIRST ANNUAL AVALON WINE CLUB TASTING!
Well, we've decided to offer a
get together for our wine club members this year on the Friday of Thanksgiving
weekend. A lot of you are scattered across the US, but if you're in the
area, we'll be opening a range of the wines we've shipped to you over
the last year, as well as some new releases, and maybe even some prerelease
samples (Shea 2004's?). For a map and info about how to get to us, look
you want more info about the tasting, contact us at the store by phone
or email, and we'll give you all the details.
If we may help with an order for any of
these wines, please let us know. We're available by phone at 541-752-7418
from 8AM Pacific time until 6PM Pacific time. Or you can call me at my
direct line at 541-424-8004.
Thanks for your support -we appreciate your
orders and your suggestions. Our customers always give us our best ideas!
Jean, Marcus, Chris, Kevin, and Wendy
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333