Willamette Valley Trip - June 2018

Tasted June 8, 2018 - June 11, 2018 by td1836 with 410 views

Introduction

First visit to Oregon wine country. It was a wonderful trip where we focused mostly on smaller producers. Met some really great people and tasted tons of great wine.

Flight 1 - Patricia Green Cellars - 6/8/2018 (5 notes)

Our first appointment was flying into Portland was at Patricia Green Cellars. Right as we arrived, so did the rain. We unfortunately caught a somewhat rainy weekend in the midst of a period of no rain. Everyone kept commenting on how it has not rained in the last few weeks. Oh well, it isn’t stopping our fun.

We walked up the hill to the office/tasting room at Patricia Green Cellars, and were greeted by Melissa. Despite us being very early to our scheduled time due to our flight arriving early, she welcomed us in and immediately devoted her attention to us. They have a nice room for their seated private tastings where we went through the wines and learned about the winery. PGC is very unique in the number of different bottlings they make. Jim Anderson loves to experiment with different clonal selections and different vineyard blocks and feels that having those differences show through in the final bottle (instead of blending them together) is most important. As a result, PGC is bottling 20-30 different wines in each vintage. Their total production is 12-15k cases, but their only larger production wine is the Willamette Valley Reserve at around 3k cases. The rest of the wines are very small production, the majority under 300 cases each. We discussed the sales/business model side of things with Melissa since marketing that many different products seem like it would be challenging. She said it is definitely a push/pull between the different variations that Jim wants to make and where they have the market to sell each. Most of the small production wines will go into the club shipments or be sold out of the tasting room. A few of the larger volume wines will be sold through a distributor to restaurants and small retailers.

After we finished our seated tasting, Melissa walked us to the cellar building to show us around. Jim and Hunter were down there working, so we got to meet and chat with them for a while. They were in the middle of tasting from barrel and comparing the 2017 Coury clone from both the Freedom Hill Vineyard and the Hyland Vineyard. They graciously let us taste the two with them, which was so cool to see the side by side difference that the site made on an otherwise identical wine. I also enjoyed talking with Jim about how Chardonnay is starting to gain some popularity in the valley. He used to make a chardonnay years ago, then stopped, and has since started again with the Durant Vineyard in the 2015 vintage. Jim was very excited talking about some changes they are making related to their chardonnay production, and thinks they are going to have some really positive improvements starting with the 2018 vintage. I’m excited to try these in the future. He said that his approach with Chardonnay has been to let others prove/create a market before he goes heavier into it. He said it has been challenging for Oregon producers to find a market for Chardonnay and compete with California. Most in Oregon are attempting to make a more Chablis-styled wine that would differ from what you typically get in CA.

This was a fantastic visit that exceeded expectations and was the perfect start to our trip.

White
2016 Patricia Green Cellars Chardonnay Durant Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Made in neutral oak, this wine showed some creaminess and really pure fruit. I liked it a lot.
Red
2016 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Marine Sedimentary Chehalem Mountains USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
From the Chahalem Mountains. This is young…deep purple color, strawberries and cranberries with some tart acidity on the finish.
Red
2016 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Lia's USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
A mix of volcanic and marine sedimentary soils. This has a nice blend of crunchy red fruits with a dollop of sweet cherry and lively acidity.
Red
2015 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Wadensvil Block Estate Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
From estate vineyard fruit, this had tons of aromatics with some sweet strawberry and raspberry on the mid-palate followed by a silky smooth finish.
Red
2015 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Weber Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
This comes from old vine Dundee Hills fruit and has a light red color (definitely the lightest color in the lineup we tasted). There is a deep red fruit nose, and the palate has big and juicy red fruits, sweet florals, medium+ weight, and a very long finish. My favorite wine of the tasting.

Flight 2 - Evesham Wood & Haden Fig - 6/9/2018 (9 notes)

We started day 2 at Evesham Wood in Eola-Amity Hills. This was a beautiful estate situated up on a hill with gorgeous views out over the valley. The estate vineyards were on the slopes below and leading up to the winery, house, and newly built tasting cottage. This definitely had the feel of a smaller, family-owned operation. Our host was Chris, and he started out by walking us down into the vineyards where he had a table setup beneath a big tree overlooking the vineyards. There we tasted through the lineup of Evesham Wood wines.

All the Evesham Wood wines see no new oak and no stem inclusion. They are producing around 10k cases, of which 30-50% is the base Willamette Valley Pinot that gets distributed.

After finishing up in the vineyard, Chris took us back up the hill to do a tour of the new and old winery facility, and the small caves. He talked us through their wine making process including how they inoculate the Evesham Wood wines with yeast they have used since the beginning (which was originally stored in a locked closet on sight, but now has been moved to a lab for safe keeping). They have recently built a new winery facility which they have used for one vintage so far. The previous winery was in the lower level beneath the estate house, and was much more cramped then their new space. They are very happy to have the bigger space!
Also relatively new is their tasting cabin, which is where Chris took us next to taste some of the Haden Fig wines. Erin Nuccio came on board in 2007 to start making the wines as Russ Raney wanted to start moving towards retirement. Erin eventually purchased the winery from Russ Raney in 2010. The Haden Fig label was Erin’s original label, and one he planned to take out on his own before he knew he would be purchasing Evesham Wood. So today, he is still making both labels at the same time. He continues producing the Evesham Wood wines using the same technique/philosophy that Russ utilized, and he uses the Haden Fig label to try different techniques and methods. We tasted through some of the Haden Fig Pinots and Chardonnays and had the ability to try some side by side comparisons with the Evesham Wood wines.

I can’t say enough good things about our experience here, and how great of a host Chris was for us. The experience was so well thought out, and the wines were delicious (and some of the best values we came across on our trip). Highly recommended!

Red
2016 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Eola Cuvée USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
A blend of four vineyards, this has flavors on the tart red fruit side, a light body and soft texture.
Red
2015 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Le Puits Sec USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
Pommard clone. This has a lively spicy nose; the palate is a nice mix of ripe and less ripe flavors, earthiness, and great depth & complexity. Really liked this one.
Red
2015 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir La Grive Bleue USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
Dijon clone - this is softer and a bit lighter with a cooler red fruit profile compared to the Le Puits Sec.
White
2016 Evesham Wood Chardonnay Le Puits Sec USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
A very flavorful yet restrained and crisp wine which had a nice balance of citrus and tropical notes.
White
2016 Evesham Wood Blanc du Puits Sec USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
Their “table white”, a blend of 85% Pinot Gris/15% Gewurztraminer. It was aromatic, very light bodied and easy drinking.
Red
2015 Haden Fig Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
From volcanic soils and younger vines. Tart red fruit, not too much complexity, light weight with no oak influence. Lacking a little depth.
Red
2015 Haden Fig Pinot Noir USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
A simple/standard Willamette appellation wine. Not as exciting compared to everything during the tasting.
Rosé
2017 Haden Fig Pinot Gris Rosé USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Big, ripe, fruit forward with a slightly sweet component. Not my style of rose.
White
2015 Haden Fig Chardonnay Juliette USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
This has a little less fruit intensity compared to the Evesham Wood. There is a nutty component that I love. This is my favorite of the Haden Fig wines tasted.

Flight 3 - Cristom Vineyards - 6/9/2018 (7 notes)

Next we headed off to Cristom to do a quick drop in tasting and have a picnic lunch on their deck overlooking the vineyards. Cristom is 2nd generation family owned winery that has seen some good success and is now making 15-17k cases per year.

Even though this was just a drop-in tasting without an appointment, the staff at Cristom did a fabulous job of taking care of us. We sat at a high top table and received focused attention throughout our tasting.

White
2016 Cristom Pinot Gris Estate USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
Full malolactic fermentation. Ripe and heavy-ish weight, but with nice acidity to balance. A really nice Pinot Gris.
White
2015 Cristom Chardonnay Estate USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
33% new oak. Some tropical fruit flavors, no butter, but round and full. Leans more Californian in style.
Red
2016 Cristom Pinot Noir Mt. Jefferson Cuvée USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
50% whole cluster. Spicy red fruit, showing good depth for a valley cuvee. 23% new oak. This wine represents 2/3 of the estate's total production.
Red
2014 Cristom Pinot Noir Estate USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
A blend of the 4 estate vineyards. 18 months in barrel, 50% new oak. This comes across as bigger and a big heavy. The oak shows through too much for me on this one.
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Red
2015 Cristom Pinot Noir Eileen Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
Pretty red fruit, a bit of candy behind the earthiness. Big red cherry mixed with candied red hots.
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Red
2015 Cristom Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
More subtle on the nose compared to the Eileen Vineyard. Cool red fruits, less overt oak influence, more feminine. Loved it.
Red
2015 Cristom Syrah Estate USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
Cristom says they are one of only five wineries making Syrah in Oregon. This has good depth, with a nice dark color. Whole cluster fermentation. Not overly ripe fruit, a N. Rhone style and very good.

Flight 4 - Vincent Wine Company - 6/9/2018 (6 notes)

We met up with Vincent Fritzsche at his winemaking facilities which is currently at Grochau Cellers (although they are in the process of relocating to Amity) in the Eola-Amity Hills. Vincent is a really fun, super nice guy who is living out his passion. He was just a wine enthusiast who started learning under other wine makers in California and Oregon, making some wine as a hobby, which grew and turned into a small business he launched in 2009. Today, Vincent is making about 1700 cases of mostly single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Our tasting with Vincent was in the back part of the winery over a wine barrel where he generously poured us his wines.

It was cool seeing the influences of the soil type (marine sedimentary vs volcanic) and amounts of wind that hit the vineyard sites on the final profile of the wines. In general, marine sedimentary soil sites produce slightly softer wines that take on a darker fruit profile while volcanic soil sites tend to have higher acidity/tension and lean more towards the red fruit spectrum. I felt that was true across all the producers, not just Vincent’s wines. The Zenith Vineyard was my favorite here for its depth and bolder profile that was still very polished. Vincent is an awesome guy making some really awesome wines.

White
2016 Vincent Chardonnay Tardive USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
From the Wetzel Vineyard. Of all the Chardonnays on the trip, this was the most like Chablis, showing crisp lemon, racy acidity and lots of minerality (although without the chalkiness). I really enjoyed it.
Red
2016 Vincent Gamay Noir USA, Oregon
From the Bjornson Vineyard. It was a very pretty dark purple color, had a tart red and black fruit profile with high acidity and a tart finish.
Red
2016 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola - Amity Hills USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
A blend of 4 vineyards. Showed translucent purple, a nice balance of red and black fruits, and medium weight.
Red
2016 Vincent Pinot Noir Silvershot Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
From marine sedimentary soil. Showed red/purple color, had soft darker fruits and balanced acidity.
Red
2016 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
From volcanic soil, displaying slightly higher acidity and high tension black fruit.
Red
2016 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
The darkest and most full bodied in the lineup. Bolder profile, round and delicious. Vincent said this is because this marine sedimentary vineyard gets a lot less wind than the others.

Flight 5 - Goodfellow Family Cellars - 6/10/2018 (7 notes)

Upon arrival to Goodfellow, we were greeted by Megan, the assistant winemaker. Marcus was in the back dealing with a bottling issue, so we went ahead and started our tasting. Megan explained to us that they have decided to retired the Matello Wines brand and are now just bottling under Goodfellow Family Cellars, mostly to reduce brand confusion. Total production is around 4k cases per year.

At the end Marcus opened a just bottled (10 days ago) 2016 Whistling Ridge Heritage No. 7. This was showing a little bit leaner with some spicy fruit notes on the nose. We finished up with the 2016 Durant Vineyard Heritage No. 8. This had a deep reddish purple color, exuberant and deeply layered fruit.
What a fun visit. Thanks to Marcus and Megan for their wonderful hospitality!

Orange
2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Gris Ramato Whistling Ridge Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
A very interesting light orange color. It was very light with some white peach notes.
White
2015 Goodfellow Family Cellars Chardonnay Durant Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
From Dundee Hills. This had a big, nutty nose, a lean and balanced palate, and was definitely in the Burgundian style.
White
2015 Goodfellow Family Cellars Chardonnay Richard's Cuvee Whistling Ridge Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
From Whistling Ridge, a ridge top vineyard with marine sedimentary soil. A little deeper color, same lean style, with a bit more depth and complexity compared to the Durant.
Red
2015 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir Durant Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Cool red fruits on the nose. Cherry, raspberry, and earthy flavors. Definitely tasting the tannin from the stem inclusion.
Red
2015 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir Fir Crest USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
Dark purple color. Darker fruit profile on the nose. This is a little softer, softer tannins on the finish. Dark fruit flavors.
Red
2015 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir Whistling Ridge Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
The color is slightly lighter than the Fir Crest. This has lively fruit - cherry and cranberry. Soft mid-palate and earthy on the finish. This was my favorite of the regular single vineyards.
Red
2015 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir Heritage No. 4 USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
This is a softer, prettier version of the regular Whistling Ridge. A fantastic wine all around.

Flight 6 - Franny Beck - 6/10/2018 (7 notes)

Our last stop for the day was in Amity at Franny Beck’s new tasting room. I’ve bought Michael’s wines the past two vintages, so I was really excited to meet him and taste the full range of wines at once. We walked into a beautifully appointed space decorated with some local artwork on the walls. We were warmly greeted by Michael and Allyson (Al) Sterling, husband and wife team behind the Franny Beck wines. Originally from the east coast, they relocated to Oregon in 2014 to follow their passion in wine. Al also has a day job as a surgeon at a local hospital (obviously she stays busy). We enjoyed two hours of great conversion and great wine. I had such a great time diving into the details and steps Michael has taken to realize his dream as a winemaker.

Of all the Pinot Noir we tasted on this trip, the Franny Beck wines were the most different from the rest. Michael set out to craft wines that are pretty, delicate, and on the lighter end of the spectrum, and in that he has definitely succeeded. His wines have a purity and balance that I absolutely love.

Once finished with the wines currently available for sale, things got more interesting. Michael had pulled a couple barrel samples of some new whites he’s working on. First was the 2017 “White” Pinot Noir. This was made from pinot noir grapes pressed off before fermentation, leaving it looking like any other typical white wine. This had tons of pear among other things on the very aromatic nose, and the palate was light and delicious. I wrote that this tasted exactly like a white version of the Franny Beck pinots. I believe Michael said he plans this to come to market around the price point of the Rose. This would be a nice summertime sipper. Next up, another barrel sample, was the 2017 Bieze Vineyard Chardonnay, Franny Beck’s first Chardonnay project. This wine is still fermenting in barrel, so what we tasted was still very primary fruit, apple juice flavors, and cloudy color in the glass. I did love how it smelled like Champagne though. I will look forward to seeing how this progresses and what the final product is like.

Like I’ve seen throughout this trip, the 2016 are shaping up to be a really strong vintage (in fact most winemakers I talked to put 2016 as the best of the last four vintages).

If you have not yet tried the Franny Beck wines, I strongly recommend you do so. They are different, delicate, pure, juicy, and velvety, with a beautiful lighter color. And if you are going to be in Oregon, I highly recommend you set up some time to go see Michael.

Rosé
2017 Franny Beck Pinot Noir Rosé USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
A light, refreshing Rose with notes of strawberry and white peach.
Red
2015 Franny Beck Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
From Ribbon Ridge, this had a beautiful light ruby color and was tons of velvet textured, soft red fruit on the nose and palate. The most delicate wine I tasted on this trip.
Red
2015 Franny Beck Pinot Noir Johan Vineyards USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
From the Van Duzer corridor. Due to the heavy winds of this site, the end result here is a bit darker color with some slight bricking on the edges and fruit that falls in the middle of the red/black spectrum. Still an overall soft wine consistent with the house style.
Red
2015 Franny Beck Pinot Noir USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
60% Johan, 22% La Chenaie, and 18% Armstrong fruit. This has broader shoulders, darker cherry flavors, and definitely the boldest of the lineup.
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Red
2016 Franny Beck Pinot Noir Johan Vineyards USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Showed juicy fruit, lots of structure, a bit tightly wound right now, but I think this is going to be really good with some bottle age.
Red
2016 Franny Beck Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
More ready to go compared to the Johan Vineyard, this has loads of really pretty soft red fruits.
Red
2016 Franny Beck Pinot Noir La Chenaie Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
This showed a darker violet color (the darkest Franny Beck I’ve had), deeper flavors and darker fruit.

Flight 7 - Arterberry Maresh - 6/11/2018 (7 notes)

Driving up the Dundee Hills is so beautiful, definitely the most scenic views we had all trip. We had a mid-morning appointment with Jim Maresh at their red barn estate tasting room. Jim lives with his wife and young son on the estate. Jim is actually a 3rd generation Oregon winemaker. His grandfather purchased the farm in 1959 (originally planted to other crops), and eventually started growing grapes. Today, about 45 of the 100 total acres is planted to grapes. Jim believes the presence of the other crops helps keep a balanced ecosystem that naturally keeps bugs and disease off of his vines. Jim’s father produced the Arterberry label in the 1980s until his untimely death when Jim was young. Now at only 35 years old, Jim has been making wine since the 2005 vintage. Total production is He comes across as a laid back person, except when it comes to the quality of the wine that he is producing, which he cares about very much.

This was an extremely fun visit with some of our favorite wines from the trip.

White
2016 Powell Hill Winery Martha's White Wine Maresh Red Hills Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
A field blend which is slightly off dry and easy drinking.
White
2016 Arterberry Maresh Chardonnay Maresh Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Wente Selection clone. This had great depth and a bit warmer fruit profile. It bone dry like the last one, and comes across like a high quality Chablis. This might have been my favorite Chardonnay of the trip, but unfortunately is priced too high for me.
White
2016 Arterberry Maresh Chardonnay Dundee Hills USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Dijon clones. It was less complex, with a bit more tropical fruits mixed in, but overall a nice wine and a good value.
Red
2015 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Dundee Hills USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Their largest production wine at 2200 cases. This has pure, juicy fruit, super smooth on the mid palate and finish. This saw less than 5% new oak and come across really clean.
Red
2016 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Old Vines USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
An equal blend of Maresh and Weber vineyard old vines, the Maresh vines planted by Jim’s grandfather. This has a nice translucent red/purple color and some awesome complexity on the nose. Deep red fruit flavors with a smooth, long finish. I really liked this one.
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Red
2015 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
You could taste the effects of the hotter vintage here with some riper fruit and softer texture, but this still has really good stuffing.
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Red
2016 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
This was very similar to the Old Vines, perhaps a bit more depth. A very complete wine.
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Flight 8 - Domain Drouhin Oregon - 6/10/2018 (5 notes)

Another extremely scenic property, the views were amazing from the Drouhin propery. Rolling vineyard hills and expansive views of the valley below. It was a clear day, so we could see the white caps of both Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. This estate is now producing 40k cases after the purchase of the Roserock vineyard in Amity Hills. It was a really cool gravity flow winery which had three levels and required no pumping of the wine from one place to the next. The views were worth the visit, even if the walk-in tasting itself was just average.

White
2015 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay Arthur USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Light and crisp with ample acidity and a clean finish.
Red
2015 Drouhin Oregon Roserock Pinot Noir USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
From Eola-Amity Hills. I got sweet strawberries on the nose, followed by red fruit, medium+ acidity, and some earthy character on the finish.
Red
2015 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Their largest production wine at 12-14k cases. It had a very dark color, juicy flavors of cranberry, strawberry, and cherry, followed by forest floor.
Red
2015 Drouhin Oregon Roserock Pinot Noir Zéphirine USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
Has a hint of sweetness, but finishes earthy. Cherry with a hint of vanilla; this was not my favorite.
Red
2014 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir Laurène USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
It was a red/purple color, soft and delicate texture, a nice balance of fruit and acidity. The best wine of the tasting.

Flight 9 - Crowley Wines - 6/11/2018 (4 notes)

For our final stop on the trip, we met up with Patrick from Crowley Wines at their co-op winery in Newberg. This is a really cool gravity flow winery also. Patrick took us back into the barrel room to do the tasting, explaining that Tyson Crowley has now made wine for 24 vintages. They produce about 3k cases a year, of which 70% is Pinot Noir and 30% is Chardonnay.

We also got to try quick a bit from barrel that isn't reflected in the tasting notes. We tried from barrel the 2017 version of the Chardonnay which is still finishing fermentation. Lots of primary fruit, and not very complete or focused yet. The next barrel was made in a reductive style, and you definitely could tell a big difference in the two. This was leaner with more minerality. I definitely preferred this style.

Later, we tasted from a barrel that contain 2016 Pinot Noir fruit with 100% stem inclusion. It had a big, spicy red hot candy nose, lots of fruit on the palate, and a chewy texture. We followed this with another barrel sample (2016 Four Winds vineyard) with 0% stem inclusion. It was smoother, with a more traditional pinot profile. I definitely liked this better than the full stem inclusion.

White
2016 Crowley Chardonnay Willamette Valley USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Comes from Wente clones and is made in an oxidative style, meaning they don’t add sulfur until the end of malolactic fermentation. This leads to a wine that has some ripe fruit flavors and less mineral flavors than if it had been made in a reductive style.
Red
2015 Crowley Pinot Noir Entre Nous USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
A darker color with sweet dark berries on the front end. The finish shows some nice earthy tannins. There was no stem inclusion in the 2015 wines, however most vintages see up to 50%.
Red
2015 Crowley Pinot Noir Four Winds Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, McMinnville
Dark garnet color, a soft velvety mouthfeel, and lots of dark fruits (even some blue fruits mixed in). Only 120 cases produced. Compared to the 2016 from barrel, this is rounder and bigger.
Red
2015 Crowley Pinot Noir La Colina USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
From Dundee Hills was a red/purple color and had good fruit depth on the nose. The palate still leaned towards dark fruits, but this had a tart element that balanced out the flavors nicely. My favorite of the Crowley wines.
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