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Tasting the Wines of Patricia Green Cellars at MacArthur Beverages

Patty Green is in town and I was fortunate to catch up with her and Andy Creemer at MacArthur Beverages.  You may recall that over the winter I enjoyed her 2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Reserve, Willamette Valley and  2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Estate Old Vine, Ribbon Ridge.  Patty first worked in wine when she started with Richard Sommers at Hillcrest Vineyards, made wine at La Garza Winery, and subsequently at Tori Mor.  Over those years she learned a whole lot of what to do and not to do. In 2000, she and Jim Anderson purchased Autumn Wind Vineyards which became Patricia Green Cellars.

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Patty poured eight different wines, seven from the 2012 vintage and one from the 2011 vintage.  She feels the 2012 will evolve beautifully in bottle.  She has not come across a vintage like this often and is clearly still excited about it.  For her it was one of the perfect vintages with no bug pressure, beautiful weather, and perfect fruit.  In fact, when the Freedom Hill fruit came in they took away the sorting conveyor and just put the fruit straight into the destemmer.  The fruit for the wines we tasted came from vineyards near the winery except for Freedom Hill, which is about an hour away.

A lot of people make wine from Freedom Hill.  Dan Dusschee called her up one day to ask if she wanted some fruit.  There were several blocks available so Jim and Patty took all of them without any discussion.  They have complete control of their blocks.  Patty spends a lot of time in the vineyard looking at what is going on and discussing with the vineyard managers about any developing issues.

All of the wines we tasted were from single-site vineyards except the Notorious.  All wines undergo spontaneous fermentation, only one cooper is used, they are bottled unfined and unfiltered.  Patricia views the wood as a tool to complement the different sites with their soils types.  In 2001 that Patty and Jim decided that Cadus was the only cooper they liked.  She finds it gives huge consistency to their wines.  Most of her wines see roughly 30% new oak but the Notorious sees 100% new oak.  The Dundee Hills fruit delivers sweetness so they do not need the additional sweetness from Allier oak.  The Allier oak is used on the wines which are earthy to complement it with sweetness.  They use Nevers oak a lot in the Balcome.

Balcome is the epitome of volcanic soils in Dundee Hills.  Olenik is the only vineyard in Chehalem Mountain dominated by rocks from an ancient flood.  To her the soils look like those of Chateauneuf du Pape.  This wine is made from 100% Wädenswil clone.  For Patty it provides the “back of the house” effort and is structured. The Pommard clone is the front of the house with its floral fruit.  For Patty the Olenik is a standalone with its lovely “long-chained” tannic structure.  The Notorious is different wine in terms of both oak and lees.  At barrel clean they will go in and taste the lees.  If the quality is exceptional they will pour back about five gallons worth of lees into barrel without stirring.

The Estate wine is the melting pot with three clones represented: 115, Pommard, and Wädenswil.  Those are the three clones she primarily uses but there is some 777.  Estate Old Vines is sourced from the original planting under Autumn Wind Winery in 1987.  This block is located adjacent to Beaux Freres.  This is a big deal because there are not many old vines in Oregon.  Earlier this week she poured wines from the 2000 and 2003 vintages at a library tasting hosted at Ripple restaurant.  She was excited about how her wines mature and that there is growing acceptance that Oregon Pinot Noir will develop with age.  After tasting and drinking a range from the 2012 vintage I am firm believer that Patty’s wines should be left in the cellar.  She will be back at MacArthur Beverages on Friday so take the opportunity to find out for yourself.  In the meantime please find my short notes below.

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2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Balcombe, Dundee Hills
There was a dark red nose followed by clean, black and red fruit in the mouth. The flavors were minerally with moderate structure and a citric lift.  Young.

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2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Olenik, Chehalem Mountain
This showed a little bramble on the nose.  The tart red fruit in the mouth had depth.  The fruit flavors became red and black with some ripe sweet notes.  There was some structure and a darker aftertaste.

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2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Estate, Ribbon Ridge
This had a dark nose.  The tart red fruit was very clean and accessible.  It picked up some black fruit with air and slightly more prominent acidity.

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2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Estate Old Vine, Ribbon Ridge
This bore a dark red nose.  There were clean flavors on the front of the tongue which seamless flowed into a blacker finish.  There was almost a hint of creaminess.  The wine was refreshing with baking spices in the enjoyable aftertaste.

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2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Freedom Hill, Willamette Valley
The fruit was compact with a slight pepper hint.  It had more verve with a good mix of complexity and baking spices.  The aftertaste was long.

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2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Notorious, Willamette Valley
The nose was darker, complex, and had an earthy hint. The wine was balance but more up front with both fruit and structure.  The dark, coil flavors existed over low-lying dark blue fruit and texture.

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2011 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Estate Etzel Block, Ribbon Ridge
The nose had  some fresh herbs.  In the mouth were tart red fruit on the tongue, old perfume flavors, and very moderate texture.  The wine was delicate with a spicy hint in the finish.

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2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Estate Etzel Block, Ribbon Ridge
This nose revealed dark red aromas.  The wine was noticeably tart on the front and sides of the tongue.  It was a little round with some texture and an enjoyable mix of cool red and ripe black fruits.

2008 Scott Paul Wines, La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

The Tasting Room, Formerly a Creamery Built In 1915, Image by doubledcop (flickr)

Scott Paul Wines was founded by Martha and Scott Wright back in 1999.  At twelve years of age this producer has quite an interesting history.  Originally located in California the interest in making wine in Oregon brought Scott to Oregon in 2001where he was the Managing Directory of Domaine Drouhin.  The production of the Scott Paul Wines was then moved to Carlton Winemakers Studio for the 2003-2005 vintages.  This period also saw Cameron Healy, of the famous Kettle Chips, join as a partner.  They bought two buildings, a granary built in 1900 for the Madsen Grain Company and a creamery built in 1915. The renovation of the buildings to create a new winery and tasting room was completed during the summer of 2006.  At the same time they launched Scott Paul Selections which imports wine from over 20 producers located in Burgundy and Champagne.  They winery now produces 2,000 cases of wine per year.

Momtazi Vineyard, Image by voodoovintner (flickr)

This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from vineyards located in three different AVAs.  The biodynamic Maresh Vineyard is located at the top of Dundee Hills AVA.  The Ribbon Ridge Vineyard is located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA.  The certified biodynamic Momtazi Vineyard is located in the McMinnville AVA.  The grapes were fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 10 months in 20% new French oak.

Celebrating at La Paulee, Image from Nicolemma

This wine is named after La Paulee de Meursault.  On the third Monday of November a six-hour lunch is held that celebrates the end of the harvest in Burgundy.  Approximately 700 winemakers, cellarworkers, and a few wine lovers gather to eat and drink outstanding bottles of wine.  The winemakers bring very good bottles of wine to share with everyone.  Apparently, no spitting of these rare and old wines is allowed!  For those who cannot obtain tickets there are La Paulee celebrations organized by Daniel Johannes.  These events are open to all but the price is steep, expect to spent thousands of dollars on the tickets and bring your oldest bottle of Romanee-Conti.

I bought this wine at Soul Wine during the Happy Hour Pricing.  With the full retail price around $35, the sale price of $30 is excellent.  If you are looking for an Oregon Pinot Noir that you can drink now then opt for the Beaux Freres Les Cousins, Lemelson Thea’s Selection, or Aubichon.  But if you are willing to wait a few years then grab some of the La Paulee and stick them in your cellar.

2008 Scott Paul Wines, La Paulee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
This wine has a nose of red fruit.  In the mouth the flavors of gritty, red fruit are mixed with fine, dusty tannins.  This was a young wine, that remained tight in flavor.  It did develop a little incense note that combined nicely with the red and blue fruit flavors.  There were some spices towards the finish.  I would highly recommend cellaring this wine for several years.

Dinner and Wine at RN-74 in Seattle

Entrance to the Arctic Club Hotel

When I was tasting wine at Amavi/Pepper Bridge, Jennifer told me that I should really check out the new restaurant RN-74.  She was quite excited by the outstanding selection of Burgundies that the owner had brought over and were not available anywhere else in the state.  She said the prices were reasonable as well.  I did a double-take as there is an RN-74 in San Francisco designed by one of my friends.  This one was train themed too, it had to be an AvroKO designed restaurant.

AvroKO is an international firm run by the four long-time friends William, Kristina, Adam, and Greg.  I met William in the late 1990s when we lived in Seattle.  William was an interior designer and a local artist who was starting to gain a following.  Seattle could not contain his creativity so he left for New York City and helped start AvroKO in 2000.  Starting with Public NYC they now have designed a series of restaurants throughout the country and also Hong Kong.  Now that we have a young daughter the days of zipping up to New York to eat at William’s last opening are temporarily suspended.

I was feeling lazy after battling rush-hour traffic to get to my room at the Arctic Club Hotel.  I knew I had to eat but there were two wines I needed to taste in my room, making room service sound tempting.  The 2008 Rulo Winery, Syrah, Walla Wall was open and I liked it so I definitely wanted to take a note.  The 2009 Tried and True Tablewine would put me over my weight limit so it had to be tasted.  But Jenn reminded me that we rarely get the chance to visit one of William’s (AvroKO’s) restaurants so I should go and not worry about dumping leftover wine.

Self-Portrait Encompassing Two Parking Garages

The Arctic Club Hotel is decent but the immediate area is a bit barren and anchored by several parking garages.  I bucked up and headed over. The garages are actually interesting affairs and have a style that is quintessentially Seattle.

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A few of the buildings along 4th Ave. subtly remind you of their property boundaries and distracted my attention.

Entrance at 4th and Pike

But then I caught sight of RN-74 and immediately recalled that just over a month ago I had passed by and wondered about the then, almost complete, restaurant.  While there is a lot of foot traffic in the area, it is not a corner that I would expect this restaurant to open at.  The front door was open and there was quite a buzz from all of the people, I forgot about the location.

Wine Selections, Interesting Lamps, and Communal Table

RN-74 is named about the Route Nationale that runs through Burgundy.  The wine list primarily focuses on the wines of Burgundy but Bordeaux is close by with many wines from the 1950s and 1960s.  The Rhone and other regions are well represented but not at the expense of Washington and Oregon states which are deep in vintages.

I sat at the bar to eat the Painted Hills Burger and taste some Pinot Noir.

Pinot and Beef

The higher-end wines-by-the-glass are poured from a Enomatic machine and served in Spiegelau glasses.  In case you have multiple glasses in front of you they label a ticket which is slipped around the stem.

Filament Bulbs

Being an AVROKO restaurant you find the thorough attention to detail, including graphics, the communal table, filament bulbs, dress of the staff (check out the shirts), and attention to both food and drink.  A small selection of the wines are listed upon the wall, evoking train tickers, but others are listed on a moving ticker.  I was tempted by the 2009 Gremenon, Les Laurentides, but Jenn and I have drunk it before and it is currently available at MacArthur’s. And I could not forget the bottles in my hotel room.  The prices on the ticker do move and not randomly.

Wine Specials

2000 Domaine Drouhin, Laurene, Dundee Hills, Oregon
There were 1900 cases of this wine produced.  This wine has a garnet color and a subdued nose.  There are still concentrated flavors of red fruits, tart berries, cherries, and vigorous grip.  There are some citrus qualities to the mature flavors.  The minerals or crushed stones in the finish integrate with fine+ tannins then blue fruits.  This bottle was well stored and in no rush to be consumed, what a nice treat and surprise to find by the glass.  Definitely new world and probably won’t develop a complex nose but it is good fun to drink.  There are ample, affordable wines that should be drunk mature but do not find their way to restaurants, let alone, served by the glass.  ** Now-2015.

2007 Chandon de Brailles, Volney 1er Cru, “Caillerets”, Burgundy
There were 148 cases of this wine produced.  It is a lighter color than the Drouhin with purplish tinge.  It has an interesting, perfumed nose of ripe, blacker-stone fruits..  The flavors in the mouth are darker, with initial red fruit then underlying black fruit developing, with a structured stone-like personality.  **(*) Now-2019.

2008 Domaine de Montille, Beaune 1er Cru, “Les Sizes”, Burgundy
This wine had the lightest color of them all and it was a rose/ruby.  There is a nice nose of minerals, red fruit, and some earth.  In the mouth the tart, red fruit was complemented by some spiciness.  As it was a new bottle it eventually revealed delicate scents on the nose.  ** 2015-2019.

Drinking Pinot Noir by Lou’s Pool

July 13, 2011 2 comments

The Author and Lou by the Pool

Sometimes last-minute arrangements work best.  Between work and his family, Lou is a busy guy so I was excited that we could arrange a last-minute get together.  We independently wanted to drink some Pinot Noir so I brought selections from Oregon and Lou opened up some Burgundy.  Jenn kindly played with Lorelei, who was repeatedly jumping into the pool, as I tasted through the wines.  I must admit, I was a bit distracted so I did not completely focus on taking wine notes.  I revisited our share of the wines at home as we watched USA beat Brazil in penalty kicks.  All of the reds were double-decanted almost two hours ahead of time and were later placed on ice to bring them back down to temperature.

2009 Domaine Cambis, Le Chante de Griots, Languedoc
Lou purchased this for $13 from MacArthur’s.  This is a blend of 60% Viognier and 40% Roussanne.  It was the color of a light to medium straw with hints of yellow-green.  It was refreshing with good texture, a slightly oily characteristic, but showed a little heat in the finish.  ** Now.

Cheeses from Maryland

We snacked on local cheeses, salami, and bread while we tasted the wine.  All of the reds were bagged and my notes appear in the order they were tasted.

2009 Joseph Drouhin, Cotes de Nuits-Villages, Burgundy
Lou purchased this wine from MacArthur’s for $20.  It had a grapey color in the glass with purple highlights.  There is a little heat on the nose and hints of pepper.  In the mouth there were hard red fruits, a clean profile then a little black cherry.  I guess this was a Burgundy.  It was very slow to open and after many hours developed a nose of herbs, particularly sage mixed with subtle red fruits.  It was lighter in the mouth than the Cotes de Beaune and developed pure sage flavors.  Jenn really loved the sage aspect because she is from New Mexico.  ** 2015-2019.

2008 White Rose Estate, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley
I purchased this bottle from Esquin Wine Merchants for approximately $40.  It was a little bit darker than the Cotes de Nuits-Village and ruby in color.  This was a fruitier wine, almost medium bodied, that I guess being from Oregon.  It showed younger in profile, with polished wood aromas and an almost fishy quality to the hard nose.  In the mouth there were herbed red fruit, and some reduced, wooden redness.  The polished wood aspect was interesting.  While this wine clearly needs some age, it is a wee bit expensive.  ** 2015-2022.

2009 Beaux Freres, Les Cousins, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
I purchased this bottle from McCarthy & Schiering for $30.  Their prices tilt towards full retail so could probably be bought for cheaper.  There were 1,300 cases produced.  This had a young nose of dark, gritty fruits.  There were big flavors of dark, red fruits, with a grippy quality to the well presented fruit.  There were more tannins than the previous two wines but this was offset by the bluer, creamier fruit that developed through the finish.  I guess Oregon.  It became lush as it opened and developed into good stuff, with spices and mouthfilling flavors.  Jenn and I rather liked it.  This is a strong value under $30 and represents a more accessible style. *** 2015-2022.

2009 Joseph Drouhin, Cotes de Beaune-Villages, Burgundy
Lou purchased this bottle for $20 from MacArthur’s.  This was a similar lightness like the Les Cousins but redder in nature.  There were red fruits and some spice in this young, nice wine.  I guessed Burgundy and for the longest time preferred it to the Cotes de Nuits-Villages because it delivered a bit more.  But I can see how the strong sage scent of the Cotes de Nuits-Villages won over Jenn.  ** 2015-2019.

2009 Cameron Winery, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley
I bought this bottle from McCarthy & Schiering for $28.  This is on the high-side and can be found for $23-$25 in stores.  I actually opened this bottle the night before.  I thought it a bit tight but did not mind it.  Jenn wasn’t too thrilled so we switched to the 2009 Buty, Merlot/Cabernet Franc instead.  At Lou’s this showed some lifted aromas of hard, old ladies’ perfume.  I did guess Oregon.  In the mouth this reminded me of dirty earth and not the good earth that may be found in Rhone wines.  Strange. * Now-2019.

2004 Holloran Vineyard Wines, Pinot Noir, La Pavillon Vineyards, Dundee Hills

This estate produces some 3,000 to 3,500 cases per year.  They have three labels: Stafford Hill, AVA Designated wines, and Single Vineyard Wines.  This bottle is Single Vineyard Wine from the top label.  The La Pavillon Vineyard is the oldest vineyard planted in 1972 and 1974.  The vineyards are farmed organically since 1999 and biodynamically since 2005.  The wine is aged for up to 18 months in French oak.  The soils are rocky and lie at an elevation of 580 to 680 feet.

An Holloran Vineyard, Image by davidburn (flickr)

We drank this wine before my trip to Seattle.  Purchased for $22 at MacArthur’s it is an absolutely deal.  It is just starting to mature and enter a new stage.  I enjoyed this wine more than Jenn.

2004 Holloran Vineyard Wines, Pinot Noir, La Pavillon Vineyards, Dundee Hills
The nose reveals dusty, red fruit with some toast.  In the mouth there are some acidic, dark, red fruits.  The soft, maturing flavors show cedar, herbs, and dry red fruit flavors.  There are tart, red fruit in the finish and aftertaste.  With air a sweet spice complements the dark red berries.  The finish and aftertaste turn a bit soft and could use a bit more acidity.  ** Now-2015.

McCarthy and Schiering in Seattle

The Store Front

After work this week I stopped by McCarthy & Schiering Ravenna shop on 65th Street.  This store, Pete’s on Eastlake, and the University Village QFC were the first stores that I bought wine from when I first moved to Seattle in the late 1990s.  McCarthy & Schiering have been around since 1980.  The store selection is quite diverse prominently featuring European wines.  The Washington and Oregon selection tend to feature less producers but that is balanced by having many of the cuvees.

My Purchases

I asked for some Pinot Noir recommendations and walked away with:

  • 2009 Cameron, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills
  • 2009 Beaux-Freres, Les Cousins, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

The Cameron was also recommended at Soul wine so that will be fun to try back home.