2010 Oregon Pinot Noir Vintage

I was recently up in the Willamette Valley. Most of the pinots I tasted were from the 09 Vintage. Many of the winemakers we spoke to thought that the 2010 and 2011 vintage were both challenging vintages - either too cold and/or wet. Most prefered the 08 and 09 vintages and were really enthusiastic about the potential of 2012. It seems like some of the critics are giving some love to 2010. Does anybody here have much experience with the 2010 pinot noir vintage? If so, what is your take?
Original Post
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened one of my DDO 2010 Pinots. I liked it enough that I went and bought 4 more bottles. Here is my note:

"Very nice. Cherry, smoke, and Christmas spice on the nose. Palate is similar with some raspberry in addition perhaps. Light to medium bodied and quite elegant. Vibrant acidity. Medium length finish."

But that's the only 2010 I have tasted so far.
Red guy, we tasted a bunch of awesome 2010's last month. If you go to the tasting notes section, see my notes on Trisaetum, Penner Ash, Ponzi, Beaux Freres, Colene Clemens, etc. I still have notes to post from a few visits towards the end of our trip. While I recall talk of the challenges many places were happy about how the wines turned out.
Yeah, I read your tasting notes. It seems like you had a fairly positive impression of the 2010's that you tried. I am still somewhat puzzled by the disconnect between what some of the winemakers and vineyard managers were saying versus the critics. I wish I had the opportunity to try more when we were there. I initially was going to avoid 2010 but I might need to reconsider. There are several 2010s showing up at my LWSs that I might have to try out. When in doubt pop some corks and figure it out for yourself.

Follow-up question: Do you think 2010 will be long lived or an early drinking vintage?
quote:
Follow-up question: Do you think 2010 will be long lived or an early drinking vintage?


I'm just now starting to explore more Pinot, so I'm probably not thee best judge of ageworthiness, sorry. The better PN's had a great balance between pure ripe fruit and acidity, so by the book that would lead me to think these will hold nicely for a while. Based on weight/mouthfeel, I would lean more towards 5 years or so as opposed to 10.
I've tasted quite a few '10 Oregon Pinots, the most recent last Saturday. Carabella was being poured at a LWS, along with their second label Plowbuster.
Like all the '10s I've had, the fruits are clean and pure, leaning to cranberry, pomegranate, and tart cherry. That description may lead you to expect high acidity, but according to what the winemakers are saying, the percentage of malic acid was unusually high in the juice. The wines softened so much from malo-lactic conversion that some even added acid.
Alcohols are low by new world standards, giving a leaner mouth feel than what we have become accustomed to. The wines right now are drinking a bit raw and need some time. Not a huge amount of time like the '05s and '08s, but popping the right away will in many cases lead to an underwhelming impression. Some, like the Plowbuster mentioned above, are made for early drinking and are great for someone who prefers a juicy tart style to California like '09s.
quote:
Originally posted by billhike:
Red guy, we tasted a bunch of awesome 2010's last month. If you go to the tasting notes section, see my notes on Trisaetum, Penner Ash, Ponzi, Beaux Freres, Colene Clemens, etc. I still have notes to post from a few visits towards the end of our trip. While I recall talk of the challenges many places were happy about how the wines turned out.


We were in willamette in July and agree with billhike's comment especially regarding penner ash.
Isn't 2010 a more typical oregon vintage than the hot 09 that created big pinots more california like? I have a feeling the preferences between 09 and 10 oregon vintages will lay more on the type of pinot the taster likes than the "weakness" or "strength" of the vintage.
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
Isn't 2010 a more typical oregon vintage than the hot 09 that created big pinots more california like? I have a feeling the preferences between 09 and 10 oregon vintages will lay more on the type of pinot the taster likes than the "weakness" or "strength" of the vintage.


Yes, 09 was a hotter year and many made fruitier, higher alcohol (at least for OR standards) wines. I wouldn't go so far to say that they were more CA-like other than to say that they were very pleasurable without extended aging. They still had that OR pinot quality that I find endearing (especially those from the Eola Amity hills AVA). Several winemakers commented that you should enjoy your 09s while you wait for your 08s and 05s to come around. That being said, I tend to like a more complex but restrained style. Thanks for your input.
I went to the barrel tasting event during labor day in 2011. 99.9% of my notes read: tart, sour cherry, tart. I did not get a good impression from the wines, the locals nor the wineries themselves and I, like redguy, am suspicious of the positive critical praise bestowed upon the vintage. A lot of wineries were also tasting the 2009 vintage and I was reminded very much of barrel tasting the 2007 vintage next to the 2006.

If you like 2007, there's a good chance you like 2010. Personally I didn't buy a single bottle from either vintage.
I believe that overall the 2010s will be better than most 2011s. Even though harvest was difficult, the weather stayed mostly dry and cool, which lead to extended hang times without over ripening. The overall results yielded wines with predominately red fruit, even in areas that lean more black fruitish, with low alcohol levels (less than 14%).

The wines overall are very much sommelier wines, that will yield delightful flavors without overpowering the food in either fruit or alcohol. These are much more traditional PNs, so if you prefer the Loring style of candy cherries and high alcohol, they will not be for you. Many Burgundian lovers are finding pleasure in these wines

I have tasted probably over 20 different wineries 2010s, and feel that the better made ones still need some time to sort out. They will be much better in a year than they are today. So

1. Don't touch your 08s, let'm rest;
2. Enjoy your 09s, 07s, 06s, etc., while;
3. You let your 2010s get their legs under themselves.

Let me say that the 05s, with about an hour decant, and just drinking incredibly well right now. Same goes for the 04s, but the 05s have developed into beautiful wines. I would have never guessed this when they were first released.

On the ageworthiness of the 2010 wines beyond 5-7 years, I'll pass right now. But I definitely would not advise anyone to pass up this vintage, unless they only appreciate the 09 and 06 vintage styles of pinot noir.
quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Fitzgerald:
But I definitely would not advise anyone to pass up this vintage, unless they only appreciate the 09 and 06 vintage styles of pinot noir.


Excellent post and advice. I've tasted 2010 Pinot from about 15 WV wineries and, overall, have been very pleased. I largely skipped '06 and '09 -- heavily buying '10's. Predicting aging potential is always a bit of a crap shoot. However, I would expect '10's to be better than '07's and many '07's are drinking wonderfully right now.

Switching to '05's . . . Based on a tasting of 24 '05's at Biggio-Hamina in early August, my general impression is that the better '05's are in the very early stages of entering their drinking windows. Most could use another 3+ years. Many entry level '05 bottlings (i.e., Lemelson Thea's) have been showing nicely for a couple of years.

We may still be drinking '18's while waiting for the '08's to come around. They may be phenomenal when they mature, but it will take patience.
quote:
Originally posted by lizardking:
I went to the barrel tasting event during labor day in 2011. 99.9% of my notes read: tart, sour cherry, tart. I did not get a good impression from the wines, the locals nor the wineries themselves and I, like redguy, am suspicious of the positive critical praise bestowed upon the vintage. A lot of wineries were also tasting the 2009 vintage and I was reminded very much of barrel tasting the 2007 vintage next to the 2006.

If you like 2007, there's a good chance you like 2010. Personally I didn't buy a single bottle from either vintage.

Hey Lizard King,
Great to hear you are coming up to the surface after the latest addition to the family. Congrats again.
I spent a few trips up in the Willamette Valley tasting through the 2010's originally, both from the barrel, and in the bottle. I got so tired of hearing "this is a classic vintage", as I tasted through thin, vegital, diluted wines. Personally, I'll pass on the 2010 and 2011 vintages as a whole and wait to see what comes from the 2012 vintage.
quote:
Originally posted by tpb:
quote:
Originally posted by lizardking:
I went to the barrel tasting event during labor day in 2011. 99.9% of my notes read: tart, sour cherry, tart. I did not get a good impression from the wines, the locals nor the wineries themselves and I, like redguy, am suspicious of the positive critical praise bestowed upon the vintage. A lot of wineries were also tasting the 2009 vintage and I was reminded very much of barrel tasting the 2007 vintage next to the 2006.

If you like 2007, there's a good chance you like 2010. Personally I didn't buy a single bottle from either vintage.

Hey Lizard King,
Great to hear you are coming up to the surface after the latest addition to the family. Congrats again.
I spent a few trips up in the Willamette Valley tasting through the 2010's originally, both from the barrel, and in the bottle. I got so tired of hearing "this is a classic vintage", as I tasted through thin, vegital, diluted wines. Personally, I'll pass on the 2010 and 2011 vintages as a whole and wait to see what comes from the 2012 vintage.


Hello Tom! Thank you very much again, good to see you here too. Little by little I'm learning to walk again, so hopefully I'll be around more often.

I was thinking about you when I posted my original comments. I remember discussing this with you recently and how I thought you agreed. I'm glad to have remembered correctly Smile

We should get together soon, I'd love to talk about the 2012 vintage, among many other things.
quote:
Originally posted by tpb:
quote:
Originally posted by lizardking:
I went to the barrel tasting event during labor day in 2011. 99.9% of my notes read: tart, sour cherry, tart. I did not get a good impression from the wines, the locals nor the wineries themselves and I, like redguy, am suspicious of the positive critical praise bestowed upon the vintage. A lot of wineries were also tasting the 2009 vintage and I was reminded very much of barrel tasting the 2007 vintage next to the 2006.

If you like 2007, there's a good chance you like 2010. Personally I didn't buy a single bottle from either vintage.

Hey Lizard King,
Great to hear you are coming up to the surface after the latest addition to the family. Congrats again.
I spent a few trips up in the Willamette Valley tasting through the 2010's originally, both from the barrel, and in the bottle. I got so tired of hearing "this is a classic vintage", as I tasted through thin, vegital, diluted wines. Personally, I'll pass on the 2010 and 2011 vintages as a whole and wait to see what comes from the 2012 vintage.


I'd be curious to know which wines were thin, vegital, diluted, etc.
Sharkey;

I agree! I haven't hadd any 10s that would be classified as thin, vegital, diluted, etc.

They are not fruit bomb pns, they are not high alcohol, but they are not thin or diluted. However, if you only like the high octane RRV style pinots, these may not be for you. I do believe the 2010 are far superior, overall, to the OR 07s.
quote:
Originally posted by Red guy in a blue state:
Thanks to evryone for their thoughtful replies. It sounds like 2010 is going to be similar to 07 - a nice vintage but not for everyone. As I mentioned earlier I plan to pop some corks and decide for myself (critics be damned).


The '07s I've had I really like. I'm wishing I had more '07 and am thinking I'll have to add relatively more '10. Trouble is I've got a bit of a red burg bug now too and the '10s from there seem to be the bomb. Decisions, decisions.
quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Fitzgerald:
Sharkey;

I agree! I haven't hadd any 10s that would be classified as thin, vegital, diluted, etc.

They are not fruit bomb pns, they are not high alcohol, but they are not thin or diluted. However, if you only like the high octane RRV style pinots, these may not be for you. I do believe the 2010 are far superior, overall, to the OR 07s.


I fully agree. Hopefully, tpb and lizardking will respond. There are uninteresting wines in every vintage, even the good ones. It is helpful to have an idea where, and where not to, focus ones attention.
quote:
Originally posted by Red guy in a blue state:
As I mentioned earlier I plan to pop some corks and decide for myself (critics be damned).


That sounds like a most excellent plan. Based on what I have tasted thus far, I would suggest . . .

Wineries:
Arterberry-Maresh
Brick House
Lemelson
Scott Paul
Sineann
Westrey
Witness Tree

I'm also buying Cameron, Cristom, Le Cadeau and Thomas -- without tasting -- but that is a no-brainer.

On the individual wine front, my personnal highlights have been:

2010 Arterberry-Maresh Weber Vineyard Pinot Noir
2010 Biggio-Hamina Deux Vert Pinot Noir
2010 Brick House Les Dijonnais Pinot Noir
2010 Lemelson Stermer Vineyard Pinot Noir
2010 Scott Paul Audrey Pinot Noir

The A-M Weber and S-P Audrey have the potential to be stunning.
quote:
Originally posted by Sharkey:
quote:
Originally posted by Red guy in a blue state:
As I mentioned earlier I plan to pop some corks and decide for myself (critics be damned).


That sounds like a most excellent plan. Based on what I have tasted thus far, I would suggest . . .

Wineries:
Arterberry-Maresh
Brick House
Lemelson
Scott Paul
Sineann
Westrey
Witness Tree

I'm also buying Cameron, Cristom, Le Cadeau and Thomas -- without tasting -- but that is a no-brainer.

On the individual wine front, my personnal highlights have been:

2010 Arterberry-Maresh Weber Vineyard Pinot Noir
2010 Biggio-Hamina Deux Vert Pinot Noir
2010 Brick House Les Dijonnais Pinot Noir
2010 Lemelson Stermer Vineyard Pinot Noir
2010 Scott Paul Audrey Pinot Noir

The A-M Weber and S-P Audrey have the potential to be stunning.


Thanks for the advice. I will seek some of these out.

I noticed the Evening Land Seven Springs, Beaux Freres WV and Bergstrom Gregory Ranch at one of my LWSs. I figured I might start there.
quote:
Originally posted by Ruchin:
Anyone tried the '10 or '11 Sineann Resonance?


I've had the '10, but not the '11. Based on the 2010 Willamette Vally and 2010 Resonance, Sineann is on my list above. Both are quite nice, IMHO. However, for calibration purposes, I was not a big fan of either '09.

quote:
Originally posted by Ruchin:
They were excited about the '12 in the tasting room last week......


Everyone is excited about their '12's right now. Time will tell.
quote:
Originally posted by Sharkey:
quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Fitzgerald:
Sharkey;

I agree! I haven't hadd any 10s that would be classified as thin, vegital, diluted, etc.

They are not fruit bomb pns, they are not high alcohol, but they are not thin or diluted. However, if you only like the high octane RRV style pinots, these may not be for you. I do believe the 2010 are far superior, overall, to the OR 07s.


I fully agree. Hopefully, tpb and lizardking will respond. There are uninteresting wines in every vintage, even the good ones. It is helpful to have an idea where, and where not to, focus ones attention.


Oops, I didn't realize the request was aimed at me. I didn't say thin and vegetal, I said tart, sour cherry tart :P

Kidding aside, all the wineries that tasted the '10 vintage from barrel were mediocre at best, IMO. I don't really want to bash wineries here, because in vintages like '08 I really like these guys and I do not want to deter those who like vintages like '10 from buying. I do my research and I don't often visit wineries that aren't highly recommended by people I trust, which are wineries that most Oregon lovers would visit on this weekend.

It may seem like I prefer warm vintages because I liked '09 over '10 and '06 over '07, but I didn't mean it that way. I was trying to put the tastings in perspective. I think '10 is a lot like '07 and if you don't like '07 you probably won't like '10.

To each his own and wine tasting is a matter of individual taste and experience. Personally, I prefer wines from Oregon in vintages like 2008, 2005, 2002 and 1998.
Lizardking;

Fair enough. I didn't like most of the 07s either, especially upon release. Some, to my surprise, have came around quite nicely however. I didn't buy much from that vintage.

I can understand your frustrations with the 10s. Mother Nature gave them a cool growing year, and the better producers produced some very elegant (not powerful) wines. Some of my favorites have been Evening Land, Domain Drouhin, Shea,and Brickhouse. All of these are drinking nicely now, but will improve with age. The BFs and Thomas wines, as typical, won't be ready to drink for years, but I'm sure they will be very enjoyable likewise. The early peeks I got at Domaine Serene showed some very promising wines likewise.
quote:
Originally posted by lizardking:
Kidding aside, all the wineries that tasted the '10 vintage from barrel were mediocre at best, IMO. I don't really want to bash wineries here, because in vintages like '08 I really like these guys and I do not want to deter those who like vintages like '10 from buying. . . . Personally, I prefer wines from Oregon in vintages like 2008, 2005, 2002 and 1998.


No one ever mentioned bashing wineries; thus, I'm at a loss to understand the jump to that statement. I too prefer '08, '05, '02 & '98 (4 of the better/best Oregon vintages in the past 15 years or so). Again, no one is claiming that '10 falls in this distinguished category. The comment from your original post was:

quote:
Originally posted by lizardking:
I did not get a good impression from the wines, the locals nor the wineries themselves and I, like redguy, am suspicious of the positive critical praise bestowed upon the vintage.


Your impression/experience is exactly 180 degrees the opposite of my recent winery visits and discussions with wine makers in Oregon. Thus, I am honestly attempting to understand the apparent disconnect. If a winery, themselves, thinks that they missed the mark in 2010, you are certainly not 'bashing' by simply conveying their, or your own, impressions. No wineries make the wine of the century every year, except, of course, the Bordelais. Wink
Qhdeputy;

I might open one (Thomas 2010) for the team around Thanksgiving. 2018.

One a separate note. With Sparky's listing of the 08s as a great vintage (one that I believe is the best ever) several posters on the WB board were bashing the vintage/wines because they are/were not "drink now " wines. They pretty well all need time to come into their drinking window. Quite a few people there put the vintage down the list because of this factor. Some even suggested the vintage was a good as it would ever be upon release, and the wines would always be "not ready to drink". Different people have entirely different perspectives on wines and vintages.
quote:
Originally posted by Qhdeputy:
Anyone open a Thomas for the team yet? Cool

I have not yet tasted it. However, in talking with those who have, the reports are that it is a bit backward and angular right now. (Not surprising, since it has not been in bottle very long.)
quote:
Originally posted by Sharkey:
quote:
Originally posted by Qhdeputy:
Anyone open a Thomas for the team yet? Cool

I have not yet tasted it. However, in talking with those who have, the reports are that it is a bit backward and angular right now. (Not surprising, since it has not been in bottle very long.)


Figured as much, wasn't sure compared to other vintages at this stage. I have some started buying in 09, so if anyone has a couple of 08 to share I would appreciate it. Qhdeputy at me.com.
quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Fitzgerald:
Qhdeputy;
Hi there!

I might open one (Thomas 2010) for the team around Thanksgiving. 2018.

One a separate note. With Sparky's listing of the 08s as a great vintage (one that I believe is the best ever) several posters on the WB board were bashing the vintage/wines because they are/were not "drink now " wines. They pretty well all need time to come into their drinking window. Quite a few people there put the vintage down the list because of this factor. Some even suggested the vintage was a good as it would ever be upon release, and the wines would always be "not ready to drink". Different people have entirely different perspectives on wines and vintages.

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