2010 Oregon Pinot Noir Vintage

quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Fitzgerald:
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.


I am sure there are at least a few wines from the vintage I will like. I do prefer more delicate styles of pinot, which is why I go to the WV to taste. I just didn't taste anything I enjoyed from '10 during the barrel tasting weekend. It should also be known that the weather extremely cold over the weekend which may have made the high acid wines taste more angular and closed. Unfortunately of the wineries on your list, we only went to Brickhouse, and they were still pouring the '09's (which were terrific, IMO).

I wouldn't be surprised if some wines have put on weight since then, but as a general rule for me, I'm skipping the vintage unless I find something nice. I will see if I can get my hands on one of the wineries you mentioned.
Sharkey,

You are right, I should be able to post the wineries that I didn't like without having to "bash" them. I know I said that, but it isn't really what I meant. This is a public forum and I respect winemakers' business by not publicly announcing which wineries to stay away from (even if it is in the context of a single vintage, it may not always be used that way).

If you want to know which wineries I went to, I would be happy to send you my notes privately.
I was amused to see that a small group seems to have beat-up this topic for 2-weeks and then got tired. So, now that it is a new year, here's my two cents on a few points; perhaps the debate will restart?...:

The comparison of 2010 to 2007 is a good comparison, generally. Contrasting 2010 at this stage vs. 2007 at a similar stage, I think the edge goes to 2010. The wines are a little cleaner, a little fresher, and I think a bit deeper and more viscous. Interestingly, the alcohol is lower.

From a grower's perspective: 2007 had relatively heavy crop levels, plenty of heat up to the end of September, then cold and wet with picking necessarily occurring, in most cases, in mid-Oct. On the other hand, 2010 exhibited low crop levels, which were then intentionally reduced further out of fear and passion. The weather was cooler throughout the season, but we did not get slaughtered with rain in the Fall, and the picking occurred at the very end of October. Those that didn't have good bird control programs got hurt badly (since we're surrounded on 4-sides by forest, we have an aggressive program, so birds were not a problem for us).

To the variance referenced above regarding some of the winemaker comments, I think when it comes to 2010, because it was so cold (low degree day accumulation, even thru late October), winemakers were naturally concerned about the ripeness of the fruit. Pinot being Pinot, has a special way of making fools of us all-- it moves around a lot during its development. In a year like 2010, depending on the day and the winemaker that you catch on that day, you can get very different feedback that is largely based on the last data point of the winemaker. I am certainly guilty of being on a roller coaster ride with the 2010s-- fearing a bashing by the critics a la their substantially misguided views of 2007 (but alas, we all seem to have learned from that...). On a bad day, I have not been enthusiastic about the vintage, on a good day, I find the vintage quite exciting. I think others share this same experience, and that is what driving some of the disparate comments above.

We should not forget that there are wines from various regions of the world that are simply known to need bottle age; no one would ever (optimistically) think of pulling the cork on a traditionally made 2010 Brunello (even if you could get your hands on one), yet there is this expectation that we should be able to drink, or at a minimum, "taste", a 2010 Oregon PN and know exactly what it will be-- there is an expectation that OR PN reveals itself at a young age, but that is not always the case. As I said above, Pinot likes to make fools of many of us-- it disappoints, and delights, as it chooses. And when it is a young wine from a cool year, it often is more reticent to reveal it's future character; while a ripe-year Pinot blushes with its basic identity early-on.

There is a lesson to be learned from the 2007s-- the good ones grew up to be wonderful wines... (and those of you that can remember, so did the 1993 Oregon wines). But that view will only be shared IF you have a preference for Pinot that shows the "pretty" side of what PN can be. Oppositely, die-hard ripe-cab-drinkers will almost certainly never like an '07-- then and now. On this particular day, at this particular moment, I'm thinking that our 2010s will grow up to be very credible wines, and I'm much more confident of that than I was 6-months ago. I suspect other producers 2010s are behaving in a similar manner.
quote:
Originally posted by BHVineyard:
I was amused to see that a small group seems to have beat-up this topic for 2-weeks and then got tired. So, now that it is a new year, here's my two cents on a few points; perhaps the debate will restart?...:


Tom -- Thanks for the post. It's always enjoyable to hear your thoughts/insights. The holidays and heavy business travel in December forced this to the back burner for me, but I haven't stopped thinking about it.

My recent travels have actually provided a perspective that I don't get (take advantage of, may be a better way to phrase it) in most years. Most restaurants have a meager -- if any -- Pinot Noir selection, which means that, if they do have something, it is most likely a large production, widely distributed wine. Since early December, I've had the 2010 Erath Oregon Pinot Noir in Savannah, the 2010 Argyle WV Pinot Noir in Allentown, and the 2010 Elk Cove WV Pinot Noir last night in Boston.

I don't have exact production figures, but these are several of the larger production Pinot Noir bottlings in Oregon. Thus, by definition, they offer perspective into the vintage. The bottom line, IMHO, is that these three entry level, large production, wines are quite respectable. Mind boggling good? No. Will I be buying these three for my own celler. No. (I never have and don't plan to start now -- it's not just a 2010 'thing'.) But, I was very happy to be able to purchase Pinot Noir that provided this level of enjoyment at a restaurant. And the big picture is that, if the entry level wines are respectible, then the higher quality wines have the potential to be very good, as I have already noted.

I'm definately looking forward to tasting the 2010 Le Cadeau line up.
+1 to what Sharkey said. I am still interested in researching the 2010 Oregon Vintage, but the holidays kind of got in the way. Since my last TN post, I have had the Shea Estate (my least favorite Shea that I can remember), Big Table Farm Catrall (weird popcorn aroma - ? flawed) and retried the Domaine Drouhin (which is outstanding). I agree that there is a lot of similarity to 07, but there seems to be more incosistancy (at least in my small sampling). I will continue to try them as they hit the market and will purchase some of the ones I like for cellaring.
Have popped 2010 Bergstrom Bergstrom and 2010 St. Innocent Shea, both wonderful wines. The Bergstrom was a dead-ringer for Grand Cru Burgundy. The St. Innocent was a bit lighter but still outstanding. As a Burgundy lover I am now turned onto Oregon. My tastes run right to what this Bergstrom is showing, so I imagine I'd like the heavier producers in lighter years and the lighter producers in heavier years. (Can't stand Cali Pinot BTW, with very few exceptions.)
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
quote:
Originally posted by Sharkey:
It was a good Father's Day:

2010 Thomas Pinot Noir
2010 Bell Pente Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir

Both young, as expected, but oh so good.


Nice! I wish there was a "shaking fist" emoticon. Wink


Remind me the next time we're together. I'd be more than happy to open a Thomas for you.
quote:
Originally posted by Sharkey:
It was a good Father's Day:

2010 Thomas Pinot Noir
2010 Bell Pente Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir

Both young, as expected, but oh so good.
How ready is the Thomas? I have 3 750s and 1 1.5L. It will be my first experience with his wine.
quote:
Originally posted by NolanE:
quote:
Originally posted by Sharkey:
It was a good Father's Day:

2010 Thomas Pinot Noir
2010 Bell Pente Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir

Both young, as expected, but oh so good.
How ready is the Thomas? I have 3 750s and 1 1.5L. It will be my first experience with his wine.


I was surprised at how accessible the Thomas was. Those who tried it on release (8 months ago) said that it was, not surprisingly, very angular. It is young and primary; however, based on the experience with this bottle, I wouldn't try to convince you not to open one of the 750's now. Though, it will probably be 2 years -- 5 years from vintage date -- before I open one of my own 2010 Thomas's. Forget about opening the mag for now.
quote:
Originally posted by Wine Sparty:
Nolan - was this where you mailed it?

Thomas Winery PO Box 48 Carlton OR 97111 Tel: 503-852-6969
That is the address I used. Don't remember what phone number I called (to ask if he accepted money orders) as it was printed on the allocation card.
The Sheas on shelves right now are probably the '11s.
I'm surprised the Block 23 came across as earthy.
The 23 is all Pommard, and is about as cherry centric as they come. The Block 7 is much more earthy and savory.

I'm keeping the corks in my '10s, and only try them when served at a winery or tasting room. They are drinkable, but way, way young. There are '09s still available for those who like full bodied Pinots, and '07s at a discount who go for lighter, more elegant wines.

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