New offer coming Wednesday

The next round of 2015 Vincent wines will be released this spring. But if you’re on my mailing list, you get first crack at everything this Wednesday – including the first of our late bottled “Tardive” white wines – at the best prices I offer all year.

It’s simple and free to join my mailing list. Then just order the new wines by the pre-release price deadline. Shipping will be in the spring when the weather is mild. For locals, I’ll have a tasting and pick up event in May, or we can make arrangements for getting you your order.

Here’s the line up of new wines available to the mailing list on Wednesday:

2015 Vincent Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley “Tardive” – 18 months on the lees!
2015 Vincent Chardonnay Willamette Valley “Tardive” – also 18 months on the lees, 50% is old Wente “108” clone of Chard

2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard – low yield in our block of Pommard, just two barrels made
2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard – all Pommard clone from the original block planted 10 years ago
2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Silvershot – the new name for Crowley Station, own-rooted Pinot planted in 2000
2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills – a blend of all the vineyards I work with in my home AVA

Sign up and get the offer this Wednesday.

Vincent tasting at Artists Repertory Theater in Portland next Tuesday

successfulstrategies_andreastolowitz_photobysignetronsonInterested in wine and theater? Come to a staged reading of playwright Andrea Stolowitz’s Successful Strategies next Tuesday the 24th at Artist Repertory Theater in Portland. The event is part of Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival, a city-wide celebration of new works.

Successful Strategies runs on both January 23 and 24, but I’ll be there on the 24th sampling a couple of my current wines at intermission. After the performance on the 24th, Stolowitz and I will hold an informal debrief of the play with more tasting. Best of all, it’s free. Please come, and RSVP to jrippy@artistsrep.org if possible (not required). ART is located at

Successful Strategies is an adaptation of a romantic farce of the same name by 18th century French dramatist Pierre de Marivaux. Stolowitz has taken this classic play and set it in Oregon wine country at the brink of a precarious harvest, where two very different couples intertwine in unexpected ways. It’s funny, poignant and very much wine related as the characters sort out the roles that art, science and luck play in our attempts to make wine and make love stay.

This staged reading is directed by Dámaso Rodriguez and features actors Jen Rowe, Michael O’Connell, Sara Hennessey, Josh Weinstein, Andrew Bray, Jana Lee Hamblin and Darius Pierce.

Playwright Andrea Stolowitz is a two-time Oregon Book Award winner whom I met through a mutual friend in 2013 when she was researching and writing the first draft of the play. Andrea worked with me up to and during the harvest that year to get more experience in the finer points of growing and making wine.

At the time we talked about this kind of event at some point, now it’s here and I hope you can join us on the 24th, if only to hear about the backstory of Andrea’s surprise upon meeting the vineyard owner on the prowl for migratory birds. Yes, he shows up in the play.

More Reviews – three Vincent 2014s from Burghound

I’ve been better about sending my wines out for reviews at the major wine publications. Last month I received excellent reviews from Vinous Media.

This month I see the Burgundy-centric publication Burghound has published nice reviews of three of my 2014 wines.

I’m particularly happy about both sets of reviews because these are good scores from tough graders, and publications I read and really respect. I won’t lie, it’s nice to see what they think about my efforts.

From Burghound issue 64, January 2017:

2014 Pinot Noir – Eola Amity Hills: (SRP $27, 12.9%). A spicy, cool and restrained nose features airy notes of red cherry, currant and discreet floral nuances. There is good vibrancy and detail to the delicious, clean and focused middle weight flavors that terminate in a dusty, linear and moderately dry (in the best sense) finale. This mildly austere effort could be enjoyed young but I would be inclined to allow it a few years of bottle age to help flesh out the finish. 88/2019+

2014 Pinot Noir – Bjornson Vineyard: (Eola Amity Hills, SRP $39, 12.9%). A slightly riper nose is composed by equally cool aromas of maraschino cherry, violet, lavender and pretty spice hints. Here too there is good energy and delineation to the delicious and sleek medium-bodied flavors that possess a bit more mid-palate density, all wrapped in a dusty and less linear finish that is both longer and more complex. This is really quite good and while it could use a few years to develop better overall depth, the underlying material is present such that this should occur. Worth checking out. 90/2021+

2014 Pinot Noir – Zenith Vineyard: (Eola Amity Hills, SRP $39, 13.5%). Here the nose is easily the most deeply pitched of the three cuvées with its plum, violet, blue pinot fruit and soft floral nuances. There is both good volume and underlying tension to the delicious, focused and punchy medium-bodied flavors that possess a relatively refined mouth feel while delivering fine depth on the mildly austere finale. This too could use a few years of bottle age to unwind and to add depth but this too appears to have the supporting material such it could develop in time. 90/2022+

New mailing list offer coming February 1

I’m releasing several new wines this spring, and as usual I’m offering them to my mailing list first at the best prices of the year. Most of these wines are VERY limited (details below), so if you want any chance to get them, sign up for my mailing list here.

The highlights of this upcoming offer are three new 2015 single vineyard Pinot Noir, a new Eola-Amity Hills cuvee of Pinot, and the first ever “Tardive” releases of white wines that demanded extra barrel aging before bottling. Tardive means “late” and these two exceptional whites, 2015 Chardonnay “Tardive” and 2015 Pinot Blanc “Tradeoff” are worth the wait.

Here are all the details – remember most of these wines are made in tiny quantities so get on the mailing list to make sure you receive an allocation:

2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard – $39 retail
This year’s Bjornson vineyard designate is 100% Pomade clone aged for 18 months in barrel, racked last August from younger French oak to older barrels before bottling without filtration. Picked on September 8 at 22.3 brix, the grapes had incredible intensity after a warm summer transitioned suddenly to cool, dry fall weather from the end of August. The wine shows classic raspberry fruit and spice of this volcanic site with a tension that should reward many years of cellaring. 2 barrels produced

2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard – $39 retail
Zenith is also 100% Pommard clone, from the same small parcel of vines I’ve worked with for years. As with the Bjornson, this wine was racked last August into neutral casks and bottled in early 2017 without filtration. The grapes were picked here at 21.9 brix on September 13, with fresh acidity but no shortage of depth and concentration in the finished wine. Zenith is always a bit more broad shouldered than my other wines and this year’s example should age effortlessly for at least a decade. 2 barrels

2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Silvershot Vineyard – $39 retail
Silvershot is the new name for Crowley Station Vineyard, renamed after a trademark dispute in the past year. New name but it’s another classic savory red fruited wine from this cool, windy site on the far southwest part of the Eola Hills. The grapes here were harvest on September 18 from own-rooted vines in the oldest part of the vineyard, planted in 2000. (Grapes from the younger west block, picked earlier in September, all went to the Eola-Amity Hills bottling). As with Zenith and Bjornson, the Silvershot was bottled after 18 months in cask with no filtration. It shows some light toast notes mixing with the dense but lively cherry fruit and delicate herb notes, finishing with a fine worsted texture. 2 barrels

2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills – $27 retail
This year’s Eola-Amity Hills bottling is a blend of Bjornson, Zenith, Silvershot and (new to me) Temperance Hill vineyards. The result is a classic expression of my home AVA, with a softer texture than the vineyard wines blended for earlier consumption. Don’t be afraid to hold on to this bottling though – examples going back to my first vintage 2009 are still drinking wonderfully. Bottled last August to capture its youthful freshness and held for spring release. 10 barrels

2015 Vincent Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley “Tardive” – $23 retail
This is the first of two brand new wines I’m labeling as “Tardive.” That all simply means the barrels here tasted so good, so focused that I held them back for longer aging on the lees (yeast sediments) for maximum flavor development. While most of my 2015 Pinot Blanc was bottled last August and released last fall, two special barrels of that wine have aged longer for a late or “tardive” bottling. The result is an extra creamy texture that gives this bright, citrusy Pinot Blanc even more finesse than the regular bottling. Think of it as a true reserve wine, held back and bottled separately because it deserves the spotlight. 2 barrels

2015 Vincent Chardonnay Willamette Valley “Tardive” – $29 retail
Where the Blanc “Tardive” is essentially the same wine as the regular bottling, just longer on the lees, the Chardonnay “Tardive” is something different still. Bear with me here. In 2015 I had the opportunity to work with the old 108 clone of Chardonnay for the first time. If you know the story of Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley, this California clone (one of the Wente clones, in fact) was widely planted in Oregon decades ago but largely given up because it supposedly wasn’t right for our cool climate. Maybe it’s climate change, more likely it’s both farming advances and the fact that the one big knock on the 108 clone was its tendency to hold onto its acid (like that’s a bad thing!) turns out to be a boon for those of us who like the freshness and structure acidity brings to great Chardonnay. Whatever it is, I’m a huge fan of the old 108 clone and yes, I secured more of it in 2016 and beyond. However, in 2015 I made just one single barrel from 1980s vines at Namaste vineyard in the soon to be official Van Duzer AVA in the cool hills west of the Eola Hills. I blended this one barrel of 108 with another barrel of Dijon clone Chardonnay from Apolloni vineyard that anchored the regular 2015 Chardonnay released last fall. The result is the best Chardonnay I’ve made to date, the lemon and apple flavors of the Appoloni mixing with the pears and seashell qualities of the 108 to give a Chardonnay truly expressive of the Willamette Valley. 2 barrels

These wines will all be officially released on Memorial Day weekend, but if you’re on my mailing list you can get first access to them on February 1 at special prerelease pricing. All of these 2 barrel lots mean just 50 cases of each are available for the world. Most won’t make it into distribution, so you need to buy direct or from the handful of Portland shops and restaurants that will get these wines if you want to make sure to get some yourself.Sign up for the Vincent mailing list here.

Vincent wines reviewed by Vinous Media

I was pleased to wake up today to see nice reviews of some of my currently available wines by the esteemed Josh Raynolds of Vinous. I’ve read his reviews for years, cool to see him write up a few of my wines.

From Vinous:

2014 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard – 92 pts
Deep red. Smoke-accented dark berries and cherry cola on the fragrant nose; mineral and spice flourishes add vivacity. Sappy, concentrated bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors are lifted by a bright floral quality and a suggestion of white pepper. rich but energetic as well, delivering strong finishing cut and smoky persistence. Drink 2019-2025

2014 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard – 92 pts
Vivid ruby-red. Powerful, smoke-and spice-tinged cherry and black raspberry aromas, along with hints of cola and lavender that gain strength with aeration. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering bitter cherry and dark berry flavors that turn sweeter and more lively on the back half. Smoothly plays its vivacity off the richness of the vintage and finishes impressively long and sweet, with gentle tannins making a cameo appearance. Drink 219-2025

2014 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills – 90 pts
Brilliant red. Fresh red and dark berry aromas are complemented by suggestions of floral oil and white pepper. Juicy and light on its feet, offering gently sweet black raspberry and rose pastille flavors and a hint of blood orange that adds bracing cut. Lingers with very good, fruity persistence, showing just a hint of tannins and lingering spiciness. Drink 2018-2022

Thanksgiving weekend at the winery

Just a quick reminder that we have our annual Thanksgiving weekend open house at the winery, this Friday and Saturday, November 25 & 26, noon-5pm each day.

Location is Grochau Cellars, where I make my Vincent wines. Address is 9360 SE Eola Hills Road just up the hill from Brooks Winery.

For $15 tasting fee, you can taste my new releases as well as the full line up of wines from Grochau as well as Upper Five Vineyard from southern Oregon. Three producers under one roof, and purchase wines together for quantity discounts. Come have some fun in at the winery.

Note, my wines will be there Friday but I will be traveling. I will be there in the flesh on Saturday so come then if you want to chat.

 

Events in November

Now that harvest is done, it’s time for lots of events at the winery. Here’s what’s going on in November.

First, if you’re a member of my mailing list, you’re invited to a mailing list only tasting and pick up event at the winery on Sunday, November 6 from noon to 4pm. Location is Grochau Cellars, where I make my wine, 9360 SE Eola Hills Road outside of Amity. Come taste new wines from 2015 and pick up your pre-release order if you made a purchase. All new wines will be for sale, including the otherwise sold out 2015 Vincent Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard.

Next, I’m partnering with John Grochau of Grochau Cellars on Saturday, November 19, to do a special pre-Thanksgiving, low-fi tasting at the winery – all the latest wines from both producers and some special bottles without the Thanksgiving crowds. We’ll be there noon to 5pm, details on social media.

And of course, Thanksgiving weekend I’ll be pouring at the winery with Grochau Cellars and Upper Five Vineyard from southern Oregon. Taste all three producers for one price, combine orders for quantity discounts on bottles you want to take home. Thanksgiving is traditionally the top weekend of the year to go wine tasting in Oregon. It’s such a nice way to join the celebration of the recent harvest. Please come visit!