A Realm of Their Own: Arterberry Maresh 2018

Here's something crazy: Jim Arterberry Maresh made the two least expensive 96 point wines in this year's comprehensive Vinous Oregon Pinot report–his 2017 Old Vines and Maresh Vineyard Pinots. So when it was time to release their 2018 successors, naturally he raised the prices, right? Wrong!

He lowered them. Yeah, you read that correctly.

It's unheard of. Shocking even. What does Jim, and what do we think of the 2018s? Jim thinks his '18s are better than his '17s. We think he might be on to something...his 2018s remind us of a mix of 2016 and 2017–fuller fruit like 2016 yet incredible purity and elegance like 2017.

The vine age (back to 1970!), the quality, the prices–the Arterberry Maresh Pinots are in a realm of their own in the Willamette Valley. We know how many Arterberry Maresh fans there are and you're staring back at two of the biggest; it is one of our top 5 Oregon wineries. We can't wait to get these in your glass!

$35.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($39.95 regular)

Us: While only the third vintage of Old Vines, the reviews for the first two vintages speak for themselves. 201696 points Wine Advocate, 95 Wine Spectator and 201796 points Vinous. We’d have to search our memories and several wine databases to find another Pinot noir that so quickly ascended to supremacy. The reason is in the name: Old Vines.

Like you read above, the '18 reminds us of a mythical blend of 2016 and 2017. It has the darker power of the former and the wonderful elegance of the latter.

Jim Maresh: A very Maresh vineyard nose of Oolong tea, black cherry, red currant and white pepper. More Weber on palate with a wave of dark red Worden Hill fruit carried by a strong but refined structure that has become seamlessly integrated from 20 months in barrel. 65% Maresh and 35% Weber vineyards, the vines were planted between 1970 and 1983.

$53.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($59.95 regular)

Us: Putting all our cards on the table, this was one of the 12 wines in our 2020 Collector's Case. Think of how many Pinots we can choose for that case and you get an idea of how much we love it. The expression of Pinot noir's pure beauty: old vines, picked at the perfect time, treated the right way, unobscured by new oak, wonderfully balanced in its unstoppable fruit and elegant, buoyant freshness. As Jim Maresh has said many times: this exquisite, old vine fruit needs no makeup.

Jim Maresh: Lighter and brighter than the Old Vines the '18 Maresh has a beautiful floral fragrance with late season strawberries, red licorice and white pepper. Delivers poised and pure red fruit that is detailed, crystalline and long. This wine displays an elusive balance of minerality and drive only found in the oldest blocks of Maresh. These vines were planted around the Red Barn tasting room in 1970.

In case you need to re-stock your 2017s or need more for comparison purposes...

$39.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($43.95 regular)

96 points Vinous: "A highly complex bouquet evokes red berry and cherry preserves, along with building Asian spice, rose oil and smoky mineral flourishes. Shows fine delineation and seamless texture, offering concentrated, spice-tinged Chambord, cherry, cola and spicecake flavors that pick up a strong rose pastille nuance with air. Finishes extremely long and pure, with fine-grained tannins providing framework and gentle grip to lingering red fruit, five-spice powder and savory herb notes. 70% of this fruit comes from the estate Maresh vineyard and the other 30% is from the neighboring Weber vineyard; the vast majority of the vines were planted in the late 1970s."

$62.05 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($68.95 regular)

96 points Vinous: "Heady, mineral- and spice-accented red and blue fruit and potpourri aromas are complemented by exotic incense and Asian spice flourishes. Vibrant, palate-staining raspberry, red currant, boysenberry, candied rose and spicecake flavors suavely blend power and delicacy. Sneaky, polished tannins add subtle grip to a strikingly long, incisive finish that leaves resonating floral and spice notes behind."