This is my favorite kind of wine morning. A total surprise, completely changing the direction of my day, all good news. I was knee-deep in '15 Brunello when Jim Arterberry Maresh texted that Vinous dropped two (2!) 96s for two (2!) of his 2017 Pinots!
When the Vinous report was published a couple weeks ago, we noted the conspicuous absence of Arterberry Maresh reviews and it turns out they were were snuck in this morning. The shocking thing is not the scores themselves–we know how incredible Jim Maresh's wines are–but the jaw-dropping value in comparison to the other 96s in the Vinous report. They're the two least expensive 96s, with the Old Vines obliterating the competition. You can buy them for the reviews, because Arterberry Maresh is one of our top 5 Oregon wineries, because you're already a fan. Whatever the reason, buy them!
$39.55 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."
Us: A blend of Maresh (~70%) and Weber (~30%) Vineyards, sporting an average vine age of 42 (that's forty two) years, 2017 Old Vines is perfumed and heavenly–it's the kind of wine we love to drink. Exquisitely fresh and silky, we find it totally irresistible. Weighing in at only 12.8% alcohol, it is delightfully buoyant. Classically Dundee Hills, it is pure red-fruited elegance. A slightly cooler vintage meant that Maresh was picked in October and any time that vineyard is picked in October, we get excited. Jim is really happy and really proud of this wine. And he damn well should be.
$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."
Us: Everything red that I love, melded together in the most heavenly perfume. It expresses the pure beauty of Pinot noir: 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. It glows like a red sun over the Dundee Hills. From Jim's most prized blocks of Maresh Vineyard–the fifth oldest in the Willamette Valley.