While only the third vintage of Old Vines, the reviews for the first two vintages speak for themselves. 2016‒96 points Wine Advocate, 95 Wine Spectator and 2017‒96 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.
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.
We predict the press will go gaga over the 2018; it 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.
2017 vintage notes
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."
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 and everything we've always loved about Arterberry Maresh Pinot noirs, and that is a lot, rolled into one.
More classically Dundee than the 2016, it's 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 start getting excited. Jim is really happy and really proud of this wine. And he damn well should be. - Marcus
2016 vintage notes
95 points Wine Spectator: "Impressive for the impeccable elegance and balance, and buoyed by a complex core, this offers vibrant rose petal and raspberry aromas and flavors of cherry, stony mineral and savory dried herb that unfurl toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2026."
96 points Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Pinot Noir Old Vines has a lovely pure nose of pink peppercorn, dried black tea leaves, red and black licorice and violets with dried cranberries, red cherries and layers and layers of spice. Medium to full-bodied, it has amazing concentration of flavor in the mouth, blossoming out to pure red fruits and spicy layers, with cinnamon and autumn leaves accents, very fine-grained tannins and juicy acidity, finishing very, very long with tons of earth-laced fruit. Wow!"
The first ever bottling of Arterberry Maresh "Old Vines" is positively gorgeous! Breathtaking balance and purity, unlike anything we've seen from Jim Maresh since his epic 2010s.
I tasted the components of Old Vines in barrel during a chilly visit in late December '17; the finished wine shatters my expectations (which were high, by the way). Jim could not be more excited about his 2016s and based on Old Vines, we're right there with him. - Marcus