The 2019 Patricia Green Pinot noirs will disappear in record time. Production was down and combined with the lack of 2020 single vineyard wines, one vintage has to cover sales for two years. It’s math that doesn’t work at all. So when we got the call about the two handfuls of cases of PGC Weber ‘19, we knew it was headed straight for the club. One of, if not the most elegant PGC wines in any vintage, the 2019 is especially so because of the nature of 2019. There are two options for enjoyment: open it immediately upon arrival to see if you’ve beaten your fellow club members to re-ordering what’s left or cherish the bottle you have for a future special Pinot occasion.
From Jim Anderson, PGC winemaker: There simply aren’t many 35+ year-old vineyards in Oregon. Weber Vineyard is perhaps the purest Dundee Hills Pinot noir that we have. In our fifteen years working with this vineyard it has routinely produced one of our top wines of the vintage (certainly in 2012 and 2016 one could make a strong argument for that being the case). 2019 will be said to be an uneven vintage in Oregon. There was rain at an odd time slightly after flowering and some rain just as harvest was beginning. This, at Weber Vineyard, led to a severe diminishing of the total crop. Our normal harvest is usually around 10 tons off of our block but we received less than 5 in 2019. It was also, due to the old vines carrying half of their normal weight, picked as much as two weeks earlier than we generally pick. The fruit was in fairly fragile condition so this was all de-stemmed as opposed to our normal relatively heavy whole cluster regimen for Weber Vineyard. All this sounds daunting in terms of the wine produced.
However, this is a good lesson in trusting the greatness of the vineyard to be present even in times of less than ideal conditions. The resulting wine reminds me somewhat of the very excellent 2012 version from this vineyard which was the last vintage of Weber that was completely de-stemmed. The darker than expected fruit is rich in texture with the gliding, silky sort of tannins the Dundee Hills can produce. Our Webers over the past few vintages have had more structure and heft but what this wine lacks in that it makes up for with the sort of ethereal, rich, red fruit that Worden Hill Road vineyards can be known for. This may not have been a textbook way to grow fruit but it is a reminder that the special sites with which we work are indeed special for a reason. This is complete, age-worthy, and unique all while still being a distinctly Worden Hill Road Pinot noir. Beautiful wine for old vine Dundee Hills vineyard fans
2018 vintage notes
95 points Vinous: "Ripe red fruits, incense and Asian spices on the expansive nose, along with building mineral and floral overtones. Juicy and concentrated on the palate, offering alluringly sweet raspberry and cherry preserve, rose pastille and exotic spice flavors that show fine definition and become livelier with air. Powerful but graceful as well, finishing on a youthfully tannic note, with outstanding clarity and length. 75% whole clusters and 22% new oak."
The winery: This wine’s stature comes from the combination of site characteristics and clone that are extremely rare in Oregon. The way they present themselves set them apart from all of our other wines. We strive to find unique places so that we can craft a large number of wines that are all very distinct. In this case we have found a block within a large site that offers us the ability to have a wine that feints at both being lean, austere, demure and tightly wound as well as being rich, broad-shouldered, structured, dense and provocative. At least in its youth that is the vibe it is giving off and the type of elasticity that it has. Few wines bring such an ability to move from both sides of the spectrum effortlessly with intent.
Site Characteristics: On top of the fact that there simply aren’t many 35+ year-old vineyards in Oregon, Weber is perhaps the purest Dundee Hills Pinot Noir that we have. In our dozen years working with this vineyard it has routinely produced one of our top wines of the vintage (certainly in 2012 and 2016 one could make a strong argument for that being the case). In 2018 this wine definitely shows that potential. If you are a fan of what the Dundee Hills can do at exceptionally high levels with old vines this bottling is going to be in your wheelhouse. Since 2015 we have been including larger quantities of whole cluster fermentation into the bottling. Of the 18 barrels selected 13 come from stem inclusion fermentations with 5 being from 100% and 8 from 50%. This is a quintessential old vine, Worden Hill Rd. Pinot Noir that reaches back into the history of Oregon for its place in our line-up of Pinot Noirs from the vintage. This wine has a deep red color and a great concentration of sweet fruit that is balanced and buffeted by crisp acidity and firm, but ripe tannins. The wine was in 22% new barrel (and 33% once used barrels) for just under a year. The depth of the wine both from a concentration standpoint and an “old vines can handle barrels” standpoint this seems far less influenced by barrel than once would expect. This is complete, age-worthy, unique all while still being a distinctly Worden Hill Rd. Pinot Noir. Beautiful wine for old vine Dundee Hills vineyard fans.