March 25, 2007

2005 Patricia Green Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

The Willamette Valley in Oregon is not especially large in relation to other wine producing regions of the world. Nor is it crammed with wineries, per se. There is still some breathing room there, though this seems to become less and less the case every year. All of this to say, loving Oregon Pinot Noir like we do for so many years we get really, really excited when we come across a winery we have not heard of before. Patricia Green Cellars was entirely new to us.

That is because it is a relatively new winery, started in 2000 by Patricia Green and Jim Anderson. Patrica "Patty" Green began making wine in Oregon in the mid 1980's, and quickly established herself as a reputable winemaker and consultant, influencing the wine at several Willamette Valley wineries. Jim Anderson's story is a little less traditional. He came to wine in the mid 1990's after being asked to be free labor for the harvest at Amity vineyards. His history is peppered with stints as an activist for a bunch of different causes, attendance at a couple different colleges, and unsuccessful attempts at a few different careers. Then he and Patty met. The wine featured here is a result of this partnership. Enough said.

Jim and Patty make some great single vineyard Pinot Noirs, and if you can't do that in the Willamette Valley you have serious problems. This wine, though, holds a special place for them as they appreciate the challenge of making a terrific wine that solidly represents their skills as winemakers and stands as a good "introduction" to their winery and their approach. For some wineries, the entry level wine is a result of fruit that was not good enough to make the cut in the single vineyard wines. For these guys, this wine is a labor of love that is "composed" of specific quality elements from several of their vineyards.

We decanted this wine for about 45 minutes or so and poured to taste. The color was deep ruby red with brighter reds around the rim. The nose has a lot of rich, cherry fruit with some hints of dark chocolate. The palate is rich as well, and deep with more of the dark cherry, a little raspberry, and a really slight herbal component. There is a subtle earthiness (we wanted more!) and quiet tannins nicely restrained but still present. Good structure, nice finish, great flavors. This wine is drinking well now, only two years after its release, but we are wanting to check it out again in a couple more years to see how it softens. For the money, it is a terrific value and competes favorably with other Oregon Pinots at $10 to $15 more a bottle. We are excited to try some of the vineyard designated wines from these two, but of the "entry level" Pinot Noirs we have tasted from Oregon wineries... this one rocks the most.

cost - $23.99

winecommando rating (1-10) - 8.७५

this wine available at wineaccess

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