2014 Patricia Green Cellars
Bold, Stuffed With Fruit, Extraordinary
|Winery View, From the Vineyard
by Robert Wolfe (May 6, 2016, Portland, OR)
The Patricia Green oddessy began in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley back in the late 1980s when Patty Green was helping out at wineries in that region, including Girardet. Starting with the 1993 vintage, she moved up to the Willamette Valley and began making wine with Torii Mor – and met Jim Anderson, who would become her business partner and co-winemaker.
her stint at Torii Mor Patty made a set of wines that achieved the critical scores equal to the best in Oregon, placing her in the upper echelon of winemakers. With the 1994 Pinot Noir Quail Hill bottling, she made Torii Mor the first Oregon winery to ask – and get — $100 per bottle.
But the road at Torii Mor turned rocky, and Patty and Jim left after the 1999 harvest to found Patricia Green Cellars. They bought the old Autumn Wind property on Ribbon Ridge, right next door to Beaux Freres, and ever since it has been Patricia Green Cellars. In celebration of their deft transition, they bottled a flagship pinot noir called Notorious (No Torii Us, get it?).
Over the intervening 15 years, the winery has gone from
strength to strength, and is firmly established as the single best selling brand here at OregonPinotNoirDotCom! Over the years our clients have shown unwavering support for the wines, making these wines our top selling brand! This makes sense when you consider that the wines have maintained an exceptionally consistent level of excellence.
With the 2014 vintage, Patty and Jim have crafted what I judge to be their boldest wines yet, with dark colors, big dark red and black fruit flavors, and impressive texture and body. The lineup starts with the most complex Reserve bottling so far, and soars to a set of small-lot wines that possess remarkable richness, density, complex flavors and extraordinary texture and length. I predict that these wines will be at the top of any critical evaluation of the vintage.
Below we offer a range of wines from the vintage, including their best-ever Reserve bottling, the very, very popular Balcombe bottling, and several small-lot, high-end wines that are works of vinous magic. And, their ever-popular Sauvignon Blanc is here, too — make sure to read to the very end!
Fans of the winery should pull out all the stops to acquire these wines, from a few special bottles to cases of your favorites. That’s how good they are.
Copyright Robert Wolfe. Short passages may be reprinted with permission and attribution.
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2014 Patricia Green Pinot Noir Reserve
$24 / bottle
A Lotta Wine For The $
Patty’s Reserve is always a tasty wine, but with 2014 it has reached a level of fruit concentration and complexity that makes it the winery’s best offering at this price perhaps ever.
Dark, bold fruit is the star of the show, with black cherries and blackberries framed by fine tannins and supported by balanced acidity. It’s juicy, it’s fresh, it’s fun to drink now . . . and will keep getting better in the bottle for some years to come. It’s all you can expect at this price point, and more. Highly recommended.
2014 Patricia Green Pinot Noir Estate
$30 / bottle
Ribbon Ridge AVA
Jim’s Notes: “The duress the plants are under in the thin marine soils’ upper layers in our estate vineyard causes the fruit to be relatively low in yields and smaller on a per cluster basis. This makes for darker and more naturally more structured wines. Even in a higher yielding, warmer (and therefore fruit-driven) year this bottling still exhibits broodingly dark fruit intertwined with loamy, earthy characteristics and finishes with gripping tannins that give the wine form. This is Pinot Noir for those with darker souls and, perhaps, some devious intentions. Don’t bring this bottle home to your mama because she is going to have a talk with you later. “
2014 Patricia Green PN Freedom Hill Vineyard
$36 / bottle
Jim’s Notes: “Freedom Hill Vineyard lies toward the eastern edge of the Coast Range Foothills, planted on a marine sedimentary type of soil known as Bellpine. The vineyard is also located just south of the Van Duzer wind corridor which allows for more consistent average temperatures due to a lack of afternoon and evening offshore breezes rolling through.
“We get five sections of Freedom Hill Vineyard covering three clones (Pommard, Dijon 115 and Coury). This makes us one of the largest producers of Pinot Noir from this site in the state.
“This is a big boy Pinot Noir in 2014. Incredibly intense and very darkly fruited with quite a wealth of finishing tannin. There is a range of fermentation techniques from completely de-stemmed to over 50% whole cluster across the different clones that adds complexity and shows the broad yet well-defined character of this great Oregon Pinot Noir vineyard.”
2014 Patricia Green Pinot Noir Lia’s Vineyard
$30 / bottle
Jim’s Notes: “Lia’s Vineyard is in the Chehalem Mountains, where the part of the vineyard on the lower hillside consist of marine sedimentary soils and vineyards higher on the hill are volcanic soils. Lia’s Vineyard straddles that transition, and this wine represents the Lia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir bottling we were desirous of making when we first looked at the vineyard back in 2009. We still get the Pommard from the top of the vineyard and the Dijon 115 from the bottom.
“The Mariafeld, Dijon 115 and Pommard lends a spicy note to the aromatics, a noticeable lift of red fruit and brightness in the mid-palate and a sturdier base of tannins. If there is a single vineyard Pinot Noir that we make that has more immediate appeal while still having down-the-road sort of chops this has to be it. This has forward, sweet dark fruit, quite a lot of texture and just enough finishing tannin to pull it all in at the end.”
2014 Patricia Green PN Balcombe
$37 / bottle
Their Most Popular Bottling
Jim’s Notes: “The Dundee Hills are a part of a North Willamette Valley hill chain that developed as a result of intense volcanic activity and the collision of the Pacific and North American plates. Dundee Hills is typically volcanic over sedimentary sandstone.
“This wine is certainly the quintessential Dundee Hills Pinot Noir that we make. This is consistently floral on the nose with subtle elements of red-fruit and smoked meat. Red fruits, spices, a sweet mid-palate and satin-like texture are the dominant forces in the wine and while forceful in its lush Dundee Hill character this wine is still elegant and feminine. This will be a superstar for people who enjoy the sensual side of Oregon Pinot Noir.”
2014 Patricia Green Pinot Noir
Freedom Hill Coury Clone
$72 / bottle
Very Rare Coury Clone
Jim’s Notes: “The vineyard was established in 1982 by the people who still own and manage it to this day, Dan and Helen Dusschee. While they may not have realized it at the time they were ultimately settling onto a site destined to be seen as one of the top Pinot Noir vineyards in the state of Oregon.This is one acre of some of the most perfect fruit we get.
“There is something about this clone of Pinot Noir that makes it stand out from every other wine we make. This wine just comes loaded with an array of non-fruit based flavors that all somehow contribute to the wine having a distinctly complex fruit and spice character.”
2014 Patricia Green PN Notorious
$78 / bottle
150 Cases Made
The winery’s flagship bottling since inception, the Notorious is always a rich, bold wine that ages like crazy. My older bottles of this wine are some of the true gems of the collection.
From Jim: “This is, as you would expect, exceptional stuff born of great vineyards in an exceptional vintage. This is as fine an effort as we have ever come up with for this unique bottling. The last six vintages (2007-2012) of our Notorious bottling have received scores of 94, 93, 94, 93, 94 and 95 from The International Wine Cellar. We followed up receiving the highest score given to an Oregon Pinot Noir by this publication by not bottling the Notorious in 2013. Yes, we are that hyper-sensitive and committed to our wines meeting an absolutely high standard.
“In 2014 the wine has the lifted red fruit that is the hallmark of the vintage yet there is a darker side to this wine that is fairly typical of this bottling.The power and darker fruits tend to linger in the back of the wines and come on toward the finish allowing the wines to have complexity and length along with more largesse. This is a rare wine with just six barrels chosen. This has incredible “bones” to it as the vineyards that make it up are certainly among the top vineyards in the state of Oregon.”
2014 Patty Green Pinot Noir Anniversary
$85 / bottle
Reserve Club Selection
To celebrate a benchmark vintage, Patty Green and partner / winemaker Jim Anderson have blended a 15th Anniversary Cuvee, labeled with a painting of Patricia Green herself (last used in 2008). The wine was meticulously blended from a select set of barrels representing many of the winery’s top vineyard sources, and only 150 cases were made.
Once the cork is pulled and the wine poured, the aromas are deep, dark and show a sauvage character. On the palate, it is explosive, expansive and endlessly layered and complex, and so persistent on the palate there’s no point in talking about a ‘finish’ per se. Waves of fruit continue to saturate the palate as long as you can resist swallowing or spitting. This is a blockbuster pinot, laden with glorious fruit and fine structure, and may be the best Patricia Green Cellars wine I’ve tasted since their inception 15 years ago – and I’ve had all of them. The wine is destined to be a top bottling from the vintage — Pinotguy Bob
2014 Patricia Green Pinot Noir Mysterious
$99 / bottle
Second Ever Bottling
There’s this vineyard, see, and it’s a GREAT vineyard, and it’s been the source of fruit for some of the most extraordinary wines Oregon has ever produced. BUT . . .the vineyard is owned by one winery, and they usually use all the fruit for themselves. Once in a while, they sell fruit to other wineries, who are legally prevented from putting that vineyard name on the label.
And what happens then? In this case, Patty and Jim made a far, far better wine with the grapes than the winery that owns the famous vineyard does with the same fruit!
This stuff is awesome, and worth the money. (Call or email me and I’ll tell you the vineyard.) Here are Jim’s notes:
“We are contractually not allowed to tell you the name of this vineyard (seriously, we signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of the fruit contract). Suffice it to say this is one of the premier vineyards on the West Coast. Planted back in 1990, the vineyard is supremely well managed and the wine is intense, focused and absolutely beautiful. This is great, great Pinot Noir from a vineyard of impeccable pedigree. This is not a wine to miss as there may not be another for the next 5 years.”
2015 Patricia Green Cellars Dry Muscat
$18 / bottle
Stellar Porch Wine
For the second time in four years, winemaker Jim Anderson has taken some modest Muscat Ottonel and crafted a dry, still wine that is compelling and refreshing to drink. The nose here is very floral, but in no way sweet or cloying. The wine has cool fruit flavors of grapes and melon, perky balancing acidity, and is dry and persistent on the palate. This type of wine is commonly found in certain parts of Italy, and US versions tend to be sweet and event pettilant (a bit bubbly). But this Oregon version is dry, refreshing and clocks in at only 11% abv, making it a superb warm weather quaffer. It is a personal favorite of mine, and I can claim with confidence that I’ve personally consumed a significant percentage of the entire production of this wine.
2015 Patricia Green Sauvignon Blanc
$23 / bottle
New Release! Sells Out Fast!
Jim’s Notes: “The Willamette bottling consists of fruit planted in 2001 and 2002 in our Estate Vineyard, fruit from Oak Grove Vineyard in the Eola-Amity AVA and fruit from Oster Vineyard east of Mt. Angel. This is brightly fruited Sauvignon Blanc leaning to the tropical side of things. There is a smooth mouthfeel that belies the mouthwatering level of acidity present to keep the wine focused and energetic. If you have enjoyed our one offering of Sauvignon Blanc over the years this will certainly continue to be right up your alley!”