Hello and Happy Friday!
As many of you know, this past January I went back to Oregon, visiting a few wineries and also a few friends. I’m a Duck, having attended the University of Oregon, and lived in Portland for six years after that.
Starting my wine career in Oregon was a fabulous experience as not only did I learn a lot about wines from all over the world, but also had access to local wineries and saw many winemakers on a daily basis.
When I traveled to Oregon this January, I tasted many of the truly outstanding 2008 vintage Pinot Noir’s. This very complete vintage is going to be enjoyed by a broad range of Oregon wine fans, and just Pinot Noir fans in general.
At the time I promised some of my fun finds would make their way to Illinois, and today on my Friday Feature, you will be the only ones in Chicago to have access to the wonderful Willamette Valley release from a small, artisan producer, Marcus Goodfellow of Matello.
This wine is sold out at the winery, and it was my long–time relationship with Marcus that allowed me to source the only 10 cases coming into Illinois.
This is a terrific value Pinot Noir, so get some while it lasts! For those who are drinking more white wine this summer, I have also included a couple of Marcus’ delicious white wines.
MATELLO – A SMALL PRODUCTION OREGON WINERY YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT!
Marcus Goodfellow, is the young, dynamic winemaker behind the wines at Matello. 2002 was his first year of production, making his first wines at Westrey Winery. Today, Marcus makes his wine at Adea, a winery located outside of Gaston at the end of North Valley Road. Adea rents space to 4 other winemakers, which allows small producers to use equipment that they would normally not have access to.
As everyone knows, the majority of a wines quality starts in the vineyard. Marcus’ focus is on having relationships with family owned and operated vineyards. He feels that there is more personality in the fruit this way. Two of Matello’s primary vineyard sources and long term relationships are with the Winters Hill Vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA, and Whistling Ridge in the Ribbon Ridge AVA. He also sources fruit from Bishop Creek and the Fir Crest Vineyard.
All these vineyards provide fruit to match Marcus’ philosophy of balanced wines, with good natural acidity, which above all are fun to drink.
2008 MATELLO PINOT NOIR, WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Four vineyards provide the fruit for this excellent ’08 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: Whistling Ridge, Winters Hill, Bishop Creek and Cherry Grove. Marcus hand sorts, doesn’t do cold soak and allows the wines to start their journey very naturally. He does use some stems, 20–60%, most recently he has been using 40–50% in the wine. The fermentation is in barrel, he only uses French oak, and in this case about 25% of it is new.
An aromatically complex wine with a savory nose of dark cherry, mineral, and anise. Silky, and well framed with acidity on the palate. This offers a mixture of dark and red berries, baking spices and a long, elegant finish.
I’m sure Marcus will be happy with the following statement: this is an Oregon Pinot Noir that Burgundy fans can enjoy, as well as those who love the great wines of Oregon.
This wine was just trucked into Chicago, and probably could use a week or two to settle down. After that point you can drink it now through 2014+.
This is an exceptional value for a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir!
$23.99 BTL. / $287.88 CASE
2009 MATELLO PINOT GRIS, WILLAMETTE VALLEY
I always say that Pinot Gris comes in all shapes and sizes. You can have a really lean and clean version, or one that has big body, spice and ripeness. When I spoke to Marcus about his version of Pinot Gris he mentioned that you almost have to pick a side when it comes to growing and vinifying the grape varietal. His preference is for a style that is bone–dry with freshness. He works with vineyards from sedimentary soil to ensure this style.
The fruit for the ’09 Pinot Gris all comes from the Whistling Ridge vineyard in which Marcus has a sharecropping type arrangement with. Marcus calls Whistling Ridge a cooler site, and it does produce beautiful Pinot Noir and Gris. Marcus harvests the fruit at good ripeness, but not over–ripeness, and leaves the wine on its lees for seven months. The wine is vinified and aged in flex tank, which gives the wine air, but no oak flavors.
Bright, focused and packed full of ripe pear notes, mineral, and citrus notes. Very fresh and easy to drink this is really excellent Oregon Pinot Gris, at a steal of a price.
$16.99 BTL. / $203.88 CASE
NV MATELLO “CAPRICE”
Marcus really shows off some white wine skills with “Caprice,” a slightly off–dry white blend made from 80% Pinot Blanc and 20% Pinot Gris that is co–fermented.
Yes this is NV, a blend of the 2008 which was aged for 18 months on its lees and a slightly drier ’09 blend. The wonderfully ripe and vibrant fruit for this wine comes from the Fir Crest Vineyard.
Bright notes of tropical fruits like papaya and mango, a great underlying minerality, a kiss of sweetness and terrific acidity help make it supremely balanced.
I can’t understate how outstanding of a food wine this is. I was discussing with Marcus a couple of food pairings that he has had with it. It is diverse enough to go with a berry and Chèvre cheese salad, or something with spice, like one of my favorite dishes from the defunct Taqueria Nueve in Portland, Pulpo cocktail. It is able to handle spice, and even hard to pair ingredients like tomatoes.
If you eat foods with spice, which are always difficult to match, you should stock up on this excellent value!
$14.99 BTL. / $179.88 CASE