Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir, Freedom Hill Vineyard, Wadensvil Clone 2018
Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir, Freedom Hill Wadensvil Clone 2018
92 Points ~ Wine Enthusiast
Winemaking and Notes:
The 2018 Wadensvil is both rich with bright fruit combined with structure and density, but also showing finesse. It is all from 100% whole cluster fermentations. This wine has stood out as one of the top wines in the cellar since ferments really started taking shape this spring. A wine where the red-fruited nature of the clone gives it a different flavor profile than all the other wines, but the clone’s natural transparency allows for the inherent structure of the vineyard to be portrayed. This is a paradoxical wine in ways, but incredibly interesting. The 2018 vintage is much like the 2017 vintage, but with greater fruit concentration that balances the omnipresent tannins. While this is serious in structure and clearly a wine that will benefit from time there is such an appealing level of fruit and texture that drinking it in its relative youth is far from a bad idea. This is a showstopper in many ways and few domestic Pinot Noirs reach this level of overall intensity in all the relevant categories. Act according to your nature.
Freedom Hill Vineyard lies toward the eastern edge of the Coast Range Foothills. While associated geographically with the Eola Hills the site lies south and west of the border of the Eola-Amity Hill AVA, outside the town of Monmouth. The vineyard is 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. 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. Their rigorous and professional approach to the management of the vineyard has brought about that greatness and even though the vineyard suffered through a scourge of phyloxera replantings and expansion of the site have shown that there is a clear and indomitable of terroir here. We had the great fortune of being in the right place at the right time with the right need for fruit in 2012 and we have had the great fortune to produce what we consider to be some of the greatest and most focused Pinot Noirs we have ever made.
You’re never safe! We will always ferret out some more great fruit from somewhere and make a new bottling out of it. Freedom Hill Vineyard. Check. 20 year old vines. Check. Wadensvil Clone. Check. While our other Freedom Hill bottlings live on the darker side of the fruit spectrum, this one shows how a distinctly red fruit profile fits into the natural structure and power that this site displays. In our now mini-horizontal bottling of Wadensvil Clone Pinots, this one stands out for its tension and structure. In the Freedom Hill Clonal bottlings, it stands out for its elegance and purity. Yes, another bottling of utterly unique and terrific wine.
The agricultural history of this area near Salem dates back to the mid-1850s, though it wasn’t until the 1970s that winemakers started to discover the area as having ideal growing conditions for high-quality wine grapes. It was around this time that a few modern pioneers, including Don Byard of Hidden Springs, planted a patchwork of vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills. Soon after, other pioneers followed suite and today this area produces world-class, handcrafted cool-climate varietals. The appellation became official in 2006.
The Eola-Amity Hills region enjoys a temperate climate of warm summers and mild winters, and 40 inches of annual rain, most of which falls outside of the growing season. Average maximum temperatures are 62 degrees Fahrenheit in April and 83 degrees Fahrenheit in July, which contributes to the ideal conditions for the cool-climate grape varieties that dominate the Eola-Amity Hills. The climate in this region is greatly influenced by its position due east of the Van Duzer Corridor, which provides a break in the coast range that allows cool Pacific Ocean air to flow through. This drops temperatures in the region dramatically, especially during late summer afternoons, helping to keep grape acids firm.
The soils in the Eola-Amity Hills predominantly contain volcanic basalt from ancient lava flows as well as marine sedimentary rocks and alluvial deposits at the lower elevations of the ridge. This combination results in a relatively shallow, rocky set of well-drained soils, which typically produce small grapes with great concentration.
The Eola Hills, and its northern extension, the Amity Hills, are part of a North Willamette Valley hill chain that developed out of intense volcanic activity and the collision of the Pacific and North American plates. The main ridge of the Eola Hills runs north-south and has numerous lateral ridges on both sides that run east-west. The majority of the region’s vineyard sites exist at elevations between 250 to 700 feet.