Monday, February 25, 2013

Two Aged Pinots from the Same Vineyard

2005 is maybe my favorite Oregon vintage ever.  Ripe, plump fruit and good acidity led to good body and great balance.  I still have a number of bottles from Elk Cove and wanted to experiment to see how they're progressing.
Belonging to the Roosevelt Club, Elk Cove's mailing list, allowed me access to vineyards and bottlings not generally available in the marketplace.  Patton Valley Vineyard was news to me.  Interestingly, I managed to find - while living in Portland - Patton Valley Vineyard 2005 Estate Bottled as well.  So, on a recent poker night the two were opened.
Both are located in Gaston, OR. a region I find produces bigger, darker, riper styles of pinot than much of the rest of the Willamette Valley.  The Patton Valley Vineyard is NW of Gaston and NNE of Elk Cove.  The vineyard sits between 400 and 500 feet and has good exposure.
The Patton Valley Estate showed ripe fruit and immediate accessibility but also showed hints of some slightly tired fruit right away as well.  It was a bit clumsy but thoroughly enjoyable.  In fact, it outshone the Elk Cove for about an hour.  This wine sat, mute, in the glasses, tight as a drum.  After the hour open though, the Elk Cove spread its wings and soared with ripe, red fruit mingling with hints of mushroom and leather and a much more complex palate feel.
Neither bottle had any wine left after a few hours but the Elk Cove emptied first.  As I recall it was about $5 more expensive than the Patton Valley Estate but the difference in the wine was well worth it.
I will happily explore more Patton Valley wines when the opportunity arises.

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