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2007 Oregon Pinot Noir, colored water?

Mallory Aug 16, 2008 09:00 AM

Perhaps some here can enlighten us.

From what I understand in 2007 near the harvest the rain was really heavy and it resulted in bloated grapes that were taken in.

While some winemakers have a machine that helps in evaporation, many do not, making much of the 2007 vintage very thin and lacking in structure.

Some people I've spoken with suggest the evaporation machine is a poor subsitute for a good grape, essentially that while it helps in a year like 2007 the wine is still considerably sub-par.


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  1. Midlife RE: Mallory Aug 16, 2008 11:02 AM

    I don't know for sure that this link will work but it leads to a day by day report of the 07 Oregon harvest from the Squires Board at erobertparker.com. http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/s...

    Almost a year later there are certainly more concrete reports available, but this info certainly suggested that the 07 vintage will be reasonably good or better, depending on when picked and how it was handled.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Midlife
      Mallory RE: Midlife Aug 16, 2008 03:23 PM

      Thanks Midlife. Interesting read on the Parker board, (the link works) I read much of the four pages and it seems there is/was some concern about the vintage. The general consensus it appears is that initally people were down on 07 and now it's not as bad as it seemed. Good but not great.

      Certainly not colored water, but nothing really memorable.

      Though there are arguments there that refute that and suggest that it's the press that frowns on vintages that have heavy harvest rains. And actually rainy vintages are good even though the public does not buy them.

      I don't know, I'm happy to enjoy some 07 noir even if it's lighter than usual, I only hope it's tasty.

    2. d
      duck833 RE: Mallory Aug 16, 2008 03:20 PM

      I was in beautiful Dundee last week picking up some vino from Dick Shea. His winemaker was there and wanted to know if I would like to barrel taste the 2007 Homer. Of course I accepted! Nice big fruit flavors, similar to the 06 Homer, heavy tannins it appeared, it seemed the 07 was a wine that could lay down for 10-15 years. More tannin than the 06 and more structure. I also tasted "Block 33", very nice, not as big as the Homer but I will buy some as soon as they release it.

      Everything I hear, from folks smarter than I, tells me that 07 will be a year that the good winemakers will make great wine, some of the newer growers may have chickened out and picked early. It will be a year to taste before buying or rely on someone you respect for good tasting notes. I know that I will be buying some more 2007 Shea Homer and Block 33.

      1 Reply
      1. re: duck833
        Mallory RE: duck833 Aug 16, 2008 03:29 PM

        Good to know.

        Speaking of Shea, I have absolutley loved the Ken Wright Shea, the Shea Vinyards Shea and some other Shea I can't recall. I've not had the Homer or the "Block 33" but from your description intend on doing some research and heading out to Dundee.


      2. w
        wildtrout RE: Mallory Jan 13, 2009 11:38 AM

        Forgive me, Mallory, but this is going to sound very harsh. I don't intend it so. Your comment is very silly. 2007 will be a perfect vintage for those who like classically structured, Burgundian wines -- in other words, what Oregon does best.. If you're really into hedonistic fruit bombs, California's your place.

        12 Replies
        1. re: wildtrout
          Big Cicada RE: wildtrout Jan 20, 2009 06:19 PM

          I was about to say the same thing there trout......thanks for saying it first and also i gotta agree, the winemakers who consistently make the PN Oregon is beloved for will more than likely be putting their best foot forward with the '07 vintage.....as for a "evaporator", like my gramps always said.."you cant polish a turd"..and also great wine IS made in the vineyard......had a Magnum of the '05 Ken Wright Shea with Thanksgiving dinner this year..WOW

          1. re: Big Cicada
            SteveG RE: Big Cicada Jan 27, 2009 06:07 PM

            Well, if the grapes were otherwise perfectly ripe but got rained on, you have mainly a problem of dilution. Vinovation's reverse osmosis machine is now widely used throughout napa and sonoma counties...and probably many other places now too. Perhaps the original purpose was to remove volatile acidity (increasingly a problem due to the use of cold soaks before fermentation), but it can also be used to reduce the amount of water and alcohol in the wine, concentrating the flavor. Many wineries even have their own vinovation machines that they keep in a back room under wraps, lest the romance going on in the tasting room be interrupted.

            1. re: SteveG
              wildtrout RE: SteveG Dec 22, 2010 11:28 AM

              Dilution is not a problem for those who don't irrigate and therefore have deep root systems. Google "Deep Roots Coalition."

              1. re: wildtrout
                SteveG RE: wildtrout Dec 23, 2010 08:17 AM

                Deep roots don't help you if it rains and you decide you have to get the grapes in, wet or not. That's when the reverse osmosis machines can reduce a lot of stress--instead of farmers trying to decide if they should gamble on the weather drying out so the grapes will be dry at harvest, hoping the weather turns before the grapes begin to mold and get botrytis, they can simply pick and take the water out later. Also probably a bit more sustainable than the possibly apocryphal stories of helicopters being used to dry the grapes for the Hospice de Beaune Grand Cru vineyards.

                1. re: SteveG
                  wildtrout RE: SteveG Jun 24, 2011 04:40 AM

                  Deep roots allow you to wait out the rain, Steve.

                  1. re: wildtrout
                    Erniep RE: wildtrout Jun 24, 2011 07:43 AM

                    This is only true if the fruit has not started to rot.

                    Once rot starts, deep roots cannot save you.

                    1. re: Erniep
                      wildtrout RE: Erniep Jun 24, 2011 09:37 AM

                      Thanks. Amazing you only had 100 pounds of grapes with botrytis in '07, Ernie. Love what you're doing. Amalie Robert wines are highly recommended to my fellow Chowhounds.

                      1. re: wildtrout
                        Erniep RE: wildtrout Jun 24, 2011 06:57 PM

                        Thank you.

                        Bottom line is ths: Farmning your own wine has its advaqntages.

                    2. re: wildtrout
                      SteveG RE: wildtrout Jun 24, 2011 10:00 AM

                      I'm sorry, but I just don't think you understand what I'm saying. I grew up on a vineyard that dry farmed. I know about deep roots. I also know about late-season rain, when the plants are stressed for water, which is especially common for dry-farmed vines with deep roots. The rain gets absorbed very quickly in the leaves, which can reinflate grapes a bit, and the clusters themselves will hold moisture. I know of specific examples of winemakers using vinovation machines to concentrate a wine by 2 or 3%, turning a wine without much focus into a delightfully concentrated, balanced, focused wine.

                      Some farmers, worried about rain, will cut their losses and harvest before they are satisfied with the ripeness. Some farmers are gamblers, and will leave the grapes out, hoping that the rain passes and dry weather returns to dry things back out. Modern winegrowers have another tool to use, they just won't admit it.

                      1. re: SteveG
                        zin1953 RE: SteveG Jun 24, 2011 12:11 PM

                        Agreed . . .

                    3. re: SteveG
                      zin1953 RE: SteveG Jun 24, 2011 08:35 AM

                      People use helicopters to dry out vineyards in California; why not in the Côte d'Or?

              2. re: wildtrout
                ChefJune RE: wildtrout Dec 28, 2010 08:56 AM

                I was there in April and enjoyed several 07's which were anything but watery. Notably, Brick House and Eyrie.

                Excellent winemakers generally make excellent wines. In challenging years, there are just -- well, more challenges..

              3. wineglas RE: Mallory Jan 27, 2009 08:40 PM

                The 07 Patty Green Wines are impressive for the vintage.

                1. d
                  duck833 RE: Mallory Jan 28, 2009 08:04 PM

                  Some 07's are quite good and some not so good. Depends on the winemaker. Lower end wines that source everywhere should be tasted if possible or else depend on a trusted reviewer.

                  I backed up the truck on the 06's and limited my 07's to Ken Wright, Shea and a few others.

                  The 08 year however was wonderful weather, great indian summer, nice tempertures etc. Will need to keep consumption up so I have room to buy as many as possible next fall.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: duck833
                    Leonardo RE: duck833 Jan 30, 2009 07:28 AM

                    Hi from Portland. Fully agree with duck.
                    I am stoked for 08. The cold spring, extended summer into fall will mean some great stuff.

                    1. re: Leonardo
                      Johnny West RE: Leonardo Dec 22, 2010 11:36 AM

                      That's good to know and thanks for the heads up.

                      JW in Puyallup

                      1. re: Johnny West
                        wineglas1 RE: Johnny West Dec 22, 2010 12:24 PM

                        My wine of the year this year was the 2007 St. Innocent White Rose and the Shea was also amazing.

                        Bottom line on 07 was that good producers made really good wine that will be more drinkable over the next five years than the 08 which will need some cellaring.

                        There are some good deals to be had thanks to the bad vintage report from WS. Thanks guys as I picked up some great wines.

                  2. e
                    Erniep RE: Mallory Jun 23, 2011 10:16 PM

                    I may be able to help out here.

                    Here is a link to the 2007 Vintage Primer I wrote that explains the vintage from my point of view.


                    All the best,

                    Ernie Pink

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Erniep
                      Cookiefiend RE: Erniep Jun 24, 2011 09:42 AM

                      Thanks for posting that link Ernie!

                      FWIW, I haven't even started on our Oregon 2007's. I have no worries that they will be anything less than wonderful.

                      Hope to see you at the IPNC!

                      1. re: Cookiefiend
                        Erniep RE: Cookiefiend Jun 24, 2011 06:59 PM

                        I know it is a busy and action packed event, but please introduce yourself if you have the time.

                        1. re: Erniep
                          BigWoodenSpoon RE: Erniep Jul 5, 2011 12:56 PM

                          Thanks for the report Ernie.
                          I'll be up in your neck of the woods in August and I'll see if I can sneak away for a visit.
                          Unfortunately we'll be up in Wenatchee during your Open House, but we'll be at Camp Dakota in Scotts Mills the following weekend.

                          1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
                            Erniep RE: BigWoodenSpoon Jul 5, 2011 05:27 PM

                            Sounds good.

                            Please send an E-mail when you have an idea what days you will be around, and we can set something up.


                        2. re: Cookiefiend
                          masaryk RE: Cookiefiend Sep 9, 2011 01:33 PM

                          And please do not miss the Syrah from Amalie Robert.....

                          As for the 07 vintage, this is a classic case of a few 'critics' getting it wrong after they tasted wines FROM BARREL.......interesting what press the 08's got from that same critic....can you say 'make up call?" To echo what's already been said here...."Know your producer" and ask questions....you should KNOW how your wine is being made....

                          Finally, it would be great to know what 07 PN Mallory is talking about. It is also worth pointing out that PN should be light in color....if it looks like a cabernet, then you're probably not drinking just PN.......

                        3. re: Erniep
                          ChefJune RE: Erniep Jun 27, 2011 09:13 AM

                          Thanks for that link, Ernie. Really, really interesting.

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