Vintages

A guide to cellaring and drinking your Goodfellow and Matello wines.

Our Vintages

 

Traditionally Pinot noir has an early window of drinkability and then shuts down for several years, only to re-emerge in a more wondrous form, as if from a cocoon. Our wines have a track record of following this cycle, and the capricious temperament of Mother Nature in the Willamette Valley means that choosing the right time to open a Goodfellow wine can require considerable practice.  For a short guide on the wines in  your Goodfellow/Matello cellar, or at least our insight into  the bottles you are holding on to, please select the year in question (or just scroll down).

Originally these posts were meant to be advice only on cellaring, for someone holding on to bottles or cases in order to enjoy older wines, and wondering when to pull the trigger. For more recent vintages though there are two questions: how will the wine age, but too,  what is it like now?  One of the most mysterious and magical things about wine is tasting it as it evolves and changes through it's lifespan. There is beauty in youthful exuberance, and there is beauty in the wisdom of age. Witnessing the transformation from one to the other is something that, for us, never gets old.

With that in mind, most of these notes pertain to wines that are being held and cellared past the point of general consumer availability. For wines currently in release we suggest opening them and enjoying the  over the course of an evening, or even better, two or three evenings.   

 

vine, sun & sky

2016

We are excited to see what these become...  check in as they are released in the fall.

2015

2015 ranks as the Willamette Valley's warmest viticultural vintage on record. The wines are appropriately robust, but have a liveliness and purity to them that belies the heat. Easily my favorite of the hot vintages. I find the 2015 Whistling Ridge Pinot Noir and Fir Crest Pinot Noirs to be delicious currently. The Durant vineyard is a touch more closed, and a definite hold for me.  All three of the single vineyards are wines that I am confident will last 10 to 15 years. The 2015 Willamette Valley is pretty and youthful, with structure and spiced red fruit. It should continue to evolve and be best in 3-4 years. 

The Heritage wines will have an elongated window of accessibility, but all three (especially the #4) will reward 8-10 years of patience, or a significant period of time in a decanter.  

The Syrah is delicious, but best from 2021-2030. It would be hard for you to know this though, as it is still in barrel.

Currently, I prefer the Chardonnays on day 2 or 3 after opening, but feel they will be best between 2020-2025. The Whistling Ridge Blanc should reward patience, and while its very enjoyable now, the best opportunity for a superlative experience will be between 2022-2025. The Clover Pinot Gris bottling is in a lovely space, and I recommend drinking any time.

2014

Mother Nature brought the heat in 2014, and while a large crop helped mitigate the warmth a bit, these are no shrinking violets. Currently the sedimentary soil vineyards, Whistling Ridge and Bishop Creek, are in a closed phase. The 2014 Durant Pinot noir is beautifully aromatic, but has considerable textural evolution ahead of it. My recommendation is to hold these for now, checking in on the Durant in 2019-2020 and the Whistling Ridge and Bishop Creek in 2020-2022. My current favorite for the Pinot Noirs to open now is the Ribbon Ridge bottling, followed by the Willamette Valley. 

Whites are excellent, and the Chardonnays lead the way. Cellar worthy, but already extraordinary, drink or hold. 2014 Chardonnays and Whistling Ridge Blanc should last at least 8-10 years. 

 

2013

A warm growing season got turned on it's head when a tropical storm far away in the Pacific dumped 6-7 inches of rain on the Valley just as fruit was getting ripe. After an intense 3 days of rain, the weather was clear and cold. Most fruit had 8-17 days to dry out before being picked, and while the wines show the impact of the rain, they are beautiful and among my favorites to drink (not unlike 2007). Hold them for now or decant. In particular, the Whistling Ridge and Bishop Creek bottlings are lovely with a long decant but only getting better, if you can wait until 2020-2023 these will be a treat. The Willamette Valley bottling is a wine that I think will really peak between 7-10 years.

The Fool's Journey Syrah/Viognier (still bottled under the Matello label) shows beautiful aromatics with air, but I recommend continuing to hold this until 2020.

Whites are stony and mineral in nature, but I recommend drinking them over the next 3-5 years. Whistling Ridge Blanc can go another decade.

*Under natural cork there is always a distinct amount of bottle variation. As the wines age, this variation becomes more distinct. Regarding the notes here, all wines have been tasted recently, but for all bottles YMMV. However, you will find Diam cork as our closure of choice beginning with the 2013 vintage red wines. Guaranteed TCA free and with a more consistent density, Diam is a huge improvement over traditional cork and I am really happy to be using it now.*

2012

A remarkable vintage: a late cold and wet spring led to a small crop and some furrowed brows regarding whether we had the necessary days to ripen fruit (although recent experiences with 2010 and 2011 said that good and great wines were still a possibility.) Then a perfect ripening season provided the vines all the energy they needed, and winemakers the hang time they desired. As a vintage, these wines are a "Hold". Dense and rich, still holding on to a youthful tension but with added weight and mystery. This is a wine waiting to unfold. Unless you have a case or two to wade through please wait with it, check in again in a year or two, 2020 seems like a lovely year to start.

2012 Whites are beautiful. Drink the Chardonnays over the next 5 years, and hold the Whistling Ridge Blanc for another 3-4  years before digging into it.

*Under natural cork there is always a distinct amount of bottle variation. As the wines age, this variation becomes more distinct. Regarding the notes here, all wines have been tasted recently, but for all bottles YMMV.*

**This post covers both Goodfellow and Matello wines.**

2011

The coldest vintage in Willamette Valley history. Our wines are almost always among the slowest to evolve, and the 2011s are moving at a glacial pace. Acidity is linear and fruit is still modest. While the Lazarus and Hommage are both good spots, they are more old world than new. The Souris, Durant, and Whistling Ridge all need time. 

Whites are linear and interesting, but definitely should be drunk up in the near term.

*Under natural cork there is always a distinct amount of bottle variation. As the wines age, this variation becomes more distinct. Regarding the notes here, all wines have been tasted recently, but for all bottles YMMV.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

2010

One of Oregon's coolest vintages, 2010 is my favorite. Small, but if you are lucky enough to have 2010 Willamette Valley wines in your cellar, you have some good days coming.

Durant Pinot noir is perfectly lovely now, although it will age for many more years. This remains probably my favorite bottling from the vineyard. 2010 Whistling Ridge is approachable, but wants 30 minutes open, and while it's a gorgeous wine I still recommend holding it for another 2-5 years. 2010 Souris is aromatically compelling, but if you can hold off I think you will be rewarded. 2010 Lazarus and Hommage are drinking well, although I think the Lazarus will be better in 2020.

2010 Whistling Ridge Blanc is definitely a wine to cellar a few more years, as is the 2010 Riesling and 2010 Richard's Cuvée Chardonnay. 2010 is the inaugural vintage of the Clover Pinot Gris bottling and it's beautiful but will continue to reward patience.

*Under natural cork there is always a distinct amount of bottle variation. As the wines age, this variation becomes more distinct. Regarding the notes here, all wines have been tasted recently, but for all bottles YMMV.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

2009

The third hot vintage of my career, and the previous practice shows itself well. The Lazarus Cuvée is delicious, if fleshy. The Souris and Whistling Ridge bottlings need a decanter, or more time in the cellar. The Hommage may be my favorite iteration of that cuvée, but it needs to be 10 years old before it's opened. Winter's Hill is in the window, and can be consumed anytime. Its a big wine, but not lacking in grace.

2009 whites over achieved. The 2009 Pinot Gris and Caprice both are in a good drinking window. The 2009 Whistling Ridge Blanc is delicious right now and I recommend opening it.

*Under natural cork there is always a distinct amount of bottle variation. As the wines age, this variation becomes more distinct. Regarding the notes here, all wines have been tasted recently, but for all bottles YMMV.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

 

2008

 Another of Oregon's great vintages, the 2008s simply need to continue sleeping. If you have waited this long, what's another 3-4 years? The two wines ready to open now are the 2008 Hommage and the 2008 Winter's Hill Pinot Noirs. Both are beautiful and will live for at least another 5 years, but they are perfectly in balance now. 2008 Whistling Ridge and Souris need 7-8 hours open to show their true quality, but I don't recommend opening them now.

The 2008 Whistling Ridge Blanc is phenomenal right now. Please feel free to pull the cork anytime! The 2008 Carey Creek Riesling is also really lovely, and just getting going. Drink now, or hold for up to another 10 years.

I am completely fascinated by the 2008 Fool's Journey Syrah, after 10 years it is finally in the window. Youthful, complex, it opens with tar, underbrush, and black flavors, then slowly becomes more elegant ranging through an outstanding array of flavors floral, fruit, and herbaceous in nature. Its weighty and chewy in the mouth but not in a "new world" way. Most of all, at 10 years old, it is still a baby but one that's ready to have the cork pulled(or not).

 

*Under natural cork there is always a distinct amount of bottle variation. As the wines age, this variation becomes more distinct. Regarding the notes here, all wines have been tasted recently, but for all bottles YMMV.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

2007

The first "off" vintage of my career. These wines were thin and wan in the early years but have really filled in and evolved. All of the bottlings are vibrant and in a great place for consumption, although I would definitely decant the 2007 Whistling Ridge Pinot noir, and a recent bottle of Souris needed 45 minutes to an hour to hit the sweet spot. These Pinot noirs from 2007 still show a youthful drive, beautiful red fruit (think strawberries in a meadow full of mountain flowers) but with added complexities of forest floor and potpourri. Drink now or enjoy their continued evolution the next few years. 

Whites all had some degree of botrytis and while most are fading, the 2007 Whistling Ridge Blanc show the honey and oxidative nose, but is still beautiful I recommend drinking these in the next 3 years.

*Under cork, wines over 10 years of age develop considerable bottle variation. Our thoughts on these wines are based upon recent samples, but each bottle is unique.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

2006

The second of Oregon's hottest vintages that fell under my body of work. Not only a warm vintage, but one marked by extraordinary increases in Brix at harvest. Picking Pinot Noir from a vineyard on three consecutive days saw 23.5 Brix on Day 1, 25.5 on Day 2, and 27.0 Brix on Day 3. Compounding matters in a compressed vintage, fruit often arrived at the winery at temps above 80F.  Most of these wines are either ready to drink now, and beautiful in a fruit forward way, or showing distinct signs of oxidation. A bit of a crapshoot, but I am happy to replace any off bottles with a current vintage wine.

2006 Whistling Ridge Blanc is absolutely gorgeous. The 2006 Riesling is also in a lovely window. Drink both over the next 3-4 years.

*Under cork, wines over 10 years of age develop considerable bottle variation. Our thoughts on these wines are based upon recent samples, but each bottle is unique.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

2005

Arguably one of the greatest vintages ever in the Willamette Valley, the one drawback is that the wines are extremely long lived and many continue to want time in the cellar or decanting., The Willamette Valley is deeply hued, dense, and powerful. The Hommage is a study in dark fruit, balanced by bright acidity and distinct structure. It takes an hour to open up. 2005 also saw my first single vineyard wine, 50 cases of Whistling Ridge Pinot Noir. The 2005 Whistling Ridge is in a stage where I recommend either continuing to cellar the wine, or open with a decanter ready. Not all bottles are tight, but that does seem to be common. 2005 Souris has no end in site, and I would recommend either continuing to cellar it, or open it with the understanding that it may take 6-8 hours to open up (or an hour in a decanter.)

*Under cork, wines over 10 years of age develop considerable bottle variation. Our thoughts on these wines are based upon recent samples, but each bottle is unique. *

**This post covers Matello wines**

2004

A beautiful early vintage for me, and my vintage with Whistling Ridge fruit. Also the first vintage where the majority of wines were fermented with some percentage of whole clusters. The wines are long lived and elegant, moving slowly into the tertiary flavors reminiscent of old world Pinot Noir. The Willamette Valley bottling is in a prime drinking window, and should be consumed over the next 12-24 months. The Hommage was composed of wines from Momtazi and Winter's Hill and carries the dark fruit signature of those two vineyards. Drink 750ml bottles in the next year or two, and mags in the next 5. 2004 Souris is beautiful, reminiscent of old Pommard but with plenty of life remaining in the large format bottles.

*Under cork, wines over 10 years of age develop considerable bottle variation. Our thoughts on these wines are based upon recent samples, but each bottle is unique.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

2003

One of Oregon's warmest vintages, these wines are burly and fruit rich. 350 cases total production yielded three wines. The Willamette Valley bottling is surprisingly youthful, but also ginormously fruited and weighty from a rather robust abv. Drink 750ml bottles sooner, rather than later, and mags at your leisure. The Hommage was very broad and dark early in life and is now, IMO, past it's prime. Alive but a bit ponderous. The 2003 Souris was a composite of favorite barrels as always, but an very large portion were from Stony Mountain fruit, fermented with 30% whole clusters, and produced a very balanced wine for the vintage. This is waning, but still beautiful.

*Under cork, wines over 10 years of age develop considerable bottle variation. Our thoughts on these wines are based upon recent samples, but each bottle is unique.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

2002

Our original vintage, and what an auspicious vintage to begin! From a total of 186 cases, I made two wines. The Willamette Valley is lovely, demure, and in a great space. Drink sooner rather than later. The Hommage a'A&D is thriving and beautiful, with more years to come but perfectly ready to drink. If you have either of these two wines still in the cellar, let me know if you're planning on drinking them soon (I am guessing you probably also already have my cell number, since the 186 cases didn't go far....)

*Under cork, wines over 10 years of age develop considerable bottle variation. Our thoughts on these wines are based upon recent samples, but each bottle is unique.*

**This post covers Matello wines**

 
 
Marcus Goodfellow at Whistling Ridge Vineyard