2008 Owen Roe Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard

Hello friends. One of my bigger screw-ups of 2013 took place on June 23, when I wrote the following about the 2007 Owen Roe Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard: “Hard to say if we’ll move through the whole parcel in the first go-round, but let’s please limit order requests to 12 bottles for now, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests.”

Not only did we move through the whole parcel in the first go-round, but max allocations ended up being 3 bottles, and plenty of list members weighed in too late and got the dreaded sold-out allocation notice. I just way underestimated the interest level in that wine.

Well, as it turns out, Owen Roe produced exactly one more vintage of that Pinot and then stopped working with Solomon Hills fruit. So what we have today is a mea culpa of sorts: an even better tariff than the 2007, with a larger parcel that should (emphasis on *should*) allow us to allocate more freely. That said, the interest level in Owen Roe always runs high, and I know that 07 Pinot has been especially well-received, so I’ve given up predicting where orders are going to come in.

I’ll borrow a lot from that 2007 offering, because little has changed but the vintage. As a reminder, this is an Oregon producer who is best known for wines from Washington fruit, with a Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley. In California. Confusing enough?

Perhaps this will help cut through the clutter: our tariff is nearly half off the release price of $42.

If Full Pull were located in Portland or San Francisco, that pricing never would have happened. In the twin hearts of domestic Pinot country, blowout tariffs on five-years-past-vintage high-end Pinot Noirs just don’t tend to happen. The wines sell fine. But Pinot is a slower mover in Washington, allowing for the occasional screamer, and we are in the right place at the right time.

Solomon Hills Vineyard is a sister site to Bien Nacido, and it’s about as far west as you can get in the Santa Maria Valley, sitting on a bed of ocean floor sandy loam. Check out the location. You can see that this site gets as much maritime influence as possible, making it one of the coolest vineyards in the AVA as well (as evidenced by the 13% alc on this one, a far cry from the boozier Pinots from California’s warmer climes).

The aromatics on the 2008 are immediately reminiscent of the 2007, with a core of raspberry fruit complemented beautifully by meaty, marine, and leafy. The palate sees rich cherry fruit and earth notes, combined with that continuing savory/umami/seaweed note that ratchets up the complexity. Like the 2007, this displays tightrope balance, supple texture, fine intensity, and a lingering finish. The extra bottle age is the final layer of polish on a lovely wine.

Allen Meadows, the Burghound, is known as a particularly exacting reviewer when it comes to scores. Domestic producers are generally thrilled to see anything from 88pts on up, and a 90 from the Hound is a fine achievement indeed:

Burghound (Allen Meadows): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 90pts.”

Gotta love seeing “Drink 2013+” when we’re sitting here in 2013. This is a rare opportunity to taste well-aged Central Coast Pinot at a fine tariff, and again, this 2008 is the last vintage ever made of this wine, so we shan’t be seeing it again. Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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