Hello friends. The last few years here at Full Pull have proven a trove of Pinot delights. The latest treats come from a winery that’s new to us—but a winemaker who has become a favorite in many Willamette Valley circles. Marcus Goodfellow is probably best known to many of our list members as the man behind Matello Winery. He launched Matello in 2002 after he spent time working with the folks at Evesham Wood and Westrey, and for the first few years, he made his own wine tucked away in a little corner at Westrey (good place for wine-knowledge osmosis!). He then moved to a co-op facility, and then his own facility in 2011. In 2014, he launched Goodfellow Family Cellars.
Marcus’ winemaking has long been praised, but his eponymous label allows him to take a step further and focus singularly on his passion for unique, beautiful vineyard sites. He is a stickler for conscientious farming, only working with non-irrigated, sustainably farmed grapes from growers he knows and trusts. Today, we have three single-vineyard bottlings for you, all sourced from different vineyards that Marcus works with. This may only be a snapshot of his winery, but it illustrates the sheer talent that exists behind the helm of this project—and what that talent can do with thoughtfully farmed grapes. This is among the most impressive lineups we’ve tasted out of Oregon in the past year or two—one that once we tasted, we had no choice but to offer. I truly hope you all enjoy these as much as we do.
2016 Goodfellow Chardonnay Durant Vineyard
The first vineyard up is Durant. Durant Vineyard lays atop a gentle east-west slope in the heart of the Dundee Hills. Marcus sources Pinot Noir from the mid-point of the hill, but it’s the vineyard’s Chardonnay that blew us away at our latest tasting. The volcanic soils there—famous for distinct mineral content—don’t just grow distinctive Pinot. They also grow distinctive Chardonnay.
The 2016 Goodfellow Chardonnay is sourced from a section of Dijon vines planted in 1993. It spent 22 months in French oak and clocks in with 13% list alcohol. It opens with a bountiful nose that showcases golden apples, lime zest, chervil, macadamia, and just a touch of lemon meringue. There’s an extreme minerality throughout. The palate expertly walks the tightrope between delicate and plentiful. It’s kept bright with soaring acidity, but for me, the most fascinating intricacies lie within its texture. It’s effortlessly elegant, vibrant, and pure. A wonderful expression of Oregon Chardonnay. There are no reviews yet, but it seems notable that the 2014 vintage received 95+ points from Wine Advocate, yet the 2016 is Goodfellow’s favorite vintage yet.
2016 Goodfellow Pinot Noir Fir Crest Vineyard
Next is Fir Crest Vineyard, a more coastal site that sits in the south-west corner of Yamhill-Carlton. This site is made up of ancient sedimentary soils, and the vineyard slopes south-east. This allows the first sun of the day to dry out that famous Willamette moisture, yet the vines are still warmed slowly by the afternoon sun. The vineyard is known for making dark and intense Pinot that still feels elegant and laser-focused. Marcus himself calls Fir Crest one of Oregon’s most under the radar gems.
Made from 100% Wadensville clones and aged in 500L puncheons, this Pinot definitely fits the bill when it comes to typicity—it’s moody yet graceful, powerful with precise purity. It opens with marionberry and black cherry fruit, layers of forest undergrowth, orange citrus rind, and whole rose bushes. On the palate, the fruit is pure and linear. Every inch of this wine is bursting with acidity, complemented fully by its glorious fruit and savory spice notes. The entire package feels balanced, bright, and powerful. The listed alcohol is 13.8%.
2016 Goodfellow Pinot Noir Whistling Ridge Vineyard
And finally, Whistling Ridge Vineyard. This site sits in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, roughly 1.2 miles north of Beaux Frères Vineyard, and was planted in 1990. Its sedimentary soils and placement at the top of a 450 ft. ridge create singular vineyard-designated wines. (Marcus actually makes two different bottlings from this site.) The slight south-east aspect along the ridge allows for cool evening breezes, while the shallow soils force the roots to grow deep in search of nutrients. The results are both refined and deeply structured.
2016 provided a vibrant juiciness to the Goodfellow lineup that paired well with many of their vineyard sites. In particular, it complements Whistling Ridge’s natural structure splendidly. This wine spent 20 months in French oak and clocks in at 13.4% listed alcohol. It is a wonderful comparison to the Fir Crest bottling. While the house style is evident and consistent, Whistling Ridge has a savory element that’s out of this world. The nose showcases red and black fruit, but the stars here are the notes of herbaceous savories, freshly packed Oregon dirt, knife-cracked peppercorns, and garam masala. The palate doesn’t disappoint—it’s a complicated layering of fruit, earth, and spice, interwoven with immense depth and structure.