2021 Goodfellow Family Cellars, Whistling Ridge Blanc, Ribbon Ridge AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The beautifully crisp and aromatic co-fermented Alsatian style white blend by Goodfellow is made from 54% Riesling, 20% Pinot Nor (without skin contact), 20% Pinot Blanc and 6% Gewürztraminer from vines set on the marine sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, making for a brightly intense wine that shows off tangy citrus and stone fruits, a spicy undertone, mineral notes and fresh cut flowers. Dry, pale greenish gold, vigorously fresh and stony on the lighter palate this Whistling Ridge Blanc makes for a super cleansing aperitif and or a fabulous raw oyster and or clam linguini wine that is bristling with vivid acidity and saline, with just enough complexity and evocative florals to keep you sipping until empty. Winemaker Richard Goodfellow calls the Whistling Ridge Blanc, a wine of the vineyard, with just four rows of interplanted Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Noir, which are picked together, whle cluster pressed, and fermented together. All this was done in neutral French oak barrels and some (larger) neutral Acacia wood foudre, with 8 months of lees aging before bottling. These field blend whites have become much more common in Alsace in recent times, like Diess, Weinbach and Tempe, and really are exciting, and here too in Oregon, where Riesling and Pinot Blanc are doing really well.
The Burgundy inspired Goodfellow Family Cellars, founded in 2002, honors the old world and the local traditions here in the Willamette Valley, like those pioneered by Eyrie Vineyards, Cameron, Beaux Freres and Brick House, using non irrigated and sustainably farmed old vines, like their estate Whistling Ridge Vineyard, that was first planted in 1990. This 14 acre vineyard in Ribbon Ridge sits on the ridge top, the winery says, with a slight south-east aspect, catching the evening breeze from the northwest year round, which provides balance in the wines, especially the Pinot Noirs. Going on, the winery continues, that the shallow soils force roots deep, adding concentration as well as getting moisture even in Oregon’s drought summer conditions, allowing ripe flavors, but elegance and age worthy structure. There’s a combination of mixed clonal plantings of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay mainly, but with small interplanted blocks of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewürz and the Riesling, that make up some of this wine. Goodfellow is a member of the Deep Roots Coalition, a group of wineries committed to sustainable farming and non-irrigated vines. Only 50 cases were made in this vintage, so it is an exceptionally rare offering and won’t be easy to find at this point sadly, but feel lucky if you get some and be sure to check out their Pinots and Chards, which I recommend and have enjoyed in past vintages.
($28 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive