Julia Crowley

Location: Eugene, OR

Award-winning Wine Writer & Publisher/Creative Content Producer of TheRealWineJulia.com. Snooth Contributor & Professional Wine Judge. Completely charmed by Oregon's earthy, elegant Pinot Noirs.

5 year Vertical of Youngberg Hill Jordan Block Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Youngberg Hill Vineyards Jordan Block Pinot Noir (2006)
Comments: Robust in color, aroma and flavor – largely offering earthy qualities with some vibrant red fruit, this wine has great complexity and bold tannins ending with a long, intense finish with reinforced acidity. Although the earthy flavors were more pronounced than the fruit, the nice acidity added to its depth of character, creating a solid wine. The word savory was mentioned by someone during the tasting, which really captured the major characteristics of this wine with a single word.
Previously available for $35.83
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2 Youngberg Hill Vineyards Jordan Block Pinot Noir (2007)
Comments: In the Willamette Valley, 2007 was a year that many farmers heavily complained about the weather during harvest, which was immediately translated to consumers that it was a bad vintage; in truth, it was quite good. Much like a Burgundian, in terms of earthiness, balance and lower alcohol, the 2007 Jordan Block Pinot Noir had beautiful smoky, earthy aromas with hints of cherries and berries. On the palate, earth dominated the berry flavors, but the finish was all about the coffee and spice. Robust tannins and a solid acidic backbone add structure and character. Of the five wines in the vertical, this was one of my favorites.
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3 Youngberg Hill Vineyards Jordan Block Pinot Noir (2008)
Comments: Bursting concentrated black fruit aromas and flavors, harmonious balance and impressive acidity. I loved the full-bodied blackberry, black cherry and currant aromas and flavors along with the fresh, undiffused acidity – two words in my notes that I wrote in all caps: Vibrant, alive. The mouthfeel was luxurious and silky smooth, and the raisin and pie spice finish was lengthy and ambrosial – an outstanding wine.
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4 Youngberg Hill Vineyards Jordan Block Pinot Noir (2009)
Comments: Starting in 2009, the Youngberg Hill labels were changed to reflect their progress in practicing holistic farming, and the closures went from cork to screw caps. After conducting some research, owner Wayne Bailey learned that screw caps leave the lowest carbon footprint, while offering longer ageability of wine and obviously depleting any risk of cork taint. Although several people in our group described the ’09 as “angular” and “uncomfortable in its own skin,” I disagreed. I thought the 2009 Jordan Block Pinot Noir did display a higher and bolder tannin structure than the ’06, ’07 and ’08, but I loved the bright red fruit aromas and flavors of cranberry and rhubarb. Much like the others, the ’09 definitely had a solid acidic backbone, but the finish offered a certain minerality that I didn’t detect in the others. Overall, I think it’s a great wine, and a great wine to drink now through the next couple years.
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5 Youngberg Hill Vineyards Jordan Block Pinot Noir (2010)
Comments: The not-yet-released 2010 Pinot Noir (as of 01/07/2013) was the last in our vertical of wines from the Jordan Block. In 2010, owner Wayne Bailey started to take the holistic approach to farming. Interestingly enough, the notes found in the 2010 Jordan Block Pinot Noir were quite different from the other vintages we tried. Currants, black pepper, bacon and tobacco stood out in both aromas and flavors. Surprisingly soft, supple, tannins and lower acidity – yet still solid acidity – were the highlights of this vintage. Everyone agreed that this was a superior Pinot Noir with striking characteristics and a seamless, elegant mouthfeel.
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