Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Big Table Farm - Oregon Winery

Posted by JonDerry, May 10, 2013.

http://www.bigtablefarm.com/

A new find for me today, and one that seems to warrant sharing. They produce a Rose, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah from 70 Acres. On current release I'm counting a little over 1,000 cases in production. Not bad for a husband (winemaker, Brian Marcy) and wife (Artist, Vineyard Mgr) team.

Just from doing some brief on-line skimming their Pinot Noirs are getting favorable acclaim from IWC (89-93), and I'm hearing good things from connected friends on FB. PN's are priced at $35+ for the standard Wiliamette, or $45+ for the SVD's. 

The 2012 Rose from Pinot Noir appears to be a bit darker than most, they say 50% Saigne placed on top of an equal amount of fruit. Anyone care to explain? Seems like the typical limited contact with skins, 50% bleed. 

Their Syrah is sourced from the Santa Maria Valley, and is the highest priced of the lineup at $48 a piece.

The 2011 Chardonnay sounds amazing. Winemaker's notes: Having worked with chardonnay extensively at Neyers Vineyards and Marcassin, Brian is excited to finally be able to offer our own. 60% of the fruit comes from the Bieze vineyard, which shares a fence line with the eponymous seven springs vineyard. The balance of the blend comes from the Wirtz vineyard which dates back to the early 70's.

Barrel fermented in mixed aged French oak (no new oak) to produce a lively wine with a voluminous bouquet of flint, cereal grain, vanilla, lemon and green pear. The palate of this wine is rich with cider apples, bees wax, nougat, yeast and yet the perfectly balanced acids will carry this wine into the future. Clare has already consumed more than her fair share – if you want some be quick! 136 Cases, $42

 

Replies

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 10, 2013.

Iota makes PN from the Pelos Sandberg Vineyard, and it's quite good.  Might be interesting to see what these guys do with it. That's probably close to the going rate for that SVD, although I've bought the Iota for less at WineMine. 

Do they ship the Syrah grapes up to OR from SMV?  Seems unlikely. I'm guessing that they use custom crush facilities at either end, probably also contract space for aging and storing until they are ready to sell  the finished bottles.  It's possible they have someone else do the winemaking to their specs on the Syrah.  It's a funny business.

Are we sure the proprietors have never been flocking investors or bunches of lawyers? 

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Reply by JonDerry, May 10, 2013.

Cool that you've heard of that PN Vineyard, have you tasted any of the Lota?

Just ran a search on the Whitehawk vineyard in Santa Maria (where they source their Syrah), and low and behold, that's where Lillian sources their Syrah. They are also based in Oregon, so it's an interesting question as to how they go about it. Has to be a bit of a long drive for the grapes.

Would be interesting to know if they needed investment to get up and running...

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 10, 2013.

Iota like just a little bit, the Greek letter.  This damn Snooth typeface.  Yep, I just bought my second bottle of the P-S SVD.  Like I said, tasty stuff.  Somewhere between earthy Carneros and ethereal Sonoma Coast.  At $35 plus, I have to really like things to keep buying them. 

White Hawk is a well-known vineyard.  Ojai, Holus Bolus, Nola, and a bunch of others make Syrah from their grapes, as well as White Hawk's own label.  I see offers on wines from their grapes often, but most of my Syrah (other than a case of Stolpman I'm sitting on) comes from points north and west of here--with OT making such good recommendations, my Syrah budget is gone before I get much past Rockpile (with that foray into Mendo for the Halcon). 

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Reply by Welkja, May 10, 2013.

JONDERRY,

I went out to  Willamette and went near Gaston and went to Schafer, David Hill, and Elk Cove but did not even see  Big Table Farm on the wine map I received for the area. I did go to at least 80 wineries in the 10 days I was there. I loved it!

WELKJA

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 10, 2013.

Welkja:  Probably didn't make the map because they are buying grapes now, according to the website, and they probably use a custom crush facility rather than have their own winery.

Did you get to Amity Winery?  A favorite of mine.  Nothing fancy, just really good wine at a fair price.

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Reply by Welkja, May 10, 2013.

FOXALL,

Thanks for the clarification on that. I did not make it to Amity or Shea, two places I really wish I would have gone now after the fact. But that gives me a reason to go back to Oregon, which is great also. Right now i am drinking a Lange wine I picked up from the area.

WELKJA

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Reply by clarecarver, May 14, 2013.

hi guys - not sure if it's cool for an owner to write but I tend to not follow rules so here goes... to answer a few ?'s - and you all shoudl come visit us when you come to OR ... we do tastings by appointment at the farm... 

We make our wine down in amity but will be starting construction on a winery here at big table farm VERY soon...  we both came to this business from working for other folks in wine we had no fancy investment jobs or savings to speak of (brian's first harvest was in 1996 in napa)... we moved to OR in 2006 and we started with ~$6000  (brian's retirement savings) and 175 cases of the syrah - we've continued to put $ into the business for the first few years and thanks to brian's great winemaking and our awesome customers who seem to keep buying it... we are paying the bills and things are going very well we have grown to over 2000 cases now! : ) (dont' worries we won't get big or sell out!)...  re- the rose - some bleeding then put over fruit and the whole lot get's fermented on the skins - dry full malo in barrel - .re- the syrah  -- yup the White hawk is made up here in Oregon we truck the fruit up with maggie in FYB's in a refrigerated truck and we sort the fruit and make the wine etc etc all up here in OR... brian makes all our wine and we hire two folks in the winery to help during harvest -- we do get lots of friends who help out too... It's just brian and I running everything (we work all the time - but we love it) ... we did just 4 weeks ago hire a great woman tiffany to help us in the office two days a week... that was a HUGE step for us...  The Pelos Sandberg Vineyard is a beautiful site and Don is a great farmer and they do make iota - eola amity-hills. That’s one of our 5 vineyard designate pinots.  Happy to answer any ?’s thanks for being interested in our wines and project!! cheers  - Clare

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Reply by JonDerry, May 14, 2013.

Super cool of you to answer the bat signal Clare! 

How's the workload this time of year for you? It's good to know you have a spare minute or two to answer our questions and guesses on the logistics.

Seems like everything's going well for you guys, and congrats on getting some help in the office. Tiffany sent me a note when I signed up for the mailing list and I thought that was a nice touch. Would def like to visit one day, but for now I think I might try some of that Rose you're offering and whatever else I can't find down here at retail. Cheers,

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Reply by clarecarver, May 14, 2013.

in terms of work load -- things are heating up for sure... but it's not work when you love what you do... it's just what you do... and honestly I love conecting with the folks that drink our wine... let us know what wines you'd like soon as the shipping window is closing ... not sure how far south you are...  and the rose and chard are dwindling fast...  thanks for the kudos on tiffany she's a great fit and part of our family now~! 

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Reply by EMark, May 14, 2013.

Welcome to the Snooth Forum Clare.  This is a very egalitarion board and everybody is welcome.  We even let lawyers in here.  (This is somewhat frustrating, but I have to admit the the wine geek lawyers who do visit here actually do make very positive contributions.)  I am guessing that the background bio that you provided was, in part at least, a response to Foxall's comment about "flocking investors and bunches of lawyers."  You were unaware, but that comment of his was derived from some bantering between Foxall and me in another conversation.

Thank you very much for your contributions, above.  Most people here are unreformed wine geeks, and the information that you have provided is very interesting to us.  I hope you can participate with us in the future.  Good luck with Big Table.  I really don't see any trips to Oregon in my near future, but if there is one, I will make a point to stop in for a visit.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, May 15, 2013.

We (heart) having winemakers on the forum.  Excellent information. 

Are you making the wine in a custom crush in Amity or at Amity Winery itself?  Myron Redford deserves a lot more props for his role in making the Eola-Amity Hills area what it is and his wines are well priced for what they are.

JonDerry and I often buy wine together or coordinate purchases so I won't add my name to the mailing list, but you've piqued my interest and I'll probably buy because you jumped in here. Good stories improve the enjoyment of wine.  And I'd rather buy from real people doing it for the love than faceless investors.

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Reply by clarecarver, May 15, 2013.

hi again foxtail... I like that name better than foxall...  : ) -- we are at a custom crush facility for now till we get out place built ... myron is quite a character though and yes has paid his dues!!  also  foxtail if you chose to bring some of our wines to your table I can tell you I dont' think you will be dissapointed... : )  the focus of our winemaking is BALANCE - weather it's small in stature or large still with in balance... just like anything of beauty -  just for fun I have a farm blog with wine stuff as well as farm news too... http://www.oregonfarm.blogspot.com/ ... cheers - hitting he hay now...c

 

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Reply by clarecarver, May 15, 2013.

one more thing on a geeky note   -  pretty fun interview just came out.... on grape radio with rusty gaffney (pinot file)

fast forward to 32:25 seconds if you just want to hear the interview ... : )

http://www.graperadio.com/archives/2013/05/15/2012-pinot-days-producer-interviews-part-3/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+seriouslywine+%28Wine%29&utm_term=wine

 

 

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Reply by JonDerry, May 15, 2013.

Foxall is the man's name Clare, so just so you know Foxtail is miles away ; )

Thanks for the links, will check em' out.

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Reply by clarecarver, May 15, 2013.

please accept my apologies foxall - I'd had a glass of wine when I wrote that last night...  : )

 

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Reply by EMark, May 15, 2013.

Clare, Foxall is one of our more prodigious and informed contributors here on the Forum.  He is, in fact, a gentleman, and I'm sure he took no offense.  I'm also pretty sure he's been called worse things.  ;-)


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