Travel Tuesday: Oregon Uncorked, Goodfellow Family Cellars

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

There's nothing like venturing out to see the place where the wines are made, speak with the winemakers, in some cases taste the previous vintage out of the barrel and trod upon the soil where the vines grow. Now it's fair to say, not everyone has the luxury to travel as I do, I am very fortunate.

Travel gives writers of all stripes an unimaginable perspective on the world, one merely unattainable by reading a few books on the subject, the back label of a wine bottle or a wiki-how web-page. Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to do just that, travel, and quite a bit, in more locales than I thought imaginable over the years. I hope to do more of the same in coming years, as I have a long list of travel plans on the wine-destination bucket list.

Before moving here, I visited Oregon more than a few times over the years, to get a closer survey of the wine-scene there. I found it's one which is ever changing, but in some ways, it's staying the same. Now that I live in the state, it's a relatively short drive in either direction, as I live near the middle section of the state with the Umpqua wine region on my doorstep.

My travel that day not so long ago took me to meet Marcus Goodfellow, quite the gentleman, quiet and unassuming about his superb craft, I've read he and his then business partner have a good deal of experience on the other side of the bottle via on-premise dining establishments. Updating this article today, I see the Matello label is no more, or at least it's back on the proverbial shelf for the foreseeable future.

For what reason, I have no clue, but that said, Marcus is back with Goodfellow Wines. While I've not tasted any of his recent vintages, my instincts tell me, the wines bottled under the new label will be just as spectacular as those I tasted previously. His operation is found in the middle of downtown McMinnville, there's also an amazing coffee shop close to his location, Flag, and Wire. Oh, and the coffee cake is off the hook and nearly as big as my head oh-my. Make an appointment to taste his wines, you'll want to bring a Jet-Now© 'checkable' case box with you, trust me.

Now about the winery in today's spotlight Goodfellow Family Cellars. I was given the heads up by a good friend, his name is Frank Morgan, all around nice guy, and fellow wine-blogger of Drink What You Like fame. He said, "Bill if you're going to Oregon [lucky-dog] then you need to check Matello Wines and speak with Marcus Goodfellow. So because I trust Frank, I made the appointment. Wow, I'm happy I did. I was impressed by the overall quality of the wines presented that day, and I'm sure you will find something that you just can't be without yourself.

Marcus, generously opened at least seven different bottles of wine that afternoon and each one of them had an enjoyable quality, I really wanted to take one of each home, but Mrs. Cuvee was there to make sure I showed some restraint (buzz-kill). And besides, I had limited return space in my checked-luggage, even with the addition of my checkable Jet-Now© case box. We got to taste the Vio, Riesling, a White Pinot, and four different Pinot Noirs. The Riesling made is a dry style was excellent, pear, apple, wet-stone and well balanced.

But their 2010 Deux Vert Vineyard, Viognier really wowed me, I'm always a sucker for this varietal, but find it's rarely done right. But this wine had me at the nose, and it really delivered on the first quaff, boasting of ample structure and natural acidity. This wine had some very sexy aromatics, fresh peaches and a pop of white flowers. The first slurp was, wow a pitched-tent of near summer-ripe nectarines, citrus and white peach flavors which combine for a suave blend of richness and energy, coupled with excellent length. I scored this wine 91 points, it's a really outstanding example of cool climate Viognier.

I know my friend Frank is partial to the Durant Vineyards, and I can see why, but my palate told me that the Whistling Ridge was the place I needed to be and I took two of those bad boys home.

2010 Whistling Ridge Pinot Noir: This wine offers generous upfront fruit, right along its exceptional structure. Factors that will quickly make this wine a keeper for my collection, but it’s sufficiently balanced in its youthful exuberance that it could be enjoyed immediately. The wine is fruit forward, but without being over-opulent. It hits your mid-palate and digs a well of elegant, and yet persistent flavors, baking spices, rich earth, red-fruits, cola.

The tannins are nicely integrated and the finish long and lasting. I scored this wine 93 points, this wine is a prime example of what Oregon Pinot can deliver in the right hands. Back then it was selling for just under $40 a fantastic deal, well worth the price of admission. I see the prices have increased only slightly, by five dollars for their current release. By now, this wine is sold out, but it may still possibly be found at a wine store in Oregon. As always, call first to check for availability, but the smart money is on the 2015 vintage, trust me it's not one to sleep on.

Okay, folks like I said, if you don't know about this producer, in my opinion, you should and if you read to the bottom of this article, now you know. If you've not sampled his wines yet, I'd beat a path to his door quickly. If you're in the area, make an appointment if possible or just wait until the new releases are available, I promise you won't be disappointed. Until next time, slurp long and prosper cheers!


Anonymous said…
Great write-up as always Bill! Never even heard of Matello, but I will certainly look them up the next time I am out in OR.

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