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An Oregon Grand Cru

privelogoS.gifPrivé Vineyard, a small patch of pinot noir vines on Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains yields a scant 250 cases between its north and south parcels. The upper section dubbed Le Nord yields only 165 cases, while the lower Le Sud offers a meager 85. There can be no doubt that this vineyard is of “Grand Cru” stature. Privé Vineyard was created by Mark and Tina Hammond and few vines or wines receive more hands-on loving care. The results are wines of stunning balance and complexity.

As you might imagine, quality of this magnitude is no longer a secret and getting on the Hammond’s mailing list is just a bit harder than finding the Holy Grail. I can only tell you to get on the waiting list now for these wines are the real thing.

The current release of 2004 Privé Vineyard, Le Sud, Yamhill County Pinot Noir is simply breathtaking and I feel ashamed to have opened one of the few existing bottles before it attained its full potential. An almost perfect blend of power and restraint, the depth and range of flavors already offered makes one pause and contemplate again and again as you savor every sip.

My other two bottles will wait three or four more years, when I know I will be moved to write about this extraordinary wine again.