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I met Jim Maresh (Arterberry Maresh) and Mark Bosko (Colene Clemens Vineyards) for lunch today at Red Hills Market, in Dundee. We bullshitted a bit and tasted through a couple of Jim’s wines. The food at Red Hills Market is unbelievably good and priced well. It’s worth a visit or two if you are in the area.

We started with the 2009 Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Chardonnay

2009 Arterberry Maresh Maresh Vineyard Chardonnay

Platinum tinged golden.

Very pleasant and immediately engrossing. So rich yet lithe and long aromas. Wide and friendly, it also has quite a bit of coiled energy and is mineral and stony. Ripe but delicate stone fruit, ginger cake, lemongrass, cardamom, golden sweet hay. Refined and elegant. It is primary at this point and the oak is prominent but not overbearing.

On the palate, there is a bright acid spine, which is the thread that weaves throughout with good mid-palate intensity and a long, lovely texture from judicious oak and extended time on lees. Flavors follow the nose with rich tones of yellow flowers, brioche, yellow plum and white raspberry. The finish has breadth yet retains focus.

This is a spectacular wine in the making. It is beautiful, rich and primary now. I don’t expect it to peak for another 4-6 years. From the warm and cushy 2009 vintage, Jim has crafted a 12.8% Chardonnay from old-vine, dry-farmed 108 clone that is both enveloping, nicely textured and seamless. Beautiful balance and execution. Unfined and Unfiltered. Worth more than the $75 price tag. Buy all you can, while you can…

Next we moved to the 2008 Arterberry Maresh Juliard Vineyard Pinot Noir

2008 Arterberry Maresh Juliard Vineyard Pinot Noir

Juliard Vineyard is dry farmed and just down the hill from Maresh Vineyard on Worden Hill Road, the heart of the Dundee Hills. From 1974 plantings of upright clone (Ponzi? 828?) and Pommard, the wine shows an old vine sinuosity and rustic complexity.

Dark garnet.

Reticent. Dark, earthen and floral, somewhat wet, rocky, mossy and nutty with bramble and tinges of tart blackcap raspberry, black cherry and bitter chocolate. There is a bucolic purity here and a deepness that is austere and dark. It is not “easy”, but there is complexity and that is what I enjoy about it.

Bright natural acidity runs throughout and is supplanted by fine coffee bean tannin and a swarthy, floral finish. This is lovely with earthen charm, full of spicy and brambly notes with nice iron, black cherry, plum and minerality. Complex, distinct and deep, this  wine is a welcome contrast to the lithe and red-fruited style of most Dundee Hills Pinot Noir and to the velvet richness of the Maresh Vineyard bottling. Great complexity and honesty here, I think this needs time to knit and should be best from 2014-2028. Unfined and Unfiltered.

Bravo Jim!

His passion for old-vine, dry-farmed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is palpable and his wines show good energy and definition. He is a proponent of REAL wine.

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