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Broadley Vineyards Scores Big in 2012

Broadley Vineyards is a family owned winery established over 30 years in the hills west of the town of Monroe, Oregon, producing distinguished wines since 1986. Technically, Broadley Vineyards is in the Willamette Valley, but lies on Highway 99 halfway between Corvallis and Eugene, outside of the more publicized sub-appellations of the Willamette Valley which are located in the northern Willamette Valley.

Craig and Claudia Broadley launched the winery in 1982, and are now joined by son Morgan, daughter-in-law Jessica, and two grandchildren Olivia and Savanna. Like so many Oregon vintners, they were from California, and had developed a likening for Pinot Noir. California vineyard land was too expensive, and Oregon seemed like the right place to grow Pinot Noir...cheaper. They found a unique site on a hillside in Monroe, established vines, and by 1994 had earned a reputation for ultrapremium estate Pinot Noir.

Broadley Vineyards is a relatively warm site known as the “banana belt” within a cool climate. The 30 planted acres offer many different exposures, elevations and soil types leading to different flavor characteristics in the wines from the different blocks. The grapevines are planted in an unusual eastern and northeastern aspect to protect the vines from storms that traditionally arrive from the Southwest, and to prevent over ripeness of fruit. Soils are volcanic with good drainage without excessive vigor. Another unique aspect of the vineyard is the use of the lyre trellis system, splitting the canopy into two walls of grapes.

The planted clones are diverse. Pommard and Wädenswil were first planted in the early 1980s, but over time a number of Dijon clones were added.

At the winery, Morgan Broadley’s winemaking is distinguished by partial whole cluster fermentation, significant fermentation in wood containers, and the absence of rigid fermentation temperature control. The wines are aged in new and one to two-year-old used French oak barrels and always unfined and unfiltered.

The winery’s 2012 harvest report describes the growing season as dry and a nearly perfect harvest. The crop was small, but produced wines similar to those from the 2008 vintage in size and depth of flavor.

I have never visited Broadley Vineyards, but based on my tasting of the remarkable 2012 Pinot Noirs, I am going to make a beeline to the winery on my next Willamette Valley visit. The winery’s tasting room is open Thanksgiving weekend and a late April open house, otherwise by appointment at 265 S. 5th Street in Monroe. The website is

Beyond the wines sampled here, there is a 2012 Jessica Pinot Noir (clones 667 and 115 from a protected northeastern mid slope of the estate vineyard, $50), and a 2012 Claudia’s Choice Pinot Noir (from the oldest vines in the estate vineyard, $50).

2012 Broadley Vineyards Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 800 cases, $30. A blend of Pommard, Wädenswil, 115, 667 and 777 clones. 100% de-stemmed. Wild yeast fermentation, 12-18 days in stainless steel fermenters, aged 12 months in 15% new and 85% 1 to 2- year-old Francois Frères barrels. Previously reviewed March 29, 2014 with consistent and even better results. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Scintillating aromas of black raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, spice, violets, oak and a hint of roseate scent. Intensely flavored and plush on the palate with a full-on charge of sweet boysenberry and red and black raspberry fruits complimented by oak highlights. Very seamless, with soft tannins and plenty of energy, finishing with good intensity. Much more expressive now than when previously tasted 5 months ago. Score: 91

2012 Broadley Vineyards Marcile Lorraine Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 150 cases, $50. A blend of primarily Wädenswil and some Pommard from a distinct block of the estate vineyard. 30% whole cluster, wild yeast fermentation in open top oak fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged 14-18 months 40% new and 60% neutral Taransaud barrels (tighter-grained, low toast). · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Similar aromatic and flavor profile as the Estate bottling but with more structure, more sophistication and a longer finish. Highly enjoyable now, with impressive mid palate intensity, defining tannins, juicy acidity, the slightest oak overlay, and a very long finish filled with plenty of Pinot goodness. Score: 93

2012 Broadley Vineyards Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 50 cases, $59. A barrel selection consisting of a 50/50 blend of Zenith and Shea vineyards. 30% whole cluster, aged in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of dark berries, spice and floral perfume. A full-bodied charmer that floods the mouth with well-ripened black cherry and dark berry fruit accented with spice, and supported by firm, balanced tannins. Despite its fruit load, the wine is bright and refreshing and has the structure to age. A big boy wine that is flat out delicious. Score: 94

2012 Broadley Vineyards Zenith Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 150 cases, $30. A blend of Pommard and Wädenswil clones. Sourced from 2 acres of the vineyard custom planted for the Broadley Winery on “Block One” of this historic site which dates back to 1982. 30% whole cluster, fermented in open-top oak fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged 12 months in 30% new and 70% neutral Francois Frères barrels. · Dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Plenty to like about this wine that has both aromatic and flavor appeal. Scents of dark cherries, spice and floral goodness lead to a middleweight core of sweet dark cherry and berry fruits complimented by a hint of cedary oak. Admirable balance and some finishing length complete the picture. Score: 91

2012 Broadley Vineyards Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc. 250 cases, $50 (sold out at winery). Clones 777 and Wädenswil from blocks 11 and 19. 100% de-stemmed, wild yeast fermentation in 3-ton open-top Taransaud wood fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged 12 months in 30% new and 70% neutral Francois Frères barrels. · Superlatives can’t do this wine justice. Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherry, plum and exotic spice. Intense and mouth filling with layers of amazingly pure red and purple fruits, wellspiced, and matched with fine, mouth coating tannins. Sturdy on the palate, yet bright, succulent and juicy. The haunting finish is remarkably long, returning with waves of pleasure. Even better when tasted several hours later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating long-term potential. Heaven sent. Score: 95

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