Open Claim Vineyards

Owner(s) Brett Wall, Marnie Wall
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Open Claim Vineyards

Brett and Marnie Wall established Open Claim Vineyards in 2012 to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their 21-acre vineyard near Dallas, Oregon, southwest of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, and part of a 55-acre estate, has supplied grapes to Broadley Vineyards, Dobbes Family Estate, Joel Gott Wines and WildAire Cellars. Nearby vineyards include Illahe, Amalie Robert, Croft, Erratic Oaks and Freedom Hill. The area is part of the proposed Mount Pisgah AVA west of Salem.

The property has been in Marnie's family for over 20 years. The name, Open Claim, honors the history of the property and reflects the Wall's desire to "work with the land to build something new with the hope and optimism of the American West." By virtue of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, Parcel #68 in Polk County, Oregon was offered in open claim to anyone willing to nurture the land to life and meaning.

The vineyard is planted to clones 76 and 95 of Chardonnay and eight types of Pinot Noir including "Coury," and La Tache selections, and Pommard, Wädenswil, 115, 667, 777 and 943 clones.

Beginning in May 2018, the Walls started selling Chardonnay and Pinot Noir under their own Open Claim Vineyards label. Tony Rynders was enlisted as the winemaker. Rynders other clients include Carden Cellars, Jackson Family Wines, Panther Creek Cellars, Saffron Fields Vineyard, Red Hills, along with his own Tendril Wine Cellars and Child's Play Wines labels.

The Open Claim wines are sold in three-bottle allocations on the winery's website.

The Walls plan to build and open a tasting room and small winery on their property in time for the 2019 crush.

Reviewed Wines

2018 Open Claim Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.51, 216 cases, $75. Produced and bottled by Open Claim Vineyards, Carlton, OR. Clones are 33% Wädenswil, 33% 777, 22% 943 and 12% 667. Winemaker is veteran Tony Rynders. · Dark garnet color in the glass. I have extensive notes on this impressively “gutsy” Pinot Noir. Alluring aromas of Pinot Noir must, blackberry and sandalwood. A flood of well-ripened dark fruits exhibit exceptional length on entry, the mid-palate, and the dreamy finish. A power-packed, mid-weight plus styled Pinot Noir that is yet light on its feet with well-matched tannins. The fruit in this wine really wakes up the palate. Not all flash, this wine is easy to drink and is good for the long haul in the cellar. Still vivid and satisfying when tasted the following day from a previously opened bottled. In Pinot veritas. Score: 95. Reviewed May 16, 2021 ARTICLE »

2016 Open Claim Vineyards Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., 80 cases, $75. Released May 2019. Dijon clones 95 and 76. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. A range of aromas including lemon, apple, warm biscuit and hazelnut cream. Somewhat austere in an acid-driven style, with flavors of lemon, grapefruit, pear and vanilla, finishing upbeat and quenching with a lemon-lime flourish. Score: 90. Reviewed July 8, 2019 ARTICLE »

2016 Open Claim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 80 cases, $75. Release fall 2019. 40% 667, 40% 777 and 20% Wädenswil. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A little burnt match reduction is evident upon opening but resolves completely by the following day when dark fruits and spice come to the forefront on the nose. Very suave in the mouth, with a mid weight plus core of boysenberry and blackberry fruits that are expansive and expressive. Seamless, with peach-skin tannins, and a remarkably long finish. Even more refined and sophisticated when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has pizzazz. Score: 94. Reviewed July 8, 2019 ARTICLE »

2015 Open Claim Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., $75, DIAM closure. Sold in three bottle allocations. Winemaker Tony Rynders. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. The nose is infused with citrus and oak driven aromas of honey on toast, shortbread and vanilla creme. Nuanced aromas of floral blossom, dried grass and wax add interest. Slightly creamy in the mouth, with heady flavors of lemon, grapefruit, white peach and banana, with oak compliments. Nicely integrated acidity, with some finishing length. Score: 92. Reviewed July 14, 2018 ARTICLE »

2015 Open Claim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 57 cases, $75, DIAM closure. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose offers primarily oak-driven aromas of vanilla, toast and tobacco with fruit aromas of darkest cherry and blackberry in the background. The deep well of fruit includes vivacious flavors of black raspberry and blackberry, along with accents of spice and earth. The sumptuous new oak tends to dominate rather than ingratiate the gorgeous fruit. The noble tannins contribute nicely to the soothing, creamy texture. The extended finish highlights aromatic fruit glory. I tasted the wine several hours later from a previously opened bottle, and the oak intrusion persisted. I wanted a little more zip and zing, but this is a commendable wine, especially for those who relish oak accentuation in their Pinot. Score: 90. Reviewed July 21, 2018 ARTICLE »

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