These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.







Youngberg Hill is both a winery and an Inn.  If you go to their website, the first thing you’ll notice is the pictures and stories about their inn.  It looks beautiful but I will refrain from commenting about it since this piece is about their wine.  I will say, if you are planning a trip to the Oregon’s wine country, this should be at the top of your list of places to stay.


Youngberg Hill uses organic and sustainable practices with the goal of being certified a “Biodynamic” vineyard in a couple of years.  The winery’s vineyards measure 20 acres, divided into four distinct blocks.  Three of the blocks are used for Pinot Noir and one contains Pinot Gris.  All vineyards are dry farmed and well as utilizing the previously mentioned biodynamic practices.



The Winery

Youngberg Hill was started in 1989 with the noble goal of creating the best wine from the best grapes in every vintage.


In 1989, Ken Wright, who saw great potential in the soils of Willamette Valley, planted the vineyards (now known as the Jordan and Natasha blocks) on what was to become known as Youngberg Hill.  Wright, considered to be one of the “gurus” of Oregon wine, exclusively used the fruit from Youngberg for his Panther Creek wines.  In 1996, the first wine to be labeled Youngberg Hill Vineyards was produced.


By 2003, Wayne Bailey – the son of an Oakland, Iowa farmer, and with a mechanical engineering degree in tow – bought the property and launched what he describes as his “fifth career”, that of a wine grower and producer.  With the 2013 harvest, Wayne marked his 10th anniversary farming Youngberg.


The winery started practicing organic farming in 2003, are LIVE certified, and are moving toward biodynamic farming practices.   They are most interested in sustaining and even improving the quality and balance of the soil naturally.  They believe these practices produce the highest quality fruit possible, while maintaining the integrity of the soils and the rich nourishment they provide to the fruit.


In their words – Oregon’s premier wine country estate and one of Wine Spectator’s favorite locations; set on a 50 acre hilltop surrounded by an organic vineyard.  We have an amazing 25 year old vineyard that is farmed organically.  We are well known for producing award winning Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines.  As passionate farmers and winemakers we are thrilled to share, educate, and talk wine.  We respect the environment and believe that we can make a difference in how we treat the land and each other every day.  We care for our wine and guests with this same respect and philosophy.   We are proud of our ‘Green’ approach to wine country living and look forward to sharing it with you.



Much more information on the winey and Inn can be found on their website by clicking here.






About Winechat

#winechat is a weekly, Twitter based discussion about something dealing with the world of wine.  Generally, each week’s chat session deals with a specific theme and is lead by an “expert” in that area.  This is generally a nice way to learn about a region, winery, type of wine, etc.



What is #WineChat?  Click here to learn more.



How do you join #winechat? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winechat stream. Be sure to include #winechat at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!


Grab a glass and join in!


The #winechat schedule is available on their Facebook page by clicking here.


#winechat is hosted by Protocol Wine Studio.  For more information on them, click here.



Youngberg Hill




2010 Youngberg Hill Pinot Noir Jordan Block – SRP $40

The four acre Jordan Block is the smaller of the two original block planted in 1989 by Ken Wright.  The Jordan Block is on a steeper slope then the other original block, the Natasha Block.  It is at an altitude of approximately 750 feet on Steiwer soil.  The vines are own-rooted with 60% Pommard and 40% Wadenswil clones.


2010 was a cool vintage that fortunately provided a nice “Indian Summer” that allowed the grapes to ripen.  Since the grapes had to “hang” until late October to ripen, birds became a major issue.  The birds liked the winery’s grapes as evidenced by the 30% of the crop they ate.  In most cooler vintages, the wines produced are highly structured but need some cellar time to show their best.  The wine was aged for 10 months in 25% new oak.


The wine has 12.9% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  I should note, the winery’s “technical” notes say the alcohol is 11.95%, but I am using the percentage off of the label.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, minerals, baking spice, violets, anise, and subtle earthiness.   This barely has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the tart fruit, minerals and spice hit first with anise and violets coming in on the back end.  The finish gets a touch lean with some earthiness  coming into the picture to add to the tart fruit and minerals before a slight herbal note slips in.  This is very young and will be better with some cellar time which should allow it to fill out on the back end and fully open up.  (89 pts)

2010 Youngberg Hill Pinot Noir Jordan Block

2010 Youngberg Hill Pinot Noir Jordan Block



Closing comments

This wine really needs and deserves a couple years in the cellar for it to fill out on the back end and to open up.  As with most wines produced in cool vintages, patience will be rewarded.  If you drink this now, give it a considerable amount of air.




Win an All-inclusive VIP Sonoma Winecation



Underground Cellar is offering you a chance to win an all-inclusive VIP weekend in Sonoma wine country.


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  • VIP chef’s dinner at award-winning “the girl and the fig” restaurant
  • Rountrip airfare, luxury transportation, and many other surprises!

Click here to enter.   If you win, you can even include me as one of your friends.

Even if you don’t win the grand prize, there is over $3,000 of gift cards with a value of up to $200 to be given away.


While you’re there, check out Underground Cellar unique wine selling model.  You can “buy” a lower cost wine and get upgraded to a much more expensive bottle for free.  For example, one of their current offers is $42 for a 2008 Balboa Brioso.  If you buy this wine, you could get “upgraded” to 2007 Stonestreet Monument Ridge Cabernet ($60 value), 2009 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet ($85 value), 2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Reserve Cabernet ($130 value), 1994 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon ($150 value), or even a 1985 BR Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon Olive Hill (Helen Turley) with a value of $220.


The shipping is also incredible, at 6 bottles, shipping cost $5! Buy 6 more bottles and ship for FREE.




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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.