Raptor Ridge Vineyard Designate Wines
Raptor Ridge has maintained working relationships with an array of vineyard owners for the entirety of our 20-year history. We are proud to source from premier pinot noir vineyards representating the great diversity of soil types and mesoclimates in our corner of the northwest Willamette valley. We like to seperate individual blocks within vineyard designate wines, with the belief that microclimates within vineyards will yield different expressions of pinot noir. We restrain the use of new oak on our pinot noir, and rest our wines for nine months on average, in order to promote the character and individuality of each vineyard site.
In 2012 we had the great pleasure of adding a new sub AVA to the Raptor Ridge mix when David and Jeanne Beck approached us about working with their Dijon 115 clone Pinot noir from Crawford Beck Vineyard in the Eola Amity Hills. These meticulously cared for vines are planted in Jory soils at 460-foot elevation and impart the classic blue fruits found in the Eola-Amity AVA with a lovely hint of forest floor/mushroom all wrapped up in a very silky texture. A cool site, these grapes typically come in later in the harvest.
At 4 acres, Atticus is one of the smallest vineyards we source from. It can be found north of Yamhill, on Russel Creek Road. Marine sedimentary (Willakenzie) soils provide excellent drainage. Southern exposure results in rich, black fruit.
The 2014 Black Hole Vineyard Pinot Noir combined black fruit (think brambly blackberry) with an intriguing herbal tone. While mid-palate weight is rich and full, confirming the vintage, the finish is lifted and acidic.
Raptor Ridge Estate’s Tuscowallame Vineyard is located in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains about 25 miles southwest of Portland. 20% whole grape cluster inclusion adds complex tannins, as well as intriguing spice on the nose and palate.
Atticus Vineyard fruit has been utilized in many of our cuvees and blends, and we were proud to offer our first Atticus Vineyard Designate wine in 2012. This 2013 vintage was harvested the first week of October at a lovely 23.2 Brix, was allowed to soak for 5 days, followed by a two-week fermentation after inoculation. The wine spent 9 months in French oak barrels, with a low intensity of new oak, allowing the natural fruit to shine through vividly in the finished product. The wine contains delicate nuances of candied strawberry and baking spice, and possesses soft and approachable tannin.
Located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA at 700-foot elevation, Black Hole Vineyard is planted to Dijon clone 777 and Pommard. Since 2011, Raptor Ridge has included Black Hole Vineyard fruit in its Trig, Reserve, Willamette Valley and Vineyard designate bottlings. These Witzel soil plantings offer notes of baked plum, pencil lead, forest floor and mushroom. Probably the most asked-about name for a vineyard, Black Hole gets its moniker from the vineyard co-owner who one day said, "This vineyard is a big black hole into which we keep pouring money.” We’re glad that Tom and Deb Mortimer have invested so wisely in this piece of dirt, and painstakingly brought it to life with such quality fruit for us to source!
In 2012 we had the great pleasure of adding a new sub AVA to the Raptor Ridge mix when David and Jeanne Beck approached us about working with their Dijon 115 clone Pinot noir from Crawford Beck Vineyard in the Eola Amity Hills. These meticulously cared for vines are planted in Jory soils at 460-foot elevation and impart the classic blue fruits found in the Eola-Amity AVA with a lovely hint of forest floor/mushroom all wrapped up in a very silky texture.
Raptor Ridge has been working with Olenik Vineyard since 2009. Located on the warmer south-facing bench of the Chehalem Mountain AVA, these Pommard Clone Pinot Noir blocks are fast becoming a favored vineyard designate in the Raptor Ridge program. Fruit from this site also provides a great blending tool for our winemaking team. Olenik fruit is noted for its brooding, dark, richness and structure. Raptor Ridge uses Olenik Vineyard fruit in its Reserve, Willamette Valley and Vineyard designate bottlings.
Of our 2012 Pinot lineup, this wine is the most characteristically New World in style. In the glass, this brooding beauty has a fresh, dark plum color. Its nose is deep with early picked blackberries, chocolate, and black cherry (or was that Cadbury cherry cordial?). This unique nod to wild berry jam continues on the palate with a hint of candied cherry, wrapped in a taut frame of slightly new oak, and white tea leaf. Pair with American classics like BBQ chicken and sweet potato fries.
Rich aromas of rose petals and crushed red cherries jump from the glass! Round and polished on the entry, the wine is juicy, drenched in black cherry with edges of graphite mineral and hints of cinnamon bark. Elegant and showy, this wine should improve over the next 10 years through 2021, and hold its own into the next decade.