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.
We harvest the 2014 Gran Moraine Vineyard Pinot Noir from Block 401at a Brix of 24.9 on the 21st of September, 2015. The wine spent 5 days on cold-soak maceration prior to an 18 day fermentation with 100% destemmed Pinot Noir grapes. The wine was matured 9 months if French oak barrels, with an overall new oak impact of 27%.
The 2014 Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot noir is made from a field blend of certified organically farmed Pinot Noir wine grapes grown in the Eola-Amity AVA. Managed by Dai Crisp since 1999, this second-generation vineyard was first planted in 1981 by the Koo family on what is believed to be the remnants of an ancient volcano. The vineyard is primarily made up of Pinot Noir, with a few acres of Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. With an elevation range of 660 to 860 feet, Temperance Hill is a cool site, providing excellent growing conditions for Pinot Noir. The soils are predominantly Nekia, Rittner and Jory, with grapes planted on many different slopes with varying exposures.
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.
The 2014 Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot Noir presents characteristic blue and black fruits, revealing both sappy plum and a surprisingly energetic acidity after time in the decanter. This wine is consistently one of our most popular at Raptor Ridge, and is both intensely satisfying young and sturdy enough for extended cellar time.
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 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.
Drawn from block eleven on the east hill of the vineyard, the 2014 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir is composed of clone 114. It was brought in at 25.1 brix, and matured in French oak for nine months. In a warm year such at 2014, Shea demonstrates rich red and blackberry fruit, and the presence of both acidity and tannin makes this wine suitable for long-term ageing.
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!