Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir
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Raptor Ridge sources from our estate vineyard in the Chehalem Mountain AVA, Tuscowallame, plus a rich tapestry of select Willamette Valley sites – up to 12 in a given vintage spanning multiple sub-appellations in the region. These long-term partnerships with vineyards such as Shea and Meredith Mitchell have given us more “ingredients” with which to blend and ultimately provide sensory complexity in our winemaking style.
Tuscowallame Vineyard is an 18-acre site planted to predominantly Pinot Noir plus one and a half acres of Grüner Veltliner. It is comprised of 13 separate blocks, each planted to different clones and rootstocks that address distinct soil characteristics. The word, Tuscowallame, is an indigenous word meaning “where the owls dwell.”
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.
Smart, faithful, and true, Trig is the epitome of quality Oregon Pinot. This wine is always comprised of our two best barrels. For vintage 2011 Trig, we selected from two rather ‘cultish’ vineyards, Olenik in the Chehalem Mountains, and Goodrich from the Yamhill Carlton AVA.
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!
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.
With its oak-spice aromas and wood-enriched texture, this feels like an old-school red. The wine’s cherry flavor drives through the oak on a tense line of acidity, that tension suggesting that it’s not quite ready to drink. Lay it down for six months or more before opening with roast pork. - 91 Points W&S - April 2017
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.
The 2014 Duo is a two barrel selection of Pinot Noir from Blocks 10 and 11 of the Estate Tuscowallame Vineyard - initially released exclusively to Flight Club Members, the Duo presents red and blue fruit aromas, and a supple texture. Needless to say, this is an extremely limited wine!
Raptor Ridge's Tuscowallame Vineyard, meaning “place where the owls dwell,” is located in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains about 25 miles southwest of Portland. Our estate Pinot noir is noted for its silky texture, fine-grained tannins, Italian plum, cherry, black pepper and mineral notes. 92pts - James Suckling