2006 Pinot noir | Willamette Valley
In the Vineyard
In 2006, grapes received quite a bit of hang time to develop a lush and hedonistic flavor profile. By the time the right flavors developed in the grapes, the potential alcohols had risen to high octane levels! At Raptor Ridge, we eschew watering and acidifying our wines, so please enjoy this once-in-a-decade vintage — 2006.
Our earliest vineyard pick was Shea Vineyard on September 27. The last vineyard in was Yamhill Springs on October 12. Two new vineyards joined the supply to Raptor Ridge’s Pinot noir program: the very old Arbre Vert Vineyard, and our own, very young Raptor Ridge Estate Vineyard.
At the Winery
Grapes for our 2006 Pinot noir Willamette Valley blend were sourced from the following sites throughout Washington and Yamhill Counties (in decreasing constituency of the blend): Hawks View Vineyard (667, Pommard, 667 clones) Yamhill Springs Vineyard (clones 777, 113, and some 115), Shea Vineyard (clone 777), Bellevue Cross Vineyard (Pommard), Arbre Vert (Coury clone), with a dash of both Stony Mountain, and Meredith Mitchell Vineyard added in for spice.
Grapes were harvested throughout a range as high as 26.6 Brix, 5.7 TA, and 3.55 pH to as low as 23.5 Brix, 5.3 TA, and 3.41 pH. In short, a very ripe vintage.
Grapes were 100% destemmed into 1.5 ton capacity fermenters and kept at ambient (55°F) temperatures. No artificial/mechanical cooling was applied and the fermenters were allowed to begin a natural (not inoculated) fermentation after about four days of soak time. On day five, each fermenter was inoculated with a strain of commercial yeasts: BM45, BGY, BRL97, RC212, and 71B.
The Willamette Valley blend was aged in 27% new oak cooperage from a range of master French cooperages: Remond, Ermitage, Francois Frere, Cadus, Damy, and Seguin Moreau.