Raptor Ridge Winery honors the diverse soil types of the Willamette Valley growing region with this blend of select vineyards. Each year, our Reserve is crafted through a process of careful barrel selection, balanced with blending trials that result in the most complete Pinot noir from our cellar that the vintage has to offer.
In the Vineyard
As always, this is a blend of top, established vineyards from throughout the Willamette Valley, balanced with younger sites. This year’s cuvee was comprised of fruit from our Estate Tuscowallame Vineyard (41%), Gran Moraine Vineyard (18%), Meredith Mitchell Vineyard (11%), Atticus Vineyard (11%), Crawford Beck Vineyard (9%), Goodrich Vineyard (5%), Shea Vineyard (2%), Olenik Vineyard (2%), and Black Hole Vineyard (1%).
We harvested the grapes for this vintage in phases, October 4-18. Harvest chemistry was on average 24.4 Brix, 3.77, pH and 5.2 TA.
At the Winery
When balancing fruit from various vineyards for our Reserve, a diverse yeast program is employed to aid in fermentation. Yeast strains included RC-212, William Selyem, BM-45, BGY, 71B and “native” yeasts. On average, this fruit cold soaked for about seven days, and fermented for about 17 days before going to barrel. Not wanting to conflict with the pronounced fruit-texture interplay of this miraculous vintage, we barreled it for nine months in a modest 25% percent new French Oak from cooperage including Atelier, Tonnellier O, Remond, and DeFerrari.
At the Table
A generous nose of ripe black fruits like plum, black cherry and blackberry, is backed up with licorice, cola and hints of violets. The palate has a sweet, jammy, baked cherry entry, which quickly shifts to wild ripe blackberries and candied fruit, with a hint of black tea. Not at all flabby, this wine has a terrific cleansing acidity. Balanced and ready to enjoy now, this wine could pair nicely with grilled lamb kebobs, or even steak frites! Or, hang on to a few bottles to follow that tremendously long finish through a little more cellar age.