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Raptor Ridge Winery Blog



Caroline Justice
June 30, 2021 | Caroline Justice

2021 James Suckling Scores

2018 Duo Pinot Noir

96 Points, James Suckling

"This is a best-of-vintage blend of two barrels, selected across the whole cellar. It has a very alluringly complex nose with spiced pastry, blueberry and red cherry, as well as red-pastry notes . The palate is so finely detailed and defined and the grain of pitch-perfect, ripe tannin is stunning, as is the bright, fresh stream of red-cherry flavor. Drink or hold. Screw cap."

2018 Meredith Mitchell Pinot Noir

93 Points, James Suckling

"This offers quite a pure raspberry and cranberry-scented nose with some lightly spiced pastry notes ,too. The palate holds quite a succulent and finely detailed web of tannin and delivers a pleasingly fresh, tart sensation at the red-fruited finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap."

2018 Estate Pinot Noir

92 Points, James Suckling

"This offers plenty of ripe cherries and plums, cast in a shroud of toasted-oak notes, such as espresso and mocha, as well as forest wood notes. The palate has enveloping richness of fruit, yet remains composed and mid-weight. Builds to a rich, creamy finish with mocha and cherry. Less than 100 dozen made. Drink or hold. Screw cap."

2018 Atticus Vineyard Pinot Noir

91 Points, James Suckling

"This has attractive red-cherry and leafy tones, some violets and a gently spicy thread, too. The palate’s smoothly rendered with quite deep and ripe tannins carrying blueberry and berry tea flavors. Drink now. Screw cap."


2018 Olenik Vineyard Pinot Noir

90 Points, James Suckling

"This has a restrained brand of pinot fruit with red cherry, some blueberry and light red plum, as well as some earthy tones to the nose. The palate shows silky red plums with grainy, earthy tannin influence. Drink now. Screw cap."

2018 Estate 777 Clone Pinot Noir

93 Points, James Suckling

"From a parcel of Dijon clone 777, this has a bright red-cherry and spice nose with freshly roasted coffee and forest-leaf notes. The palate is very smoothly composed and offers a wealth of red-cherry flavor in a neat, pure and vibrant mode. Less than 50 dozen produced. Drink or hold. Screw cap."

2018 Gran Moraine Vineyard Chardonnay

90 Points, James Suckling

"A gently waxy edge to the nose with honey, flint and grapefruit, as well as a nougat-like edge. The palate has focused and intense peach and lemon flavors. Bold and focused. Drink now. Screw cap."

2018 Estate Whole Cluster Pinot Noir

94 Points, James Suckling

"This was fermented with partial whole-cluster inclusion and delivers a fresh, gently smoky edge to the bright red and pink berries and cherries. The palate is built on more assertive, compressed tannin when compared to the other two pinots from the same vineyard, and this also shows less apparent oak influence. I like the fruit purity here. Drink or hold. Screw cap."

2018 Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

94 Points, James Suckling

"This is from an elevated parcel that ripens late in the sequence of Raptor pinot parcels and offers an array of potpourri-like aromas with rose hip, dried red and blue flowers and spiced wood with bright red cherries. The palate has a very lithe and elegant yet powerful feel with bright red cherries, set amid fine-grained tannins and a vividly crisp, bright finish. Drink over the next six years. Screw cap."

2017 Crawford Beck Pinot Noir

91 Points, James Suckling

"A small production from a cooler site in the Raptor scheme of pinot parcels they source, this has an attractive red-cherry and rose-scented nose with earthy, spicy nuances, too. The palate is alive with fresh red-cherry flavor and offers bright, fine tannins. Upbeat balance here. Drink now. Screw cap."

2018 Crawford Beck Pinot Noir

94 Points, James Suckling

"The 2018 vintage rendition of this cooler site is a very attractive rendering of ripe red and dark-cherry aromas and flavors with good weight and amplitude on the palate. The tannins are particularly well proportioned and support plenty of fruit flesh and long, cherry flavors. Drink or hold. Screw cap."

Time Posted: Jun 30, 2021 at 9:23 AM Permalink to 2021 James Suckling Scores Permalink

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