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Date Printed: 4/20/2015
Raptor Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2007
Raptor Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2007
(search item no. 99544)
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 4/20/2015: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2007 Pinot noir/Willamette Valley is a complex blend of 13 different vineyards and clones, each harvested, fermented and barrel-aged separately. Fruit in this cuvee was predominately sourced from the Laurelwood soils of the Chehalem Mountains AVA: Hawks View Vineyard (30%) as well as Shaw Mountain and Dion Vineyards (9%), Arbre Verte Vineyard (4%) and Eds Vineyard (4%). All of these sites have fairly mature vines, with Arbre Verte leading the pack at 28 years. The typical plumy notes and soft tannin profiles of the Chehalem Mountains AVA fruit were given form, structure and spice by blending fruit from sites in the McMinnville AVA: Stony Mountain Vineyard (22%) and a modicum from Meredith Mitchell Vineyard (7%).

This approachable Pinot has pleasing notes of plum and cherry cola on the nose. It opens with a light, high-toned cherry, but as it takes on air, finishes more fully and roundly with a focused dark cherry core and ripe plum meat nuances. Still young upon release, this wine will flesh out after its sixth month in the bottle. The boisterous balance of fruit and acid makes for a great wine-by-the-glass choice.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Raptor Ridge Winery:

About Raptor Ridge Winery:

Five distinctive vineyards throughout Oregons Northern Willamette Valley supply premium wine grapes for Raptor Ridge. Shea Vineyard and Wahle Vineyard, located between the small towns of Carlton and Yamill in the Willakenzie area supply our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, respectively. Located high in the Red Hills of Dundee, Murto Vineyard provides some intensely spiced Pinot Noir grown in volcanic, Jory soils. Both Murto and Whale vineyards are well over 20 years old- among the oldest in the Willamette Valley winegrowing region. Our youngest vineyards: Harbinger and Teunge vineyards, are just now coming on-line supplying us with Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc fruit from DiJion clones.

In each vintage year, Raptor Ridge produces about 1000 cases of wines using traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques. High quality is the focus, not higher quantities. Raptor Ridge shares a twelve-acre estate with families of Raptors (buteos and accipiters)- birds of prey such as Red Tail Hawks, Kestrels and Sharp-Shinned Hawks. We are nestled atop a heavily forested ridge in the Chehalem Mountains 25 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon. Our foggy ridge is ideally suited to a naturally cool winemaking regime important in capturing delicate aromas and flavors. Our wines age in French oak with racking in synchrony with the full moon. Our goal is to deliver in our wines all of the natural flavor, delicate aromas and beauty offered by Oregons Willamette Valley winegrowing region.

Our winemaking philosophy has two tenets: one committing the winemaker to deep personal involvement with the vines and every barrel of wine; the other balancing science with tradition. Our approach to winemaking focuses as much on the vineyard as it does the cellar. Winemaker Scott Shull is personally involved alongside growers and field hands in pruning, trellising, cluster counting, cluster thinning, leaf pulling, quality monitoring, and all harvest decisions. Uniquely- during harvest, Scott is in the field picking fruit alongside seasonal workers, and personally transports the wine grapes back to Raptor Ridge were he oversees the "crush." Family and friends are involved in processing the fruit into fermentation vats while Scott personally adjusts nutrients, inoculation, fermentation processes, and wine handling procedures. Its Scotts philosophy to intervene as little as possible in the miracle of wine, while employing a full knowledge of fermentation science only to avoid diminishment of quality or removal of flaws.