RAPTOR RIDGE AND THEIR PINOTS The holidays are upon us and though they can be stressful for many, it’s always a good idea to relax and contemplate all of the things in life you’re grateful for. I’m sure your thoughts will lean towards the simple things; your family, friends, Chicago construction (because who doesn’t love driving in that during rush hour), or perhaps a good bottle of wine.
Raptor Ridge has some lovely bottles of wine. Named for their location on a ridge in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, Raptor Ridge (and their neighbors) is a haven for their native raptors. I opened up their Pinot Noir, Barrel Select, 2013 (Willamette Valley). Barrel Select had blended aromas of cherry, spice, and tobacco with classic but delicious flavors of sour cherry, raspberries, black tea, followed by this specific and unique earthiness only gained in Oregon. I’d decant this bottle as the aromas and flavors will soften up and the wine will become even more expressive. Given the fact a good Pinot will cost you a bit, this retailing for $30 is a great deal!
Feeling very grateful at this point I felt the need to open up their next bottle of Pinot Noir - Estate, Chehalem Mountains, 2012 ($45). With fewer than 500 cases produced I knew I was in for a treat. This is a Pinot with a turbo....A huge nose of ripe plum, bold black cherries, and nutmeg but as this opens up much more is offered. I noted a fuller bodied wine with seductive flavors of juicy light red fruits, lavender, and sweet spices. This wine will leave you wanting more (and I did!). Sláinte!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Eric McMillan, The Chicago Wino, is your source for lighthearted reviews of wine. thechicagowino.com also features links to fun tools like wine/food pairing, ideal serving temperatures, and "must try" bottles! Visit thechicagowino.com for a simple look at some complex flavors. "Like" Eric on Facebook–The Chicago Wino