“It’s sex in a glass, so seductive, it’s hard to say no.”Madeline Triffon Master Sommelier

She was speaking about Pinot Noir.  And I can think of no other varietal that so flames the passion of oenophiles.   Last year, while pouring wine at an event, this wine (2014 vintage) was one of five I was assigned to serve and was quickly tasted out.  No wonder.

I love Pinot Noir from Oregon.  Taste-wise, it often strikes me as a mid-point between the fruit of California and the earthiness of Burgundy. Same grape. Different juice.  Though Oregon has, in parts, somewhat similar terroir to that in Burgundy, it’s different enough to make the difference that your palate, on occasion, wants.  In fact, Burgundy itself is different enough even within Burgundy - given all is climats - to make for different wine.   So, while I enjoy all three – counting Burgundy as one - (and those from New Zealand which I didn’t but should have mentioned), that little difference of the mid-point is what makes the Pinot Noir of Oregon so fun.  

Tasting this wine, you wouldn’t know it is Archery’s entry label. It’s a powerful package. Subdued yet present fruit, not as forward as California, less elusive than Burgundy – that mid-point I referred to.  Aromas of violet with hints of chocolatey plum, black licorice and coffee. Cherry (it’s Pinot Noir after all) and blackberry on the entry. But the cherry is more black than red and it’s briary, weighting the tone.

Grapes are estate grown and from six vineyards; five within the Dundee Hills sub-AVA and another within the Ribbon Ridge sub-AVA of the Willamette Valley. Vines are densely planted on soil of a volcanic and marine sub-base limiting yield and assuring more concentrated fruit. 

Mid palate, the wine continues to open, revealing notes of red fruit, cherry, red plum, some kirsch and a hint of white pepper.  A touch of citrus lifts the presentation.  Body is medium and - it’s Pinot Noir, remember - so tannins are silky.  The finish is medium and enriched with notes of dark chocolate. The wine should be drinkable through 2022, but I doubt you’ll hold on to any that long.        

Pinot is so perfect with duck breast – sauced in a cherry reduction or a pomegranate and citrus glaze, or duck confit. Enjoy this bottle with herb roasted pork tenderloin.  Coq au vin is a natural. All sorts of mushroom preparations work nicely (bruschetta?) Goose and quail work nicely.  For cheese, consider Brie on toast with mushrooms. Want something lighter?  Pair this Pinot with a vegetable tart made of eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini.  Oregon Pinot often present a cleansing acidity that makes it not just “food friendly” but food versatile; brighter and less earthy.  And you’ll find this Pinot working nicely with wild caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon also.

……………… Jim
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Archery Summit:    
Varietal:                               Pinot Noir
Hand Picked & Sorted
Farming:                              Sustainable
Clones:                                 Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon 667,
                                                777, 115, 114, 113, ASW2, Mariafeld
Fermentation:                   Oak & Open-Top Stainless Tank
(With Punch Down Up to 3x Daily)
Ageing:                                 8 Months, French Oak (36% New)
ALC:                                       14.5%
ARP:                                      $49
92 Points:                            Wine Enthusiast
91 Points:                            Wine Spectator

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