Oregon Wine Club – January 2023

2018 Andrew Rich Wines, Pinot Noir, Volcanic, $46

Winery Info: After studying viticulture and winemaking in Burgundy, Andrew Rich worked for six years at Bonny Doon Vineyard in California.          

He relocated to Oregon in 1994 with the original goal of making Rhône-style wines in the Willamette Valley, from Columbia Valley grapes. While he waited for those grapes to actually become available to him, he discovered a love for Pinot Noir. He has now produced over 20 vintages in Oregon, with a dual focus—on both Pinot Noir and Rhône-styled wines. This is the fifth vintage of his Pinot Noir focusing on volcanic soils.

Winemaker: Andrew Rich

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, aged 15 months in 228-liter French oak barrels, 30% new.

Vineyards: From La Colina, Lazy River, La Chenaie, and Sojeau vineyards, showcasing volcanic soils in primarily Dundee Hills and Yamhill-Carlton, with about 13% fruit from the Eola-Amity Hills.

Flavor Profile: This Pinot is soft and velvety, with inviting floral aromas, flavors of cherry and bright raspberry, and a hint of wet stone. It has great balance, weight, and minerality.

Availability: 576 cases made. This vintage is getting low.

Drinking Window: With nearly three years of bottle age, this wine is ready to drink now but it should continue to develop for another four to five years. Enjoy by 2028.

Food Pairing: Perfect with roast chicken, grilled salmon, or wild mushroom dishes.

2019 Ridgecrest Vineyards, Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir, $39.75

Winery Info: In 1980 Harry Peterson-Nedry purchased land on a small ridge of ocean sedimentary soil at the western end of the Chehalem Mountains, and planted Ridgecrest Vineyards. Many thought the site was too cool, windy, and foggy to grow wine grapes. But not Harry, and 25 years later, that site became officially designated as the Ribbon Ridge AVA. And Ridgecrest was the first vineyard planted there. Peterson-Nedry founded Chehalem Winery in 1990 to produce wine from that fruit, and his daughter, U.C. Davis-trained Wynne, joined him in 2009. But in 2018, they sold their interest in Chehalem to focus on wines made solely from the original vineyard. Under the Ridgecrest label they seek to “experiment with all of those blocks, lots, and barrels that beg our attention every harvest,” with a primary focus on Pinot Noir.

Winemaker: Wynne Peterson-Nedry and Harry Peterson-Nedry

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir

Vineyard: Ridgecrest, in the Ribbon Ridge AVA with Willakenzie soil — a transitional soil type with both volcanic and sedimentary characteristics.

Flavor Profile: Pinots grown on Willakenzie soil tend to have dark fruit, deep, silky texture, and earthy, floral notes. That classic Ribbon Ridge character shines through in this vintage. The wine combines barrels from their older 37-year-old vines, which gives the wine deep, dense character and notes of spice; with barrels from 16-year-old plantings, which add vibrant red fruit notes. It is concentrated and structured, with firm tannins and good acidity.

Availability: 846 cases produced. This wine is still in decent supply.

Drinking Window: Give it four to five years, then enjoy by 2029.

Food Pairing: With its red fruit and spice notes, it would pair well with spicy duck or poultry, plank salmon, or smoked salmon.