Ridgecrest Vineyards Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Oregon
497 cases produced
Dry-farmed (not irrigated)
I’ve got to tell you that this Pinot noir is what most Willamette Valley Pinots strive to be. And if they’re not, they should be! It’s made using fruit grown in the tiny Ribbon Ridge AVA, located within the larger Chehalem Mountains growing region of the Willamette Valley. There are just 500 acres planted in vines so if you find a Pinot labeled with Ribbon Ridge, don’t hesitate to snatch it up!
All the grapevines at the Ridgecrest Vineyard are dry-farmed, meaning they rely on nature’s water (in the form of rain) to make it through the growing season. Quite a lot of grape growers believe that forcing their vines to struggle a bit produces better quality fruit, and therefore a better wine. No water also forces the grapevine roots to grow, searching for moisture in the soil.
This leads me to the unique sedimentary soils found in the Ribbon Ridge AVA… If you’ve never visited the area, it’s been uplifted above the surrounding land, much like an island above the water. This island-like plateau is made up of old particulate matter that once sank to the bottom of the ocean floor before the area was pushed upward. The resulting soil is finer and retains just the right amount of moisture for farming grapes.
If you like Pinot that has a more savory, earthy nose, this is a wine for you. Mushrooms, forest floor, eucalyptus and gravel dust all swirled out of the glass, followed by aromas of red raspberries, tart cranberries and ripe red plums.
Again, the earthiness is most prominent in my first sip. This Pinot is light and bright with nice acidity. I can now taste the cranberries, raspberries and plums, along with bing cherries and black plums too. It ends with many high notes and prickly tannins that envelop my mouth. It’s got a gritty texture and lovely, long finish that I am willing to bet will age wonderfully in the bottle.
Food pairing suggestions:
Drink this Pinot with anything from Oregon’s Willamette Valley! Mushroom risotto, cheeses from Willamette Valley Cheese Co., savory apple and thyme tart are just a few ideas for you.
Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.