his Pinot noir is so terroir-focused that you can practically taste the soil in which the grapes grew! Part of the Armstrong Vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA is dry farmed so the roots of the grapevines have to grow deep to find the water they need to survive. And that’s where winemaker Vincent Fritzsche gets his fruit for this wine.
The color was an inky purple, somewhat unusual for a Willamette Valley Pinot. But like we’ve alluded to, this wasn’t an ordinary wine. On the nose, we smelled both earthy and fruity aromas. You know that smell of fresh black soil after the compost has fully processed your kitchen scraps and leaves? As we swirled our glasses, that wonderful scent drifted up to our noses. We also smelled a hint of black tar coupled with dark chocolate, black cherries, blackberries and mocha coffee.
Sipping the wine, we discovered a slightly gritty texture and nice tannins. This wine had plenty of structure and acid to hold up to food. We tasted those same chocolate and mocha notes we smelled, along with black pepper and baking spices. Hints of black licorice, abundant black cherries and plums danced across our tongues as we savored our wine. There was a deep richness in this Pinot, as if an old soul in a younger body.
We encourage you to grab a bottle (or several) and taste for yourself. Pairing this wine is easy– go with earthy, peppery spices combined with mushrooms, lamb or chicken.