Raptor Ridge Pinot Gris

November 05, 2018

Raptor Ridge Pinot Gris

Brilliant whole-cluster pressed, Alsatian-style Pinot Gris with elegant fruit and a dry, chewy texture.

Producer: Raptor Ridge Winery
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Grapes: Pinot Gris

In Brief
Medium Body, Fresh
Flavors: Pear, lemon pith, fresh acidity
Pairings: Aperitif, salads, goat cheese, turkey


The Wine

Clean lines, fresh acidity and a delightfully involved texture are the hallmarks of this expertly crafted, varietal Pinot Gris. Taking advantage of Oregon's cool-climate and rolling hillsides, Raptor Ridge's efforts in 2017 have yielded a gorgeous, easy to appreciate Pinot Gris with a nose offering a delicate balance of ripe orchard fruits like pear and yellow apple, hints of canteloupe and pineapple core, and the essence of dried honey. Brilliantly food-friendly and approachable, what enters the palate with a moderately rich level of concentration, gives way to appealing, mouth-watering acidity centered around lemon peel and notes of spicy ginger. Enjoy this wine as a refreshing aperitif, or alongside salads with a bright vinaigrette, goat cheese, roasted poultry and a variety of dishes incorporating subtle spice. Low yields in the vineyard, environmentally sound farming, healthy fruit pressed in whole clusters and slow fermentation enduring nearly 150 days, are key ingredients which set this Pinot Gris a step above its peers in arguably its best regional expression outside the Vosges Mountains of picturesque Alsace.


The Story
Founded in 1995, Raptor Ridge was created to share in the joys of vine growing and winemaking, affording husband and wife owners Scott and Annie Shull a close connection with the land, the local community and the industry as a whole. Named for its specific location on a ridge in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, Raptor Ridge hangs its hat on producing varietally correct bottlings using organically farmed grapes and a non-interventionalist approach to winemaking. Over the past twenty-three years, the Shull’s have been best known for hand-grown, single vineyard Pinot Noir sourced from a rich tapestry of select Willamette Valley sites in addition to their own Estate, Tuscowallame. In a sea of world-class Pinot Noir it’s easy to forget about the notable success of Alsatian varieties (Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Muscat) plus an ever-growing foothold with quality Chardonnay in Willamette. Ever in touch with the land and the climate, Raptor Ridge even produces a 100% Estate-grown Grüner Veltliner and an exciting Tempranillo, raised in the warmer clime of the southerly-located Rogue Valley. Considerable skill in the vineyard and winery aside, it is Scott’s passion and down to Earth personality, which lead to his introduction to November’s featured Sommelier, Kelsey McCallan. Scott 'crashed' an Oregon Pinot Camp Chardonnay party to enlighten the participants on the finer side of Alsatian varieties grown throughout the Valley. This very tongue-in-cheek, guerrilla tactic was noted by Kelsey and her peers along with the quality and character of the wines, and a friendship was born. Scott will be on hand for Catalyst’s November 19th Raptor Ridge Wine Dinner and for those lucky enough to attend, his 2017 Pinot Gris will be the first, unapologetically delicious pour.


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