Archery Summit Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Red Hills Estate 2004
This wine opens with lifted aromas of spiced plum, black cherry, baking spices and vanilla. It is a serious wine with a shape that is linear and long. This wine may be enjoyed now but will benefit from cellaring for the next 5 to 8 years.Add winemaker's notes
This wine opens with lifted aromas of spiced plum, black cherry, baking spices and vanilla. It is a serious wine with a shape that is linear and long. This wine may be enjoyed now but will benefit from cellaring for the next 5 to 8 years.
External Reviews for Archery Summit Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Red Hills Estate
The 12 east-facing acres of the Renegade Ridge vineyard are biodynamically farmed to small yields (which in Oregon mean 1-2 tons per acre) of a variety of Pinot Noir clones. The 2004 version shows plenty of brown spices on the nose, including cinnamon, toast, and charcoal.In the mouth the wine displays assertive red cherry and raspberry flavors mixed with cola, earth, and minerals. There is an overlay of dried wood on the mid palate that seems to accelerate a bit on the finish, perhaps because of the relatively chunky tannins. A tasty wine that shows some exuberance and stout structure, it nevertheless has an undeniable power and appeal. Perhaps less finely hewed than the other bottlings, the Renegade Ridge wine seems aptly named: it has a sense of rebellious aggression about it; not nearly as sophisticated feeling as the other releases — yet appealing for that fact!
When Archery Summit’s founding winemaker, Gary Andrus, began producing muscular Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs in the 1990s from 100% new oak and Dijon clone fruit, they earned big scores and national recognition for a winegrowing area that was still struggling for broad-based respect. The fact that the wines were head-turningly priced (Archery Summit made the region’s first commercial-volume Pinot priced at $100) seemed to add to their allure. When Andrus left in 2002, protégée Anna Matzinger took over as winemaker and quickly put her stamp on the wines: still assertively styled, but with a touch of added grace and elegance.The Matzinger way with wine shows well in the 2004 vintage, particularly in the Arcus Estate bottling. Arcus is a signature vineyard in the Red Hills of Dundee, shaped like a bowl with steep exposures and Pinot plants that range from own-rooted Pommard clones going back to 1973, to Dijon clones planted in the 1990s. Its fruit typifies the Dundee Hills appellation character.The 2004 version has a full-on Pinot-cherry fruit nose, complete with a light gamey accent and forest floor spiciness: at once smelling of fruit sweetness, yet grounded by an appealing earthiness. The same theme is reflected on the palate. Rich black cherry fruit combines with accents of violets, a touch of toast and barrel spice, pillowy tannins, and plenty of acidity: sweet and spice all at once. The finish is not powerful, but lingers nicely, with the fine tannins serving to keep the fruit flavors forward in the mouth.Assertive fruit, balancing spice, distinct barrel overtones, yet extremely balanced: a stylish Oregon Pinot, and very much Archery Summit’s character. And in keeping with that character, this is a Pinot that will age well, easily for 3-5 years — though it could be drunk with pleasure at any time.
One of the hallmarks of Archery Summit is meticulous vineyard management. Once when visiting for an article I was taking pictures a few steps into the vineyard rows. A guy in a truck stopped, and while looking me straight in the eye, called the winemaker to report that there was “some guy in the vineyard.” Today’s vineyard manager, Leigh Bartholomew, might not be quite so controlling of people, but she is considered one of the best with grapes in the Willamette Valley.The power of the fruit she grows can be seen in the 2004 Archery Summit Estate wine. Though the nose is somewhat closed at this stage, the emerging black cherry core has a sense of depth that is accentuated by a dusty, earthy wrap. With time in the glass, notes of tobacco, espresso, and a touch of cedar emerge. In the mouth the wine has an immediate sense of density and depth. Though the flavors are not broadly complex at this stage — this wine seems a shy youth at the moment — there is distinct power to the dark cherry, dark chocolate, cola, and tobacco-tinged tastes on the tongue. Acidity is well in balance and, as seems the case with all the 2004 wines from Archery Summit, the tannins are present, but in check.This is perhaps the most brooding and darkest charactered of the winery’s 2004 releases (perhaps due, in part, to the 22% whole clusters and 14 months French oak aging). At this stage cellaring is called for to help encourage integration and the development of what seems the inherent fruit of the wine. A weighty wine, worth waiting for!
My tasting history with Archery Summit goes back to the 1996 vintage, and I will confess that in many subsequent years their wines have been among my favorites. But not in all years. The warmth of the 2003 vintage seemed to accentuate too much the bold Archery Summit style, and I found their wines overblown. 2004 however, seems an ideal Archery Summit vintage — and my ideal Archery Summit wine has almost always been the Red Hills Estate.This Dundee Hills appellation vineyard includes a wide variety of Pinot Noir clones, from the foundational Pommard and Wädensweil clones, to the expected Dijon clones (113, 114, 115, 667, 777), to a series of “Archery Summit” clones (sometimes claimed to be “suitcase clones” from a few famous Burgundy estates). The nose of this wine shows deep red and black fruitiness — plum, cherry, raspberry — with a hint of tea leaf, roasted meat, and touches of cinnamon spice and vanilla well in the background. On the tongue red cherry and raspberry notes predominate, with complexing elements of bittersweet chocolate, rose petals, cola, and bacon fat. Well balanced, the acidity gives an uplift to the fruit, while very fine grained and well integrated tannins supply good structure. The finish is gentle, long, and flavorful.I find the Red Hills Estate to be more red-fruited and less spice-driven than the Arcus, yet it has a certain communality of characteristics: the fruit is sweet without being cloying, the acidity is bright without being forward, and the spice provided by 13 months in barrel is present, but not obvious. All in all, this is a great example of what Dundee Hills fruit tastes like in a well balanced vintage.