Today it’s back to the Willamette Valley in Oregon for The 12 Days of Pinot Noir. Archery Summit Winery has 5 vineyard sites and a total of 115 acres under vine. With laser like focus their entire operation is dedicated to only one thing, Pinot Noir. I fondly recall my stop at Archery Summit when I visited Willamette Valley a couple of years back. Their dedication to Pinot Noir was obvious as was their ability to craft quite a few distinct offerings. So I’m glad to have tasted a couple of current releases that I can include here during The 12 Days of Pinot Noir. The 2007 Archery Summit Premier Cuvée Pinot Noir is produced using fruit from each of their five vineyard sites. This selection is 100% varietal. Barrel aging was accomplished over 10 months in French oak; 54% were new. The suggested retail price for this offering is $48.
Wild strawberry, bing cherry, earth and wisps of porcini mushroom emerge from the inviting nose of this Willamette Valley Cuvée. Black cherry, raspberry and rhubarb are all part of a palate that is full flavored and also gentle in its approach. Black tea, minerals and piney forest floor notes are part of the finish which is significant in length. This wine has good acidity and excellent overall structure.
This Cuvée is quite tasty right now but a few years under good storage conditions and its sure to be even more delicious. My recommendation is to cellar it for 2-3 years and drink it in the 3-4 after that. If you are going to drink it sooner, decanting is most definitely recommended to get the most out of this selection. The gentle palate I reference above is what stood out to me most about this Pinot. There are layers of complexity that continue to emerge as this wine opens up and you let it wash over you. This 2007 Cuvée is a nice selection and good representation of Willamette Valley.
The second wine I’m looking at today is the 2006 Archery Summit Estate. The fruit for this offering is taken from the vineyard that surrounds the winery in the Dundee Hills. This wine is also 100% varietal. Barrel aging was accomplished in French oak (87% new) for 9 months followed by 5 months in older barrels. This offering then spent an additional 1.8 months in stainless steel before bottling. The suggested retail price for this wine is $85.
The beautiful cherry red hue of this wine is quite striking. A ton of dark berry fruit notes emerge from the nose as well as hints of leather. The palate of this wine is rich and layered with plum, blackberry, raspberry and flourishes of black pepper. Pencil lead, earth, mushroom and lingering spice notes are all part of a very lengthy and impressive finish. This Pinot has firm tannins and solid acidity.
The length and complexity of this wine are what impressed me most about it. The finish is noteworthy and the overall flavors are both lush and layered. Everything about the taste of this wine says it wants to be taken very seriously, and it should be. Both of these Pinot Noirs are delicious and well made but the Archery Summit Estate is in a higher league. Cellaring will benefit this wine even more than the Cuvée. I’d hold this for 5-6 years and drink it in the 5 after that. An excellent choice to hold and pull out for a future special occasion.
Archery Summit is making a nice range of wines aimed at the serious Pinot Noir lover. If you enjoy this grape, as I do, they are well worth checking out.