Category Archives: Oregon

Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2014

90+ Pinot Noir – Wine Raters Disagreed

Archery Summit’s 2014 Arcus Estate, Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 

It happens all the time:  Experts disagree on a wine’s rating.  Wine Spectator gave the Archery Summit Arcus Estate Pinot Noir 94 points; Wine Enthusiast, 92 points and Wine Advocate, 90 points.  Are we being fooled, and by whom, when a four-point spread in the hotly contested 90-94 range is claimed by tasters with reputations?

Archery Summit’s Evaluation:

“Lavish, dramatic, classic” is the winery’s claim for a wine from its famous vineyard.  The winery’s writeup features flavors of “…raspberry, wild strawberry and fresh red cherries supported by savory nori and cocoa powder.  The palate displays raspberry, blackberry and Oregon blackcap, spice box and lavender incense.”

My Evaluation of this Pinot Noir:

To me, raspberry, red cherry and blackberry feature on the nose with bright spice notes — very inviting and refreshing.  The depth of flavor, complexity and life in the wine gives it an immediate character.  Second thoughts emphasize the vibrant but balanced nose.  The acid and fruit mingle to provide a memorable finish that again stands out different from typical expectations, while being highly rewarding and cleansing.  It is long on fruit flavors.

Here’s another opinion: “Rich, fruity, plenty of acid, well balanced; some minerality, but it is not up front; red fruit, cherry, red plum; the finish is long and bright.  Taste this wine and think your way through its character and its components.  So, what about the rating?

Other Factors Affect Ratings

Ratings have a lot to do with companions as well as quality evaluations.  The quality of winemaking and the balance of its full flavors, acid and alcohol is excellent in this Pinot Noir.  In comparison to other great wines, it shines among them.

Rating:  Its character elevates it to 94.  90 seems, to me, not to recognize its uniqueness.

Emotional rating:  Absolutely great!

Availability: From the winery.

Hillside Vineyards

A Great Archery Summit Wine!

Archery Summit Ribbon Ridge, Looney Vineyard, 2014

We know Archery Summit for richer flavors in their Pinot Noir due to their closely planted vines.

Color:

Deep ruby color with an attractive crimson edge shows off the very well extracted wine that is characteristic of their product.  The crimson edge fades to a clear ring of glycerol.

Aroma:

Aromas are very well married.   The combination of a deep red fruit and rich oak aroma gives this wine a its full character — far richer than most Pinot Noir.  It makes this a Pinot Noir that you certainly want to to examine.  Many lighter Pinots simply walk in a different neighborhood.  On examination, we note a perfect balance and hidden in the marriage, we find gun smoke, cocoa, vanilla, clove, with plum, raspberry and darker fruits deepening the nose.

On the Palate, Archery Summit scores highly, too:

On the palate, the experience is of a silky texture and tannins that are as fine as any.  Again, the flavors are married and form a pleasant experience.  It finishes with equal harmony to a long slowly fading experience of its many flavors.

This is simply a great wine.

Rating:  94+

Emotional rating:  Extremely satisfying and smoothly pleasant

Availability:  Try winesearcher.com

A Pinot Noir for Special Moments

Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2012, Arcus Estate

Archery Summit Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2012, Arcus Estate

Archery Summit — Arcus Estate 2012 Pinot Noir

This is a winery to watch and a wine to savor in those very special moments.  The vines are planted closer together than is the usual practice in the Willamette Valley of Oregon — more like the Burgundy vineyards.  Having to fight for nutrients with the other vines in close proximity, the struggle ends, as in much of nature, with a greater strength.  This vintage ripened well, as is seen first in the unusual depth of color.  The alcohol reached 14.5% in this wine of excellent balance!  Acids, tannins, alcohol, and flavors form a homogenous unit of tasteful pleasure.

The oak treatment is also held in balance and plays a support role to the flavors of the fruit.  Blackberry and dark cherry with accompanying hints of leather and coffee underlined with a rich dark chocolate base adorn a wine that keeps its intensity long after it is opened and finishes with a long rich finish.  No edges destroy its soft and full feel and it coats the palate, adding to its fullness.

The flavors are well married and play together in satisfying harmony.  This is, in my judgment, their best vineyard.

Rating 92

Emotional rating:  A conjunctive wine that pleases all the way from sight to sip to final bow.

Available:  Try wine.com and the winery itself, as it ships to a number of states.