Wine Advocate rating 92 points! Wine Advocate says: "Combining power and density with grace and purity, it regales the palate with massive quantities of blackberries, dark cherries, cassis, and chocolate. Medium to full-bodied and ample, it reveals a wonderful juxtaposition between purity/freshness and ripeness/richness. Projected maturiy: now-2012."
It is characteristically brawny, briery, dusty black-fruited, and occasionally currant or cassis, hallmarks of Ribbon Ridge wines. Deep sweet fruit has been balanced with fine tannin structure in recent years, which, with good acidic structure, gives good ageability. - the winery
Detailed Info, Previous Vintage Notes, Reviews:
Oregon Wine Report, Issue 20, Cole Danehower: A- (in Cole's top ten 2002 Oregon Pinot Noir) ...Big, herby, earthy aromas waft above a core of dark, brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit...In the mouth, the wine delivers deliciously smooth flavors of big black berries with a slight, tart uptick reminiscent of sun-drenched raspberries...There is good complexity in this wine, with additional notes of summer-hot, dry dirt, warm gravel, dark licorice, and Provence lavender...The finish is quite fine, with long lasting flavors of black fruit in the foreground, and flower blossoms in the background...A big, luscious wine that puts the best characteristics of the vintage on show...
From the winery: This wine is the oldest of the three vineyard-designated pinot noirs we produce. Chehalem has made a Ridgecrest Vineyards Pinot Noir since its first release in 1990, with selected barrels going to an upper-end elegant Rion Reserve from Ridgecrest, since 1994, and any not measuring up to this standard being designated 3-Vineyard. It is characteristically brawny, briery, dusty black-fruited, and occasionally currant or cassis, hallmarks of Ribbon Ridge wines. Deep sweet fruit has been balanced with fine tannin structure in recent years, which, with good acidic structure, gives good ageability.
Our oldest estate vineyard, Ridgecrest is a 37 acre vineyard on a 72 acre property. Beginning in 1980, this site pioneered grapegrowing on Ribbon Ridge, a small ridge on the western end of the Chehalem Range. Soils are Willakenzie, a transition soil series exhibiting characteristics of both volcanic and sedimentary underlying structures, marine sediment being predominant. The rich, supple black cherry and blackberry fruits are characteristic of Ridgecrest Vineyards and the Willakenzie soil series. Excellent acidity and a finesseful texture and finish are hallmarks of the vineyard site, being relatively high in elevation, mature in vine age and deeply rooted. Wines are very ageable.
2002 is an amazing vintage, characterized by an early, warm growing season, a spurt of rain prior to the harvest period that served to stabilize sugars, acids and pHs, and a dry, long harvest period with cool-to-moderate temperatures that allowed us to pick at precisely timed points for ultimate ripeness. For example, Pinot noir was picked over a full month, from September 26 through October 26. Healthy croploads permitted full ripeness over this extended harvest, with excellent concentration and retained acidities
Classic Ridgecrest, moderate garnet/purple color, impressions of black and red fruits such as marionberry, black raspberry and cherry on nose and palate; earth/mineral/metal vibrancy on the palate along with slight dried herbs and menthol; dusty berry from Willakenzie soils; good length with a broad, planar dimension to the wine. Not extreme in what could have been an extreme, imbalanced and tannic vintage.