Oregon Winery Tidbits – Raptor Ridge, Abacela

Oregon Wineries Raptor Ridge and Abacela are featured in the news today.

raptor-ridge-pinot-grisThere’s a story about  Raptor Ridge in the Minneapolis St Paul Startribune.com.  Did you know that their Estate vineyard is called Tuscowallame (indigenous for “place where the owls dwell”)? Raptor Ridge is named for the hawks, kestrels and owls that populate their Estate  vineyard.

Bill Ward describes the Raptor Ridge Pinot gris 09 $13.45 (any 12): “Call this expressive beauty a Spice Girl: Lovely aromatics and spicy flavors complement the lemon and melon notes on the palate. The clean vibrancy lingers long on the finish. Salmon in particular and seafood in general make welcome complements for this lovely white, as do pastas and salads (but no tomatoes or citrus, whose acidity might fight with that of the wine).”

The Spokesman-Review writes about Abacela’s vineyard. Paul Gregutt writes: “The Fault Line vineyards, Earl Jones explains, fall into “two distinct provinces. To the south lie boulder-strewn loamy soils derived from ancient Cretaceous to Jurassic bedrock, while on the north are sandy cobbled soils derived from comparatively youthful seafloor sediments.”

“Some geologists have speculated that the soils of these steep cobbled hills were created by uplift about 25,000 years ago – just before Mount Mazama erupted to form Crater Lake. It is truly remarkable to think that the age of soils found feet apart on the north and south of a line could differ by as much as 224,975,000 years.”

abacela-195pAbacela makes the definitive Tempranillo in the Northwest. Paul Gregutt says: Abacela Estate Tempranillo 06 $31.46 (any 12): “The 10th release, a multiple gold medal winner, savory and scented with cured meats. This is a spicy red that marries black currant fruit to pepper and more exotic spices: curry, cumin and five spice.”

He reviews the Abacela Estate Syrah 07 $26.05 (any 12): “Packed with blue and black fruits, flavors of smoked meat and fresh herb, it’s substantial but not overbearing. Give it some extra breathing time.”

Abacela’s Viognier receives lots of writeups for its high quality. Paul Gregutt says: “A dense, mineral-driven style, layered with citrus skins and fruits, notably grapefruit and pineapple. There’s even a finishing lick of honey, though the wine is quite dry.” The Oregonian’s Matt Kramer called this “benchmark Viognier.” Abacela Viognier 09 $17.95 (any 12).

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