Continuing our great journey through Oregon Wine Month, we bring you one of the historic Oregon wineries. Raptor Ridge was founded in 1995 and almost immediately gained national acclaim for their Pinot Noirs. Founder and co-winemaker, Scott Shull, first started making terroir driven wines in 1995. Originally from Missouri, Scott is a self-taught winemaker, having learned by doing, reading, and attending extension service courses on viticulture and enology offered by U.C. Davis and Oregon State University.
Shannon Gustafson, combines with Scott Shull to make a great team. Shannon has been making wine out of her hometown of Paso Robles, CA for the past fourteen years. Having previously worked harvests in McLaren Vale, Shannon worked as winemaker for Hawks View winery in Oregon prior to coming to Raptor Ridge. The new releases were gorgeous across the board. One of the great Oregon Rose wines that I sampled in my 2018 Rose Report, the 2017 Raptor Ridge Rose (WWB, 90) shows really good poise and range. This is a downright delicious Rose that is impossible to resist. Even better is the stunning 2015 Raptor Ridge ‘Shea Vineyard’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 92) which has everything you want from a great Shea Vineyard bottling. Deep and dark, yet earthy, this is a gorgeous wine that will cellar at least for another decade. Learn more about this fantastic historic Oregon winery at http://www.raptorridgewinery.com Here are the great new releases by Raptor Ridge.
2017 Raptor Ridge Rose- This Rose was actually barrel fermented for a short time. The nose has cantaloupe with wild mushroom and red fruits. Really good acidity marks the mid-palate as the silky smooth mouthfeel impresses. Candied raspberry, guava and red cherry flavors persist. This is an outstanding effort by Raptor Ridge. Drink 2018-2022- 90
2016 Raptor Ridge ‘Gran Moraine Vineyard’ Chardonnay- Sourced from one of the great vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, the wine begins with intense aromas of brioche and creme brûlée with lemon zest. The palate is rich as the wine improves when enjoyed at a warmer temperature. Vanilla creme brulee, Meyer lemon meringue and poached pear mark this delicious effort. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2015 Raptor Ridge ‘Shea Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This deep colored wine starts off with smoke, black truffle and black cherry compote on the nose. The weight and minerlality to this wine is outstanding. Black tea, black cherry and wild blackberry cobbler flavors impress. There is almost a dash of milk chocolate on the finish. Burly, considering the AVA, this wine impresses in a hot vintage. Drink 2018-2028- 92