You know those vertical tastings that you actually walk away both refreshed and highly satisfied? This was one of them. Archery Summit is one of the great historic wineries in Oregon. This wine program was founded by Oregon wine pioneer Gary Andrus who founded not only Archery Summit but Pine Ridge Winery in Napa. Gary came to Oregon and began making Oregon Pinot Noir with nearly no experience taming the varietal. We were fortunate enough to try Gary’s first vintage, the 1993 Archery Summit ‘Red Hills Estate’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 91) which was a remarkable wine even now, some 25 years later. Holding strong is the 1994 Archery Summit ‘Arcus Estate’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 90) which is still holding some good weight and tension. The wine struck me for something out of the 2000s vintage!
New Archery Summit winemaker, Ian Burch, guided us through the tasting. Ian was previously with Evening Land prior to coming to Archery Summit in the Spring of 2018. He is very excited at the potential for Pinot Noir at Archery Summit and has been in the Willamette Valley for ten years. He presented the wines to a group of media, what was a highly memorable tasting of Pinot Noir. Ian was initially drawn to Archery Summit due to the volcanic soils that create terroir that excited him. We all could not believe how good the 2011 Archery Summit ‘Arcus Estate’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) showed. This cold vintage was panned by critics (myself included) as a relatively poor vintage — when in fact the wines that were released were simply closed and not ready to drink (or review). I am planning an upcoming 2011 Oregon retrospective to further prove myself wrong. The ’11 was a simply dazzling wine that had wonderful Burgundian notes yet showed a wonderfully rich texture and tension. Similarly, another wine from a cool vintage, the 2007 Archery Summit ‘Archery Summit Estate’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) was a remarkable achievement from what was a challenging vintage in the Willamette Valley. The wine showed remarkable range and wonderful viscosity considering the coolness of the vintage. The cool vintage wines were some of many highlights from this historic tasting. Learn more about this great estate at http://www.archerysummit.com Here are my tasting notes from what was a glorious tasting through the history of one of Willamette Valley’s great properties, Archery Summit.
2016 Archery Summit ‘Renegade Ridge Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This wine utilizes Dijon clones 667, 114, 115, 777 as well as Pommard. This was aged for 12 months in 30% new French oak prior to bottling. The wine starts off with red fruits that dominate the nose with a touch of citrus rind. The palate is quite primary but shows good weight and acidity. Blackberry cobbler and forest floor flavors come to mind. This shows good elegance and potential but be sure not to touch this for at least another year. Drink 2019-2033- 91
2014 Archery Summit ‘Arcus Estate’ Pinot Noir- The 2014 ‘Arcus Estate’ is a blend of Pommard and Dijon clones sourced from a 39 acre estate vineyard in the Dundee Hills. The wine was aged for 9 months in 49% new French oak prior to bottling. This starts off with a bouquet of dark fruits and spicebox aromatics. The wine really needs time in the glass for the aromas to develop. The palate is tightly wound with copious dark fruits and lovely wet stone and peat moss character. There is marvelous tension in the wine. Tightly wound now, this needs more than another year to be fully drinking at its peak. Drink 2020-2040- 94
2012 Archery Summit ‘Archer’s Edge’ Pinot Noir- The 2012 ‘Archer’s Edge’ is comprised of Dijon clones 667, 777 and 115 as the wine was aged for nine months in 29% French oak prior to bottling. This opens with a gorgeous aromatic profile as peat moss, forest floor, with wild blackberry preserves that fill the glass. The palate has really good tension as citrus fruits, cigar ash, red currant and peat moss flavors beautifully mingle together. A long ager, this is drinking marvelously right now but can cellar for more than another decade. Drink 2018-2033- 93
2011 Archery Summit ‘Arcus Estate’ Pinot Noir- The 2011 ‘Arcus Estate’ by Archery Summit is a stunning wine that shows marvelous range and tension. The wine was aged for 12 months prior to bottling. This shows cran-orange, wet stone, forest floor and spicebox aromatics fill the glass and marvelously amalgamate. The palate shows great mouth-watering acidity which makes it difficult for you to put it down. Blood orange rind, black truffle, red currant, red cherry puree and guava flavors build in the glass. Exceedingly delicious right now, this gorgeous effort will continue to cellar marvelously over the next ten plus years. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2010 Archery Summit ‘Red Hills Estate’ Pinot Noir- The 2010 Archery Summit ‘Red Hills Estate’ is a stunning bottling by this estate. The wine was aged for 13 months in 53% new French oak prior to bottling and was initially released in March 2012. The wine shows an aromatic profile of damp soil, dried red cherry, sage and black truffle crudo. As the wine slowly builds in the glass it reveals gorgeous red fruit flavors with blood orange and peat moss flavors. The mouth-watering acidity really drives this wine, as does the exceedingly long finish. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2008 Archery Summit ‘Red Hills Estate’ Pinot Noir- The 2008 ‘Red Hills Estate’ is a blend of Dijon Clones 115, 777 and Pomard. The wine was aged in 62% new French oak for ten months prior to bottling. The oak influence adds some richness to the wine which shows off dark fruits on the palate and nose. The weight and tension to the wine is impressive. Showing a nice mid-palate saline streak, this shows really good range and will cellar marvelously for another decade. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2007 Archery Summit ‘Archery Summit Estate’ Pinot Noir- The 2007 ‘Archery Summit Estate’ was aged in 60% French oak for 15 months prior to bottling. The wine starts off with aromas of toasty oak with red currant and red cherry with a touch of spicebox and forest floor. The earthy tones here are really nice. The palate shows really good tension, weight and lively acidity. It fairly incredible that this 2007 shows this degree of weight and dense dark fruits. The volcanic soil influence is profound here as this stunning wine will cellar well for another decade or more. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2005 Archery Summit ‘Archery Summit Estate’ Pinot Noir-Coming from a slightly cool vintage, the 2005 ‘Archery Summit Estate’ smoke, cigar ash, red cherry preserves and wild blackberry. The palate shows a wonderful mouthfeel and bright red fruit profile with touches of citrus rind and wild blackberry. Still bright, this is drinking pretty well and will hold for five plus more years. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2002 Archery Summit ‘Red Hills Estate’ Pinot Noir- A truly fabulous vintage, the 2002 ‘Red Hills Estate’ Pinot Noir comes from 25 year old Pinot Noir plantings. The wines as aged for 14 months in 100% new French oak prior to bottling. This opens with aromas of toasty oak, smoke, red currant jelly and forest floor. The mouthfeel and viscosity to the wine is gorgeous, as this shows a really nice combination of weight and elegance. The earthy terroir to the wine shines as well as this is best enjoyed within the next five years. Drink 2018-2024- 92
1998 Archery Summit ‘Arcus Estate’ Pinot Noir- The quite evolved musty nose jumps out immediately as the wine shows a striking rim variation. This is showing a touch of oxidation at this juncture. In the glass the wine unveils a really nice elegance with medium weight and good minerality. The tension really drives this wine. Drink now. Drink 2018-2020- 89
1994 Archery Summit ‘Arcus Estate’ Pinot Noir- The wine comes from a cool vintage that produced wines of great acidity. This shows stewed red fruits on the nose with a touch of oxidation. The palate is showing really good balance at this juncture with lovely peat moss and red cherry and strawberry flavors with a saline streak. If blinded I would have guessed a 2000s vintage. Drink 2018-2022- 90
1993 Archery Summit ‘Red Hills Estate’ Pinot Noir- This wine was aged in 100% new French oak and shows a toasty oak influence on the nose. There is a dark fruit influence on the nose with wild blackberry coming into play. The palate shows a surprisingly good amount of acidity with orange rind, red cherry candy and wild blackberry flavors still alive. The range and tension of the wine is really impressive. This still has a few years left. Drink 2018-2022- 91