Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Archery Summit 2004 Pinot Noir, Arcus Estate (Dundee Hills)

Archery Summit

2004 Pinot Noir, Arcus Estate
(Dundee Hills)

When Archery Summit’s founding winemaker, Gary Andrus, began producing muscular Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs in the 1990s from 100% new oak and Dijon clone fruit, they earned big scores and national recognition for a winegrowing area that was still struggling for broad-based respect. The fact that the wines were head-turningly priced (Archery Summit made the region’s first commercial-volume Pinot priced at $100) seemed to add to their allure. When Andrus left in 2002, protégée Anna Matzinger took over as winemaker and quickly put her stamp on the wines: still assertively styled, but with a touch of added grace and elegance.

The Matzinger way with wine shows well in the 2004 vintage, particularly in the Arcus Estate bottling. Arcus is a signature vineyard in the Red Hills of Dundee, shaped like a bowl with steep exposures and Pinot plants that range from own-rooted Pommard clones going back to 1973, to Dijon clones planted in the 1990s. Its fruit typifies the Dundee Hills appellation character.

The 2004 version has a full-on Pinot-cherry fruit nose, complete with a light gamey accent and forest floor spiciness: at once smelling of fruit sweetness, yet grounded by an appealing earthiness. The same theme is reflected on the palate. Rich black cherry fruit combines with accents of violets, a touch of toast and barrel spice, pillowy tannins, and plenty of acidity: sweet and spice all at once. The finish is not powerful, but lingers nicely, with the fine tannins serving to keep the fruit flavors forward in the mouth.

Assertive fruit, balancing spice, distinct barrel overtones, yet extremely balanced: a stylish Oregon Pinot, and very much Archery Summit’s character. And in keeping with that character, this is a Pinot that will age well, easily for 3-5 years — though it could be drunk with pleasure at any time.

Reviewed August 3, 2007 by Cole Danehower.

The Wine

Winery: Archery Summit
Vineyard: Arcus Estate
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Dundee Hills
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $85.00

Review Date: 8/3/2007

The Reviewer

Cole Danehower

Cole Danehower is the creator of the Oregon Wine Report. A frequent judge and a member of Northwest Palate magazine’s review panel, Cole's palate is particularly attuned to Northwest wines. He believes numerical scoring is inadequate in conveying the character of a wine, preferring to communicate his experience and evaluation of a wine through words. A believer in terroir (especially in Oregon's cooler growing regions) he also pays attention to the impact of winemaking style and vintage variation on a wine. He views balance, flavor purity, and a sense of character as key vinous virtues.