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Raptor Ridge Winery

Owner(s) Annie Shull, Scott Shull
Web site www.raptoridge.com
 
Link to this site

Raptor Ridge is a specialist in Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris located in a modern winery facility and tasting room in Newberg, Oregon adjacent the 18-acre estate vineyard. Owner and winemaker Scott Shull founded Raptor Ridge in 1995 and crafted early vintages in a renovated horse barn next to his home. As his business expanded, he added his wife Annie as Co-Owner and Sales and Marketing Director in 2000 and wine production was moved off property into a number of shared winery spaces. A new winery 9,400-square-foot winery was opened in 2010 allowing production on the 27-acre estate property.

Wines are crafted from the Estate Vineyard (named "Tuscowallame," the indigenous word for "where the owls dwell") as well as eleven well-known winegrowers including Harbinger Vineyard, Hawk's View Vineyard, Shaw Vineyard, and Arbor Vert Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains), Gran Moraine Vineyard, Shea Vineyard and Yamhill Springs Vineyard (Yamhill-Carlton AVA), Bellevue Cross Vineyard, Meredith Mitchell Vineyard and Stony Mountain Vineyard (McMinnville AVA). The first harvest from the Estate Vineyard, which is primarily planted to Pinot Noir, was 2006. The name of the winery relates to birds of prey that share the property.

Scott Shull is still a consultant for the Intel Corporation where he coordinates ecological strategies. He favors richly flavored Pinot Noirs showing both deep red and blue fruit flavors. The wines have received considerable praise in the wine press. Current production is about 6,500 cases, 10% of which is estate grown. Raptor Ridge is a strong supporter of Salud The Oregon Wine Auction, donating 10 cents for every bottle of its wine sold to Salud for vineyard worker health care. Scott and Annie Shull are the first winery to employ this admirable practice.

The tasting room with sweeping views of Mount Hood, Adams and St. Helens is open seasonally and by appointment. The address is 18700 SW Hillsboro Hwy and the phone is 503-887-5595. The wines are available on the website and through limited retail distribution.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Raptor Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 1825 cases, $28, screwcap. A blend of grapes from several vineyards including Meredith Mitchell, Shea, Aubre Verte, Goodrich, Olenick, Atticus and the Estate. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of spicy marionberry jam, blackberries and a hint of oak vanillin. Discreetly concentrated flavors of spiced berries, pomegranates, and plum with echoes of oak and vanilla in the background. Soft in the mouth and easy to drink, with restrained tannins and refreshing acidity. A touch shallow on the mid palate and finish. Score: 88. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2012 Raptor Ridge Gran Moraine Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 127 cases, $45. Released November 2013. Willakenzie soils. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is extravagantly appointed with bright aromas of fresh black cherries, black berries and a hint of oak. Rich and sappy, but not jammy, with deep, mouth coating flavors of blackberries, black cherries and Hoison sauce with many additional nuances including spice, vanilla and cola. Very soft and luxurious on the palate with a firm, but not astringent tannic backbone, and a long, long finish. Still needs time to fully integrate the tannins but this wine is brimming with pleasure. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2012 Raptor Ridge Estate Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 276 cases, $55. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A complex and chameleon nose that changes in the glass over time. Aromas of black cherry, dark berry jam, marzipan, humus, earthy flora and oak emerge. The boysenberry, black cherry and black plum fruit has a glass-filling presence but the wine is endlessly gentle. A little sous bois adds interest. The tannins are muscular but not astringent and need time to soften and integrate. The wine becomes significantly better over an hour’s time in the glass. Great potential here long term. Score: 92. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Raptor Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 2,200 cases, $25, screwcap. Released December 15, 2012. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Darker fruits are featured on the nose including black cherries with a touch of spice and oak. Light and elegant, with satisfying cherry, blueberry and pomegranate flavors, finishing with an uplifting spiced cherry note. Gossamer tannins and every easy to drink. An impressive Willamette Valley blend. Buy this by the case for satisfying everyday drinking. Good (+). Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Raptor Ridge Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alcohol, <935 cases, $45, screwcap. Released September 2013. 49% Estate, 17% Meredith Mitchell, 12% Shea, 10% Aubre Vert, 7% Goodrich and 5% Olenik vineyards. Harvest between October 18 and November 2, 2011. Diverse yeast program, 19 day fermentation, aged 9 months in 18% new French oak cooperage. · Effusive scents of dark red cherry pie glaze with a hint of toasty oak. Mid weight dark cherry and plum fruit is featured backed by supple tannins, juicy acidity and complimentary oak. Slightly more fruit intensity and finish than the Estate bottling. The finish is worth special mention as it is strikingly long and lush. This wine will continue to develop and pick up interest with another year or two in bottle. Score: 91. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Raptor Ridge Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., <600 cases, $50, screwcap. Released May 2013. Grapes harvested at ripeness on October 25, 2011, just before the fall rains at 21º Brix. 10-day cold soak, inoculated with Williams Selyem liquid yeast culture, aged 9 months in 27% new French oak barrels. A selection of the finest barrels. · Moderately light red color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of strawberries, cherries, spice and graham. Delicate but flavorful, featuring red fruits, baking spices and the slightest oak, finishing with a very juicy, citrus-driven finish. Impressive balance and integration of oak. Judged in the context of the vintage, this wine is quite reflective and enjoyable. Score: 90. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Raptor Ridge Gran Moraine Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., <200 cases, $38, screwcap. Released March 15, 2012. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. A relatively austere wine with hi-tone acidity. Aromas of dark berry preserves, sweet pea and resin. Tasty core of dark berries and black plum sauce with oak and a green thread running through. Light in weight with balanced tannins and a bright finish. Lively acidity really elevates this wine. Good. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Raptor Ridge Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 175 cases, $38, screwcap. Release early 2013. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nose-filling aromas of spiced red stone fruits. Discreetly concentrated core of dark red and purple fruits including grapes, with a juicy finish that lasts and lasts. Satisfying fullness and roundness with a very appealing velvety mouth feel. Everything is in place with balanced dry tannins, zippy acidity and perfectly ripened fruit. This vineyard performed beautifully in this vintage. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Raptor Ridge Olenik Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 100 cases, $38, screwcap. Released March 15, 2012. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is appealing with an array of aromas including dark berries, sassafras, hickory, pepper and floral accents. Tastes of the essence of blackberries with an oaky, earthy edge. Well-balanced dry tannins provide good support and bright acidity on the finish infuses the wine with vigor. Good. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Raptor Ridge Trig Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 50 cases, $41, screwcap. Released June 2012. A barrel select blend of 50% Shea Vineyard and 50% Meredith Mitchell Vineyard grapes. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed initially with aromas of cherry, cranberry and spice, fading in appeal over time as aromas of tobacco, herbs and geranium emerge. Light and juicy on the palate with cherry and red berry flavors, supported by fine-grain tannins and a lively riff of acidity. Decent. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Raptor Ridge Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 250 cases, $55, screwcap. Released November 15, 2012. · Light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The fruit hasn’t emerged on the nose. Aromas of oak and coffee are at the forefront with deep cherry and berry aromas in the background. Relatively light but satisfying featuring delicious dark berry fruit complimented by oak, finishing very long. Very young and needs time to soften the tannins and fully integrate the oak, but the pedigree of the fruit is evident. Good (+). Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2006 Raptor Ridge Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

15.2% alc., 1,104 cases, $29. A blend of seven Willamette Valley vineyards and a potpourri of all commonly grown clones in Oregon. 100% de-stemmed into 1.5 ton fermenters for a 4-day cold soak. Fermentation initiated naturally and then inoculated with commercial yeasts. Aged in 44% new French oak. · Spiced cherry and melon aromas. Moderately rich core of dark red fruits with a deft touch of oak. Fat on the palate and polished with supple tannins. The alcohol is well-integrated. Quite decent but not exceptional. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Raptor Ridge Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Pinot Noir

15.5% alc., 192 cases, $35. · A plush palate of dark berries, earth, meat, and game with a barely noticeable nerve of acidity. Admirable integration of oak and alcohol. Substantial tannins may require more time to meld. Reviewed December 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Raptor Ridge Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

15.1% alc., <480 cases, $37. The name of this producer comes from the 27-acre estate in the Chehalem Mountains that is populated by raptors (birds of prey). · Pleasant and complex perfume of red Pinot fruits, herbs, vegetable garden, vitamins and pears. Earthy and brooding on the palate with flavors of dark cherries and currents and a hint of green tomato. With time in the glass, more red fruits emerge, including red cherries and cranberries. Admirable elegance and balance with the alcohol perfectly integrated. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Raptor Ridge Adalfo’s Block Raptor Ridge Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

15.4% alc., $48.The 27-acre Raptor Ridge estate vineyard was planted to several clones in 2001 in deep Laurelwood soil. This wine represents the first harvest from the estate vineyard. · The palate of dark fruits is vigorous with flavor and character. The sappy blackberry liquor is long and tasty. A gentle touch of herbs and spice adds interest. The alcohol is well-integrated and the whole package is quite satisfying. Reviewed December 17, 2008 ARTICLE »