2010 Chehalem "Ridgecrest" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1116673 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 The best of the three vineyard designates in 2010, this firm and full-flavored wine is still a bit tight, and rewards extra breathing time. A bowl-full of berries and plums, nicely framed with pretty mocha highlights.  (3/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Chehalem’s 2010 Pinot Noir Ridgecrest Vineyard offers another instance in this collection of tart red berries allied to rhubarb in a penetratingly bright, invigoratingly tart and firmly textured performance. In this instance we have something downright brash – if infectiously energetic – that I’d want to re-taste in a year or two before attempting a prognosis regarding its bottle evolution. “The Ridgecrest Pinots take another six months to a year after the others to open up,” opines Peterson-Nedry, who won’t release this until after the corresponding Crowley and Stoller bottlings.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

From the winemaker: "A complex, 3-dimensional, dark-fruited Pinot Noir, with Christmas spice, molasses, dark chocolate, sassafras and tobacco accents, this is a rich wine typical of Ribbon Ridge. The cubic nature of the wine shows fleshy berry fruit and wood spices, but interleafed with broad, subtle, smooth and velvety tannins, and sewn together by light acidity. Young, rewarding more time in the bottle."

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Price: $44.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/5/2013 | Send Email
The Chehalem Ridgecrest was the star of this past Saturday's California vs. Oregon Pinot Noir tasting. This bottle of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir had the power that one would expect for a top end bottling from one of the best producers in the state, but its biggest advantage over the rest of what we tasted was complexity and depth. This Pinot has it all; bacony, catnip like oak, wild, brambly fruit, a great savory quality on the palate and fantastic acidity and length. What a star bottle!
Drink from 2013 to 2025

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.1