FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar
2001 Archery Summit Renegade Ridge Estate Oregon Pinot Noir
Single-mindedness is not the sole secret to success, but it certainly has defined the ethos of Archery Summit since Gary Andrus, the original winemaker, founded the estate in 1993 to produce New World Pinot Noir with a decidedly Burgundian flair. This focus persists under the tutelage of Archery Summit’s current winemaker, Anna Matzinger, and vineyard manager Leigh Bartholomew, who oversees four estate vineyards comprising more than 100 acres near Dundee, Ore.
Renegade Ridge, the most recent of these properties to come on line, adjoins the renowned Archery Summit Estate and is planted with a careful selection of Dijon clones. In 2001, the fine conditions and southeast orientation of this vineyard imbued the fruit with deep, complex flavors, a powerful nose, and exquisite overall balance. The darkly luminous red revealed as this wine is held to the light presages the combination of alternately vibrant and smoldering scents and flavors with which it regales one’s senses. Profound black cherry, plum, and sweet pomegranate lay the foundation for a succession of spicier essences, including nutmeg, cedar, and a touch of pepper. Sultry mushroom and earth linger lastingly on the lengthy finish.
2001 Spring Mountain Vineyard Elivette
Though numerous Napa Valley appellations can claim superb growing conditions, few boast the physical beauty of Spring Mountain—or the historic legacy, for that matter, of the region’s namesake, Spring Mountain Vineyard. Located on the very edge of St. Helena, this lushly forested, 845-acre estate contains four properties that figure prominently in Napa’s past—Alba, Chevalier, La Perla, and a property that incorporates Spring Mountain’s original 1885 winery and caves, Miravalle. Spring Mountain’s vintage pedigree, however, has been embellished by a series of talented winemakers; the most recent is Jac Cole, whose 2001 Elivette captures the spirit of this extraordinary estate, so long admired for its Reserve Cabernet blends. Exceptional beauty of color, fragrance, and taste confirm the estate’s reputation. Heavily concentrated black fruit progresses slowly toward an effusion of rich oak and a long, delicately spiced finish.