In Review: Savor the Summer with Archery Summit

Hello Friends,

I was recently tapped by the good folks over at Charles Communications Associates to participate in Archery Summit’s first ever Twitter TasteLive event. Aptly named “Savor the Summer with Archery Summit,” several wine bloggers and I joined Archery Summit’s winemaker Anna Matzinger and winegrower Leigh Bartholomew to taste through and discuss three of their new summertime releases. Archery Summit Winery, established in 1993, is a premier Pinot Noir producer located in the Dundee Hills (a sub-appellation within the greater Willamette Valley of Oregon). They specialize in crafting small batches of elegant wines that express the uniqueness of their five estate vineyards (approximately 120 farming acres).

Archery Summit "Savor the Summer" Lineup

Named for the region’s distinct red volcanic soils, the Red Hills of Dundee is where a young man -- who would later go on to be known as “Papa Pinot,” planted the Willamette Valley’s first Pinot Noir vines in 1965. Approximately three years after the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting (that put California on the wine map), the young man’s 1975 Eyrie Vineyards’ Pinot Noir made a very respectable showing at a wine competition held in Paris and did equally as well the following year in Beaune, France. With interest sparked, the Willamette Valley of Oregon went from being relatively unknown to garnering – and deservingly so, the attention of the wine world. Nowadays, the Willamette Valley of Oregon is often referred to right behind Burgundy, France, for world-class Pinot Noir production. Producers like Archery Summit Winery continue what a small group of (namely UC Davis graduates) young wine enthusiasts started over four decades ago. These passionate growers had a vision (to grow world-class Pinot Noir like the great red wines of Burgundy) and a theory (the Willamette Valley’s marginal climate would support the vision), that as outrageous as it must have seemed back then … worked. On this evening, the proof was in the glass and I had a wonderful time savoring the summer with Archery Summit and their new summer releases. See my notes below. Cheers!

* Archery Summit 2011 Vireton Rosé (SRP $24) 100% Pinot Noir sourced from their five estate vineyards and produced in the saignée method. In the glass, this wine displays a lovely light salmon color with fresh strawberry and raspberry aromas and soft rose petals and tree fruit notes. This is a bright and refreshing rosé that’s extremely versatile and food friendly. For me, it paired nicely with the hot/humid summer day and Thai-style coconut shrimp appetizer. There’s nothing like mouthwatering acidity and a crisp finish in a dry rosé. It is definitely worth seeking out for summertime cookouts, picnics, or … just to have around the house with a good book or IPod!

* Archery Summit 2010 Willamette Valley Premier Cuvée Pinot Noir (SRP $48): A very nice blend of all five [estate] vineyards, offering black cherry, cranberry, dried rose petals, and spiced perfume aromas with forest floor and baking spice undertones. The aromas extend to the [well-balanced] palate with a silky mouth-feel, moderate complexity, and smooth tannin structure ... ending pleasing and long. An exceptionally food-friendly and versatile wine that would pair nicely with anything from grilled wild salmon [trust me, I tried it] to grilled rack of lamb.

* Archery Summit 2010 Dundee Hills Arcus Estate Pinot Noir (SRP $100): Single vineyard, 41 acre estate of mature vine plantings (planted from 1973 thru 1996) in the red hills of Dundee. In the glass, the wine displays a beautiful deep garnet color with a complex spectrum of dark stone fruit, shy cherry notes, citrus peel nuances, anise, cocoa, and floral perfume scents. This wine is focused and harmonious with layers of nuanced complexity. She flirts with richness and ripeness without compromising elegance and grace. This youthful Pinot Noir drinks well now but will also, in my humble opinion, evolve over time trading its youthful charms for mature and sophisticated attractiveness. Serious Pinot enthusiasts will want some for now and definitely some for later. This wine will more than likely reward those with patience.

Click here to visit the Archery Summit Winery website.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

Disclosure: This wine was provided as a media sample to participate in an online event. Thoughts are my own.

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