Andrew Rich’s passion for wine was nurtured not in the soils of Willamette but in the urban sprawl of NYC, where he once edited the wine column for a national magazine. When the pull of wine outgrew that of publishing, he headed to Burgundy to study winemaking & viticulture. This move led him to California’s small but influential Bonny Doon Vineyard. Skills honed, Andrew headed to Oregon in 1994 with the quixotic vision of making Rhône-style wines in the Willamette Valley from Columbia Valley grapes. He was a little ahead of the curve: it wasn’t until 2000 that he could finally realize that vision. Meanwhile, he discovered his love of Pinot Noir, which became the more dominant prong of his focus. The intent is always to make wines of balance, grace, and sheer deliciousness.
The 25-year-old Block Y Pommard was harvested early to preserve freshness. The final blend from which this lot was selected represents just four out of 10 barrels (25% new, 75% neutral). Intense red berry fruit; a lush, sexy midpalate that nonetheless shows verve and lift; and a long, harmonious finish create a wine of power and grace.
The grapes for this label were sourced from marine sedimentary soils just south of Eola-Amity Hills, where it is surprisingly warm. The Pacific Northwest has a reputation for terroir, which stands out to give the grapes excellent drinkability and character. Notably, Andrew’s Pinot Noir develops the style and elegance of Oregon but delivers bright fruit with a mineral-driven backbone.
Vivid red fills the glass while the first scents of Spice-accented aromas of raspberry, cola, and pungent flowers carry energizing mineral top notes, arriving swiftly after the first pour. Sappy and focused in the mouth, offering appealingly sweet red berry, cherry, and spice-cake flavors that show impressive depth and a bracing undercurrent of smoky minerality. It conveys a suave blend of power and vivacity, finishing very long and silky, with repeating florality and discreet, slow-building tannins.