Raptor Ridge is a Willamette Valley-based producer of the typical Oregon grape varietals — plus a couple of twists, one of which we check out below in this roundup of three warm weather-friendly white wines from this Newberg-based operation.
2019 Raptor Ridge Pinot Gris Willamette Valley – A classic expression of pinot gris, floral and fruity in equal proportions, with notes of lemon, overripe apple, grapefruit, and honeysuckle all well represented. It’s a bit sweet on the finish, with notes of sesame and coconut present, but the overall presentation seems right on the money for the varietal. A- / $30
2018 Raptor Ridge Auxerrois Willamette Valley Zenith Vineyard – Auxerrois is an Alsatian cousin to chardonnay often blended with pinot blanc, and here it presents as a mild, innocuous base upon which something might be constructable. On its own, the light pear, gentle lemon, and vague florals offer a truly harmless foundation, some peppery greenness emerging on the otherwise short and unremarkable finish. B / $35
2018 Raptor Ridge Chardonnay Willamette Valley Gran Moraine Vineyard – With plenty of fruit to work with, this mildly oaked wine offers layers of lemon curd, coconut, and sesame oil, atop a lightly spiced apple core (no pun intended). Vanilla creeps into the mix as the finish builds, but it never comes close to overwhelming the senses with too much oak. Gentle, and on the whole quite well balanced. A- / $35