Review: 2012 Lupine Vineyards Roses and Ribbons Pinot Noir, Lake Chelan AVA

Yes, a Washington Pinot Noir.

We named it Roses and Ribbons in homage to the Bob Hunter- Grateful Dead's song, "It Must have Been the Roses."
- Robert Anderson

There is precious little Pinot Noir made in Washington. We lack the climate for this most delicate fruit. Naturally I was curious about how well it would show in this bottling.

Tasting Notes

This wine was timid and required patience, almost two hours, for it to open.

Color: Ruby.
Nose: Earthy raspberry, marmalade toast.
Palate: Medium body, bright, good grip on the tongue and inner lip, cinnamon, raspberry, orange on the dry, medium-short finish.

Day two: Bigger and drier, tannin more obvious and appreciated. Hint of strawberry on the nose and an herbal note, with blackberry fruit leather and black pepper on the tongue, a dry raspberry finish. This bad boy is just coming to speed. It's a young wine and should only improve in bottle. I'd hold for 3 months and start pulling corks over the next 3 years.

Thoughts: What a contrasty wine; on day one a modest and delicate Pinot Noir and an enjoyable accompaniment to dinner of Lamb Loin Chops. On day two it was big, dry, with dark fruit and grippy. For those who prefer delicacy over power, this wine will suit now. If you are looking to understand the potential for Washington Pinot Noir you won't be disappointed. Open and drink the second day for a much bigger wine.

An interesting wine and worth your attention. Please, decant first. Recommended + Great Value.

AVA: Lake Chelan
Closure: Natural Cork
ABV: 13.6%
13 months in neutral oak
Winemaker: Robert Anderson
Sample Provided by: Lupine Vineyards
SRP: $20

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Neglected Pinot Noir.

Note from the winemaker: "Common thought is that these grapes would be sub-standard at best and probably un-useable. In some years that may still be true. The location, the wind, the minimal ground water source and what might just be the toughest Pinot in the West conspire to make this a remarkable source for a few barrels. Why? The owner is unable to invest any effort and may sell the land to a developer at any time, so spending thousands to redress years of inattention without some surety is a risky endeavor. The vineyard had zero positive attention. No spray, no water, no mowing, no roundup- nothing for more than 5 years. Without pruning we have had to hand pick clusters that were both ripe and free of problems."

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About the winemaker: “Robert Anderson is a biologist and winemaker... As Operations Manager at the Seattle Aquarium, his experience in pumps and pipes, process control and chemistry serve him well...” Lupine Vineyards was established in 2010. It is located north of Lake Chelan, Washington.


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