Ruby Vineyard Mystery Delivery
Three bottles of wine arrived with no advance notice on my doorstep a few weeks ago. Intrigued, I opened them all over several days last week. They are very accessible, ready-to-drink Oregon bottlings from the Willamette that carry very reasonable price tags. The Chardonnay is the Goldilocks wine of the trio for QPR. I’m so curious to learn more about why I received these wines, but it is always a pleasure to see what is happening in Oregon through the window of a sample set!
Ruby Vineyard 2016 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 13.5% $25
This is a light and wispy Pinot Noir with plentiful elegance creating an approachable palate. Its red fruit character is juicy and combines with lifted acidity and feathery tannins to deliver an integrated finish of earthy, spicy character. It’s all about the approachability, and this is perfect for drinking now. Were it priced just under $20, I feel the quality-price ratio would be more in line.
Ruby Vineyard 2016 Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains Estate Blend 13.3% $45
This is a brisk, red-fruited Pinot Noir with lively acidity and a zippy, lingering finish of minerally, earthy tones. It’s a classic combo of pure Pinot Noir fruit showcased in an Oregonian, terroir-driven style. While the fruit is bright and ephemeral, the tannins have a decided tug that suggests it is best placed at the table rather than sipped as an aperitif. The primary - and somedrawback is the somewhat thinly concentrated flavors strung across the medium-bodied palate.
Ruby Vineyard 2016 Chardonnay Willamette Valley 13.2% $25
Pleasantly plump on the mid-palate and refreshing on the back-palate, this wine is a textbook Chardonnay that balances medium-bodied ripeness with solid acidic brightness and reasonable alcoholic strength. The ample apple and leesy flavors are straightforward and classic, giving it a New World “anywhere-ness”, but it is perfectly drinkable and pleasant. Moreover, its 300-case production level will give it caché for its über-tiny production to solid value combo.