P I A
Summit Winery was founded by Nancy and
Gary Andrus in 1993, and is the
‘sister’ operation of Pine
Ridge Winery in the Napa Valley.
Both Nancy and Gary retired from active
participation a year or so ago, and after a publicized divorce, Gary Andrus
has remarried. George Scheppler, President
and C.E.O. of Pine Ridge Winery, LLC, now handles the operation of the
White (right), a lovely young lady whose smile lights up the room,
warmly greeted us and since there was already a group of tasters in the room
when we arrived, we grabbed glasses and jumped right in.
2001 Veritan – a Pinot Gris
based white blend – gentle aromas of pear – lively and fruity in the mouth
– flavors follow the nose – good acidity – a pleasant quaffer.
2000 Premiere Cuvee Oregon
Pinot Noir – somewhat subdued in the nose with hints of Bing cherry –
medium weight in the mouth with pleasant spectrum of cherry flavors and
slightly tart acidity - still has some tannins that need to resolve. Cleanly
made, and finishes cleanly. Overpriced at $45.
2000 Pinot Noir Red Hills
– a single vineyard wine – corked. And, actually an interesting little
vignette – we were tasting with a group of interns from neighboring
wineries. Some from Australia, others from geographically diverse places, and
with varying experience. Five or six other tasters had sampled the wine, and
none suggested that it suffered from cork taint.
Do we lack the confidence to suggest a
wine is flawed – especially when in the company of other “experienced”
tasters? Are we too unsure of our own palates to be the first one to speak up?
2000 Pinot Noir Renegade
Ridge – lovely stemmy quality in the aromatics – very pretty in the
mouth – bright and nicely balanced flavors – medium weight – clean with
a long finish. Quite delicious.
2000 Pinot Noir Red Hills
– second taste, this from a new bottle. Again, that ‘stemmy’ character
in the nose, that fades just a bit, revealing layers of rich black cherry and
red plum fruits – lovely in the mouth with clean and well balanced fruit
flavors that follow the nose – smooth tannins on the tip of the tongue that
need just a year or so to integrate.
2001 Pinot Noir Red Hills
– from barrel – very restrained aromatically with wisps of menthol and
licorice – very smooth entry with the tannins you might expect from a wine
of this age – pretty in the mouth with lovely texture and delicious flavors.
2001 Pinot Noir Archery
Summit Estate - $115 for futures (Huh?) – loads of personality in the
nose – layers and layers of darkly textured red and black stone fruits.
It’s a nice wine, but I think they must have been smoking mustard when they
decided on their pricing strategy.
Sari then led us through a detailed
tour of the winery and aging caves. Another state of the art facility, it
seems that no expense was spared in the design and construction. To avoid any
pumping of wine, a hydraulic “elevator” was included to raise the blending
tank to the level of the bottling line. This multi-level gravity flow winery
is a delight to visit and tour, and I encourage you to visit the Archery
Summit website, where the design and layout is explained in detail.
Many thanks to Anna
Matzinger, Archery Summit’s winemaker, and Sari White,
Hospitality Coordinator for making our visit memorable.
Archery Summit Winery
Left Coast Correspondent to the Gang of Pour
© Allan Bree March 2003