Parsons' Ridge: the name comes from a family that originally settled the area around Montinore in the 1840s. It's one of the original vineyards planted on the property in 1982 and one of the first selected to isolate its particular qualities as a single block wine. The combination of the unique clonal selection of Pinot Noir (a blend of Pommard, one of the most popular clones planted in the Willamette Valley, and a clonal selection that we obtained from Windhill Vineyard) and the deep, loamy Laurelwood soil provide Parsons' Ridge with its structure and flavor profile, which isn't found anywhere else on the estate.
Flipping the calendar back, we opened the Y2K edition of Parsons' today, its third vintage as a single block and the 18th year of the vines' existence. While 2000 was a challenging vintage while the grapes were on the vine, it did produce some concentrated, age-worthy wines, and this wine has the structure to reinforce that belief.
The primary fruit characteristics of a younger Parsons' have faded, leading into secondary and tertiary notes of overturned soil, leather, and dried tarragon. Some red and dark fruits remain on the palate though, with a distinct flavor of red apple skin. The finish lingers with supple tannins and the slightest hint of basil.
While few bottles of this vintage remain even at the winery, the most recent vintage of Parsons' Ridge, 2010, can still be had. Bursting with youthful Morello cherry and an herbaceous streak of marjoram and bay leaf, it's still one of the best examples of the expression of the majestic terroir of Montinore's wines.