Winebusiness.com - Homepage for the Wine Industry

Red Electric Announces First Chardonnays and New Pinot Noirs from Ribbon Ridge

Posted on December 10, 2020

PORTLAND, OR. (December 10, 2020) – Red Electric is an independent winery that makes wine from fruit grown at Armstrong Vineyard in the esteemed Ribbon Ridge AVA. Founded by noted winemaker John Grochau and Armstrong Vineyard owner Douglas Ackerman, the label was inspired by the vineyard’s exceptional fruit and a mutual love of the Ribbon Ridge region. Instead of selling the entire harvest to local wineries, as Ackerman had done the first five years of grape production, he found a great winemaking partner in his longtime friend Grochau. Together in 2015, the two teamed up to create balanced, beautiful, and intense wines that utilize and highlight all the sections of Armstrong Vineyard under one shared label, Red Electric.

For the first time ever, Red Electric is releasing two unique Chardonnays with its 2018 vintage. Armstrong Vineyard grafted an acre over to Chardonnay (primarily the Mt. Eden clone, with scion wood from Cameron Winery’s Clos Electrique) with the first harvest in 2018. These vines were planted in 2007, so these are not terribly young vines at this point. The resulting Chardonnays are sleek, acid-driven styles of the varietal. The wine is bright, full of citrus and white floral notes, and a hint of saline. Grochau and Ackerman loved the floral notes so much that the flavors inspired the names, Alpine Lily and Evening Primrose. These are unique Chardonnays, given limited Mt Eden clone in Oregon, especially planted in the sedimentary soil of Ribbon Ridge.

The 2018 release also includes three Pinot Noirs, Interurban, The Pulse, and TGV. All wines at Red Electric are produced to let the vineyard express itself fully while maintaining freshness and energy in each wine. Grown in the Sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, the wines naturally have a depth of blue-black pinot flavors that run from almost Nebbiolo like earthy and tarry notes to a robust blackberry and lavender profile.

All Red Electric grapes come from Armstrong Vineyard, in the respected Ribbon Ridge AVA of the Willamette Valley. Red Electric is able to use all sections of the vineyard to find optimal combinations of Pinot Noir clones and rootstock to assemble final blends. The vineyard has been farmed organically since 2013. Each year, grapes are harvested over several weeks in September and October, allowing variability in sugar concentration (brix), acid and tannin levels. 

At an elevation of 300-400 feet and with south and southwest slopes, Armstrong Vineyard was planted in 2007 on the classic, ancient sedimentary soils of the Willakenzie series found in Ribbon Ridge. Ribbon Ridge displays uncommonly consistent, fine-textured marine sedimentary soils. Pinot Noir clones at Armstrong Vineyard include Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon 114, 115, 667 and 777. In 2017, one acre was grafted over to Chardonnay (primarily Mt. Eden clone, with scion wood sourced from Cameron and Johan wineries). 

Red Electric wines are crafted to transparently reflect terroir and vintage. The winemaking principles are moderate use of whole cluster fermentation when stems optimally lignified, limited use of new oak barrels, careful barrel selection to emphasize structure, native yeast fermentation, and acidulation only when necessary

2018 Tasting Notes:

2018 Red Electric Alpine Lily ($25): True to its name, the nose of this wine is bursting with aromas of white flowers, along with lemon curd and a touch of vanilla pastry cream and brine. Flavors of lemon curd and tangerine marmalade dominate the palate, along with hints of vanilla cream and a touch of toasty brioche. The intensity of the wine is carried on a beam of vibrant acid giving this wine great length and persistence.

2018 Red Electric Evening Primrose Chardonnay ($33): Aromas of citrus blossoms fill your glass, along with tangerine rind and a touch of salty brine. On the palate, the wine is focused, with bright acids balancing the intensely rich lemon curd flavors. The wine is long with a beam of acid carrying the intense citrus flavors on a long and slightly salty finish.

2018 Red Electric Interurban ($28): Dark garnet. The 2018 Interurban is a genetic clone of the 2016, with a soaring nose of red plums, earth and meaty broth. This is quintessential Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir, with layers of fine rose petal, lavender and violets. Complete in the palate with a sumptuous and refined finish, this wine is a glorious introduction to the 2018 Red Electric line of Pinot Noirs.

2018 Red Electric Pulse ($50):  Aromatically complex with Asian spices such as turmeric and cumin intermingled with black cherry and kirsch notes. Taut and energetic in the palate which unfolds with aeration yielding a focused wine with length and brightness. Strong tannic structure suggests this wine will age gracefully for years. The 2018 Pulse shows restraint, yet highlights the natural bounty of the vintage and vineyard.

2018 Red Electric TGV ($70):  Rose hips, lavender and garrigue nose promise a sumptuous Oregon pinot with complexity and finesse, yet the full palate delivers an abundance of dry extract, framing the body of the wine.  Big-boned yet restrained in the finish with fine and chalky tannins that mellow with aeration. This wine highlights the natural abundance of Ribbon Ridge fruit with admirable restraint. Notes of provençal herbs, dry cassis and cumin predominate.

Gift Packs

Looking for a great deal, both for gifting and drinking this holiday season? Red Electric assembled four delicious wine packs perfect for everyone on your list, including yourself!

  • The Tickler: Two pack of Chardonnay (one Evening Primrose and one Alpine Lily):  $50
  • The White Knuckle: Six bottles of Chardonnay (3 of Evening Primrose, 3 of Alpine Lily):  $140
  • The 2018 Pinot Sampler: One TGV, one Pulse, one Interurban:  $130
  • Library 4- Pack: One bottle of 2015 Red Electric Pinot Noir, one bottle of 2016 Red Electric Interurban, 2016 Pulse and 2016 TGV:  $180

How to Order

Red Electric wines are available to order by contacting redelectricwines@gmail.com. Note what wines and how many you would like to order, and you will receive an invoice with payment information and the ability to select shipping/delivery/pickup to receive your wines.

Wines are available to ship nationally. 

Local Pick-up in Portland, OR: Tuesdays – 10:00AM - 2:00PM
1033 SE Main, Suite 2 (entrance on SE Main)
Portland, OR 97214

Free Local Delivery in the city of Portland: Enjoy free delivery in the Portland area for 6+ bottles Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (allow 3-5 days for delivery).

About Red Electric Wines

Red Electric is an independent winery that makes pinot noir and chardonnay wines with Armstrong Vineyard grapes from the respected Ribbon Ridge AVA of the Willamette Valley, crafted to transparently reflect terroir and vintage. Founded by noted winemaker John Grochau and Armstrong Vineyard owner Douglas Ackerman, the label was inspired by the vineyard’s exceptional fruit and a mutual love of the Ribbon Ridge region. Red Electric was named after the iconic Red Electric commuter trains that began a transportation revolution from 1913 to 1929 carrying passengers from Portland to the communities of the Willamette Valley that are now intimately associated with Oregon Pinot Noir - Sherwood, Newberg, McMinnville, Forest Grove, Carlton, Salem, Eugene and others. Red Electric wines are available to order by emailing redelectricwines@gmail.com. The wines can be shipped nationwide. In the Portland metro area there is free local delivery for 6+ bottles Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, allow 3-5 days for delivery. Local Portland pick-up is available Tuesdays 10 am - 2 pm at 1033 SE Main - Suite 2, Portland, OR 97214. For more information visit the Red Electric website or email redelectricwines@gmail.com.


Copyright© 1994-2021 by Wine Communications Group. All Rights Reserved. Copyright protection extends to all written material, graphics, backgrounds and layouts. None of this material may be reproduced for any reason without written permission of the Publisher. Wine Business Insider, Wine Business Monthly, Grower & Cellar News and Wine Market News are all trademarks of Wine Communications Group and will be protected to the fullest extent of the law.