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2014 Oregon Pinot Noir First Team All-Americans

2012 Bergström Gregory Ranch Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.,$47.50. From an estate-farmed vineyard owned by Wine Club members Dr. Kenton and Cindy Gregory. The vineyard was planted in 2007 to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 21 acres with 15 different clonal blocks on a steep hillside. Soils are sandstone-based marine. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Highly aromatic and alluring with bright aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, plum reduction sauce and spice. Exuberant and luscious on the palate with waves of black cherry, boysenberry and black raspberry fruits accented with spice. Velvety in texture with suave tannins and beautifully integrated oak. Highly pleasurable, this wine shows up the ripe, forward fruit of Oregon’s 2012 vintage. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was even more aromatic and flavorful. Wow! 95

2012 Big Table Farm Pelos-Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 224 cases, $48. 30% whole cluster. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A glorious nose offers upbeat aromas of black raspberry, cherry, blueberry, spice, and espresso. This wine has more oak presence than I like initially, but the fruit intensity can take it, and the wine sheds its oak the longer it sits in the glass. Vibrant fruit flavors of well-ripened black raspberry and black cherry, nicely spiced. Similar to the Willamette Valley wine in flavor profile but more intensity, a longer finish, and a more seductively plush mouth feel. This wine grows on you, the longer you spend with it. Easily a ten year wine. 94

2012 Broadley Vineyards Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc. 250 cases, $50 (sold out at winery). Clones 777 and Wädenswil from blocks 11 and 19. 100% destemmed, wild yeast fermentation in 3-ton open-top Taransaud wood fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged 12 months in 30% new and 70% neutral Francois Frères barrels. · Superlatives can’t do this wine justice. Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherry, plum and exotic spice. Intense and mouth filling with layers of amazingly pure red and purple fruits, well spiced, and matched with fine, mouth coating tannins. Sturdy on the palate, yet bright, succulent and juicy. The haunting finish is remarkably long, returning with waves of pleasure. Even better when tasted several hours later from a previously opened and recorked bottle indicating long-term potential. Heaven sent. 95

2012 Cristom Eileen Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $58. Typically the most precocious of the four estate vineyard wines and often the first wine released to the market. This vineyard extends to the crest of the property exposing the vines to the last rays of sun and the first cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean. Volcanic soils. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The seductive scents of dark berries, black cherries, rose petal and cardamon spice really get the juices flowing. It is challenging to adequately describe this nose since the aromas saturate the olfactory senses with so much whole cluster goodness. “Wow” might be the best descriptor. On entry, this wine delivers a charge of black raspberry fruit and exotic spices that really brings the palate to alert. This is a stunning wine with a silky texture, healthy young tannins, and a peacock finish that hangs on for at least a minute. There is some umami at work in this wine as well. Scary to think that this wine will be even better with more bottle age. 96-97

2011 De Ponte Cellars Baldwin Family Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $70. A winemaker selection of full-bodied and complex barrels in the cellar. Limited production. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose envelopes your senses with aromas of red cherry, raspberry and exotic spices that reveal themselves gradually in the glass over time. Superlatives can hardly due justice to this wine which is extraordinary in every way. It is polished, balanced, elegant and hi-collared, with a delicious core of vivid cherry, raspberry and spice flavors, a caressing texture, and remarkable persistence on the finish. This wine seduces with charm, not power. A connoisseur's wine that will age beautifully. 96

2012 Evesham Wood La Grive Bleue Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $25. This wine pays homage to the Western Bluebird, preservation of whose habitat was a prime motivation for the winery’s decision to farm the estate Le Puits Sec Vineyard organically. Non-irrigated vines. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh cherry pie and rose petals. Delicious core of red cherry, red raspberry fruit flavors accented with notes of spice and floral goodness. Soft, silky and suave on the palate with supple tannins and appealing harmony. Amazing phenolic ripeness and flavor at this low ABV. Very special. 94

2012 Guillén Family Adrian Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 23 cases, $60. Sourced from Vista Hills Vineyard Block F planted in 2005 with Dijon 667. Jory soils. High percentage of whole cluster fermentation. 4-day cold soak, 22 days skin contact, basket pressed, aged 17 months sur lie in one new French oak barrel. Racked twice and filtered. Bottled very recently. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose is reticent, giving up reluctantly some hints of darker fruits, spice and a subtle oak. Rich and sappy, with a plethora of fruit flavors including black raspberry, plum, cassis and spice, supported by broad-shouldered, yet refined tannins. The wine has a caressing mouthfeel, and a finish of startling length. I think Grand Cru entered my mind while tasting this beauty. Still very young, but the potential is obvious. 94-95

2012 Haden Fig Bjornson Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir**

13.5% alc., 123 cases, $30. 5 favorite barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Interesting aromatics featuring scents of ripe cherry, fig (seems appropriate) and bourbon. Extra-delicious core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit, nicely spiced with an additional peppery note. Admirable harmony, and a long, memorable finish that makes the knees weak. This is a wine that tugs at your emotions and defies adequate description. One of the best values in Oregon Pinot Noir. 94

2013 Ken Wright Cellars Meredith Mitchell Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $50. This vineyard is planted to own-rooted Pommard first established in 1988. Soil is Yamhill - shallow silty loam over basaltic bedrock. The vineyard is owned and managed by Susan Meredith and Franck Mitchell. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Scents of cherry, forest floor and oak char are somewhat shy, but the fruit explodes on the palate. Rich raspberry and cherry flavor that attacks the mid palate with a vengeance. Accents of baking spice, earth and conifer add interest. Uncommon fruit energy that fuels an intensely flavorful finish. Rare to find a wine with such palate saturating fruit. The nose has not arrived, so give this wine at least a year in bottle. 93-95

2012 Owen Roe The Kilmore Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $42. Winemaker David O’Reilly is one of the few Irish-born winemakers in the United States. This wine is named after the Kilmore Doorway which is displayed on the label in a photo. This Romanesque doorway was a sculpted entrance to the ancient Trinity Island Abbey in County Cavan, Ireland. Here the great patriot Owen Roe O’Neill sought solace during his quest for Irish independence. Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon clones from vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton District. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers an array of enticing aromas including raspberry, dried cherry, sassafras, leather saddle and sandalwood. Modest in weight, but highly flavorful, the wine offers notes of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, dark chocolate and coffee. Very gracious and easy to drink now, this beauty has the balance and tannic backbone to age effortlessly in the cellar for 5 to 10 years. I loved the 2010 vintage of this wine, and this vintage is a hair better. 95

2012 Seven of Hearts Very Special Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.59, 126 cases, $75. This wine is only made in very special vintages. From Luminous Hills, Armstrong, Lia’s and Durant vineyards. 33% whole cluster fermented. Aged in 23% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Extroverted nose offering aromas of wild berries and exotic spices. Forceful and assertive on the palate, yet elegant, with a perfectly ripened core of berry fruit still mildly compressed by tannins. Similar to the Special Reserve, but more aloof at this stage. An ethereal wine that oozes pinotosity. An excellent cellar candidate. 95

2012 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.77, 235 cases, $125. Low yields of 0.5 tons per acre due to poor set. Self-rooted Pommard clone. 6-day cold soak, 100% whole cluster fermentation, 20 to 21-day skin contact, aged 16 months in 10% new French oak barrels. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. This is a very elegant and refined wine with considerable freshness. The aromas of cherry, raspberry, wilted rose, and spice jump from the glass. The core of cherry, raspberry and pomegranate fruits is complimented by a vein of spice and leaf in the background. The very slight herbaceous note adds a bit of savoriness and is not at all off putting to me.This wine has more polished tannins than the Winemaker’s Cuvée and slightly brighter tension. The peacock finish is incredibly long and satisfying. This wine typifies the neo-classical objective of juiciness and freshness with enough tannic backbone to age and a minimum of oak intrusion to allow the fruit to clearly speak. 95-96

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