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2015 Oregon Pinot Noir First Team All-Americans

2012 Alexana Signature Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 250 cases, $75. Favorite 10 barrels from the 2012 vintage. Aged 11 months in 38% new French oak barrels and bottle aged for 14 months before release. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The pleasing nose is relatively shy, offering aromas of dark fruits and a hint of oak vanillin. Full-bodied, lush and concentrated on the palate, with layers of dark red and purple fruits. Impeccably balanced with enough tannic bones to age and a complimentary whisper of smoky oak, this wine retains a juicy, vibrancy despite its heft and finishes with uncommon length and purpose. An impressive wine that emotes. Score: 95. Reviewed January 22, 2015.

2012 De Ponte Cellars Baldwin Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 223 cases, 150 magnums, $75. Sourced from the De Ponte Cellars Estate Vineyard. Aged 12 months in 80% new French oak barrels and the remainder in 2-5-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, cassis, spice and oak leap from the glass. The mid weight plus flavors of well-ripened purple and black fruits attack with mouth filling richness, yet the wine is supple and light on its feet. This is a connoisseur's wine with admirable balance and sophistication with a finish that lingers for what seems like a minute. Cellar worthy. Score: 95. Reviewed March 16, 2015.

2012 Lachini Vineyards Cuvée Giselle Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.545, 328 cases, $72. This is a selection of the finest 13 barrels from the Estate Vineyard East, Middle and West blocks. Yields averaged 2.6 tons per acre. 40% Dijon clones, 30% Pommard clone, and 15% Wädenswil clone with a small amount of “suitcase clone.” Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Enchanting perfume of wild, dark berries, cherry pie glaze, spices and a hint of white pepper. A stunning wine in every respect, with a well-ripened core of black cherry and dark berry fruits. Very juicy and vivid with structured fine-grain tannins adding support along with a compliment of tasty oak. A very intriguing wine that exhibits wonderful harmony. When tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle, I couldn’t get enough of this joyous juice. WOW! Score: 95. Reviewed September 3, 2015.

2010 Phelps Creek Beehive Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., TA 0.62, 80 cases, $54. The Beehive Block is south of the original estate vineyard planting, the site of abandoned commercial beehives on a field when the property was acquired. The clone 777 planted here has extraordinary character in cooler years like 2010. Harvest Brix 23.6º. A 3-barrel selection were aged in once-used French oak barrels for 24 months. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Unrelenting aromas of black cherry, spice, and potpourri. Wow! Terrific attack and finish with wondrous harmony and finesse, featuring delicious mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice. A stunning wine that has an earthy vein in the background and is not simply fruity. This wine is currently drinking at is apogee. Score: 95. Reviewed May 25, 2015.

2012 Van Duzer Alchemy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1%, $65. The best blocks, lots and barrels blended like alchemy. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is like cherry pie day at baking school, with hi-tone aromas of black cherries, spice and vanilla. The cherry core is succulent on the palate and there is good structural bones, but the wine is soft and comforting and offers good tension. The balance is spot-on, and the wine finishes with an explosion of luscious black cherry fruit. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more flamboyant aromatic and fruit expression. This wine will quickly give you a Pinot high. Score: 95. Reviewed May 14, 2015.

2012 Hyland Estates Founders’ Selection McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 75 cases, $100. Released November 2014. A one barrel selection with special label and wax closure. · Moderately light crimson color in the glass. Exotic aromas of spice, potpourri and black cherry draw the taster into the glass. Delicious mid weight flavors of perfectly ripened black cherry and black raspberry fruits with added notes of Hoison sauce and spice. Impeccably balanced with suave tannins, a peach fuzz texture, and an hi-tone and vibrant finish of uncommon length. This wine really delivers the essence of fresh fruit and finishes with a serious purpose. A keeper. Score: 94-95. Reviewed July 13, 2015.

2012 Erath Prince Hill Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.75, 1,203 cases, $50. This wine represents a tie both to the winery’s past and to its future. Prince Hill Vineyard is owned and managed by Erath’s founder, Dick Erath, who first planted the vineyard in 1983. Currently, Erath uses a majority of the fruit from Prince Hill as the centerpiece of its range of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose leads with hi-tone aromas of red cherry, strawberry and sandalwood. The delicious cherry and strawberry flavored mid weight core explodes on the palate and lingers on the finish for an eternity. Juicy and vibrant, with well-matched tannins, this superb wine really stands out from the pack. Score: 94. Reviewed September 29, 2015.

2013 LUMOS Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 143 cases, $45. Release January 1, 2016. Vineyard is USDA certified organic. Vegan-friendly. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting perfume of dark berries and pie cherries with an earthy underpinning. Heavenly flavors of marionberry, plum, pomegranate and spice that fills the mouth with layers of goodness. This wine comes at you from all angles and refuses to leave on the fruit-laden finish. A Pinot Noir that is both husky and masculine, yet refined and sophisticated. The serious fruit intensity is deftly balanced by a tannic backbone that insures age ability. I can’t say enough good things about this special wine. Score: 94. Reviewed November 22, 2015.

2012 ROCO Wit’s End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 250 cases, $60 ($45). Dijon clones planted in sedimentary soil. Estate grown and vinified by Rollin Soles. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, house-cultured indigenous yeast, post-fermentation soak, aged in French oak barrels for 18 or more months, a combination of new, one, two and three-year-old tight-grained barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Highly scented nose offering aromas of cherry, baking spice, and a floral-based perfume. Superb flavor, with an intense attack and finish that sails along, featuring black raspberry and black cherry fruits. Ideal harmony with balanced t n’ a, and a caressing, velvety mouth feel. Way too easy to drink. Score: 94. Reviewed September 3, 2015.

2013 White Rose Estate Guillén Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., $95 (Club members priority). 100% whole cluster fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels, 13% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. The nose draws you into the glass with elevating aromas of black cherry, Moroccan spices, cinnamon toast, pine sap and floral goodness. A bombastic combination of cherry and spice flavors attack the palate with noticeable energy, expanding over time in the mouth and grabbing on to the finish with tenacity. A classy wine that also offers a seductive, silky mouth feel. Still pumping out plenty of generous aroma and flavors two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 94. Reviewed December 12, 2015.

2012 Lenné cinq élus Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.72, 126 cases, $72. This wine is offered only in great vintages. The name, cinq élos means “five chosen.” A blend of the best barrels in the cellar from 5 separate clones planted in the vineyard (Pommard, 114, 115, 777 and 667). 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, inoculated yeast. Aged 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very sexy aromas of purple and black berries, exotic spices and vanilla bean. Mid weight plus in style and texturally superb with a satiny presence that only Pinot Noir can deliver. Delicious flavors of black plum, kirsch and blackberry that seem to come in waves over the palate. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine had really come alive with a striking nose offering penetrating scents of very ripe purple berries and spice, layers of dense fruit that saturate the palate, and an incredibly long finish. Steve Lutz is very proud of this wine and rightly so. Don’t hurry to drink this beauty (a Lolita). Score: 93-95. Reviewed July 13, 2015.

2012 Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $75 (sold out). An expression of both rocky and shallow soils, containing old Pommard vines that are farmed organically and biodynamically. 100% de-stemmed, natural fermentation after a 4 to 5-day cold soak in open top oak and concrete fermenters. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is dark fruited, with hints of oak-driven toast and vanilla. Stunning entry and finish with layers of well-spiced black cherry and blackberry fruits in a full-bodied style. The tannic backbone is well proportioned and the texture is one of refinement. Despite its richness, the wine has good vibrancy. A classy offering that makes a statement and should benefit from another year or two in bottle. Score: 93-94. Reviewed May 14, 2015.

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