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2013 Oregon Value Priced Pinot Noir First Team All-Americans

All wines were priced at or below $35 and received ratings of Very Good or above.

2009 Brandborg Vineyard & Winery Bench Lands Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.58, 4,004 cases, $22. A blend from several vineyards and clones. Aged in 25% new French oak barrels. Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of cherries, BBQ grill, and leather glove. Middleweight flavors of fresh cherries with a dusting of oak. Gossamer tannins, bright acidity, and admirable aromatic persistence on the finish. Will make any meal better.

2010 Brooks Janus Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.2% alc., 800 cases, $35. Winery’s flagship wine blended from several vineyards but primarily Brooks Estate. 100% de-stemmed, aged 18 months in 20% new French oak barrels of diverse cooperages. Light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose offers shy aromas of dark red cherries, and oak-driven espresso. Elegant, relatively light and feminine, but offering a pleasing assortment of red and black berry fruits with a savory soul, wrapped in gentle tannins. Plenty of vim and vigor due to bright acidity which makes for refreshing drinking. A perfect food wine.

2010 Harper Voit Strandline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.60, 125 cases, $35. A vineyard blend from Old School Vineyards and a select parcel from the Ribbon Ridge AVA. 100% de-stemmed, long and steady fermentation over 21-23 days. Aged in 60% new French oak barrels. Moderate dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with bright aromas of purple grapes, plum sauce, spice and custard. Richly concentrated flavors of boysenberry, black plum, white pepper and spice wrapped in tame, balanced tannins. Very seductive velvety mouth feel. A little more body and spice than the Old School bottling at this young age, but the Old School is more age worthy.

2010 Hyland Estates McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.64, $35. Released May 31, 2012. Coury, Wädenswil, and Pommard clones planted across several decades (1971, 1979, 1984 and 1989). Volcanic Jory and Nekia soils. Harvest Brix 23.9º. Aged 18 months in 38% new French oak barrels from several cooperages. Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of black cherry, raspberry, spice, tea leaf and bramble lead to earth-kissed middleweight flavors of black cherries, black currents and plum. Commendable integration of oak. Plenty of mid palate sap with balanced tannins and a long finish. Very silky on the palate and easy to drink.

2012 Kudos Single Vineyard Series Zena Crown Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.50, $25. A product of NW Wine Co, vinified by Laurent Montalieu. Nekia series volcanic soils. Aged 6 months in 34% new French oak barrels. Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, briar and fennel lead to medium bodied flavors of black cherries, black raspberries and a generous cherry-driven finish. Good richness, soft tannins and well-integrated oak. An impressive offering at this modest price.

2011 Raptor Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 2,200 cases, $25, screwcap. Released December 15, 2012. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Darker fruits are featured on the nose including black cherries with a touch of spice and oak. Light and elegant, with satisfying cherry, blueberry and pomegranate flavors, finishing with an uplifting spiced cherry note. Gossamer tannins and every easy to drink. An impressive Willamette Valley blend. Buy this by the case for satisfying everyday drinking.

2011 Seven of Hearts Armstrong Vineyard Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 175 cases, $35. Willakenzie series sedimentary soils. Clones Pommard and 777. Aged in 29% new French oak barrels. Light ruby color in the glass. Delicate aromas of black cherries and dark red roses. Demure on the palate with plenty of finesse, featuring flavors of black cherries cloaked in fine-grain tannins, finishing with a pleasing, long kiss of cherries. Not a blockbuster, but a reflection of the vintage, well-crafted and thoroughly satisfying.

2010 Thomas Gerrie Wines Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.,104 cases, $25. Crafted by Thomas Gerrie, the son of Cristom Winery (CrisTOM) owner Paul Gerrie and assistant winemaker at Cristom Vineyards. Stylistic similar to Cristom’s winemaker Steve Doerner. Second release. Equal parts blend of Cristom Eileen Illahe, and Feltz vineyards. Native yeast fermentation, 100% whole cluster, aged a minimum of 17 months in French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. Moderately light reddish color in the glass. Attractive scent of red cherry pie glaze, baking spice, toast and sandalwood. Lighter in weight than the 2009 version, but equally pleasurable, showing less whole cluster influence, and brighter acidity. Flavors of crisp red cherries and berries and spice backed by suave tannins. Delicate, even feminine in character, but offers a tasteful, seamless drinking experience.

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