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Small Sips of Recently Tasted Willamette Valley AVA Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley AVA blends represent good value in Oregon wine, although I didn’t discover any in this limited tasting that would excite. The best wines cost more and isn’t that invariably the way with Pinot Noir?

2013 Coelho Winery Atracão Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.94% alc., $22. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry jam, prune and marzipan. Concentrated, with a bold mid palate attack of dark berry and prune fruits backed by sinewy tannins and a tug of oak vanillin. Despite the low alcohol, the fruit has a very ripe profile. The fruit-driven finish has a sweet and sour disposition. Score: 86

2013 de Lancellotti Famiglia Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $30. Vinfied by Paul de Lancellotti along with consultant Robert Brittan at Robert Brittan's winery facility in McMinnville. · Light cherry red color in the glass. A lighter weighted but spirited style with welcome Pinot delicacy, that features juicy cherry and cranberry fruits with a noticeable compliment of oak, a substantial but not imposing tannic backbone, and a lively, acid-driven finish. Score: 88

2013 Kudos Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $16. From NW Wine Co. in Dundee. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy scent of cherry, strawberry and wood shop. The lighter weighted flavors of cherry and cranberry are embossed with a vein of oak in the background. Easy to drink with balanced tannins and a juicy demeanor, but very plain. I would chill it to give the wine more lift. Score: 85

2013 Purple Hands Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $22. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Hard to find any fruit on the nose which offers aromas of cigar box, stem and oak. More satisfying on the palate, with mid weight flavors of dark red and purple fruits in a simple style that has a soft mouthfeel, a riff of oak, and demure fruit on the finish. Score: 86

2012 Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $30. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A fairly rich offering with plenty of black cherry and dark berry goodness. Fruit-driven and slightly sweet, with balanced tannins, a compliment of oak, and some finishing intensity. More fruity than complex, this wine is a good one to drink without contemplation. Score: 88

2013 Sharecropper’s Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $22, screwcap. From Owen Roe. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, cranberry and spice with a tug of new-sawn oak. Light to mid weight, oak-infused cherry and raspberry fruit flavors underpinned with mild tannins and juicy acidity. A bit heavy-handed with oak and shallow in fruit. Score: 85

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