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Stoller Family Estate 2009 SV Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $45
Of the six small appellations in the northern Willamette Valley, the Dundee Hills is the most distinctive. First are the red soils that have made the region so famous. Second are the Pinot Noirs that come from those soils, which tend to reveal themselves with high-toned red fruit aromas and flavors.
This is a classic example from Stoller winemaker Melissa Burr, who blended five clones of Pinot Noir, then aged the wine in 40% new French oak. The result is a wine with classic pomegranate juice color that invites further exploration. Aromas of violet, cherry cordial and milk chocolate give way to flavors of sweet Bing cherry, raspberry, black licorice and clove. It’s all backed with subdued yet elegant tannins and a dusting of cocoa powder on the finish.
This won a unanimous double gold medal at the Great Northwest Wine Competition, staged earlier this month at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore.
Production: 3,642 cases