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Denison Cellars 2011 Premier Version Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $26
Economist-turned-winemaker Tim Wilson released this small lot under this Premier Version tier from the third vintage under his own label in McMinnville, Ore., and he once again shows excellence despite a cooler vintage. In fact, he harvested his assemblage of clone 777 (59%), Pommard (25%) and 667 into the second week of November. The French oak progam of 25% new barrel allows for high-toned red fruit aromas and flavors of raspberry, Montmorency cherry, red currant and rhubarb. And yet, it finishes a bit darker with blackberry juice, black cherry skin tannins and vanilla. He left it unfiltered and protected it with a screwcap.
Production: 90 cases