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Denison Cellars 2012 Kiff Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $38
With a résumé that includes Benton-Lane, Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dobbes Family Estates, the lure of working with small lots of Pinot Noir from defined sites proved to be a siren’s call for Tim Wilson. His work with Joel Kiff’s vineyard in volcanic soils — and guarded from the Van Duzer corridor near McMinnville — continues to be a classic example, especially from such a special vintage. In 2012, the Pommard clones came off Oct. 12 at 23.4 Brix, while the 667 and 777 material ripened to 25.5 Brix, setting the table for a heavier style of Pinot Noir bringing tones of dark plums, cherry compote, orange peel, mincemeat and minerality. It’s deliciously fruity and well-structured, finished by blueberry acidity, forest floor earthiness and cinnamon bark.
Production: 53 cases