Willamette Valley Vineyards 2011 Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $30
Don Crank’s largest production of Pinot Noir hails from three longtime favorites for this publicly traded winery near Oregon’s state capital — founder Jim Bernau in the Salem Hills and Bill Fuller’s Tualatin Estate as well as Elton Vineyard planted in the Eola-Amity Hills by Dick and Betty O’Brien. The complex nose carries hints of cordial cherry, floral notes of rose petal and violet, milk chocolate and cinnamon. The drink is akin to Hostess Cherry Pie with its vanilla crust and juicy approach, finished with dried cranberry, bright acidity and ample tannin. Look for this at most bottle shops and grocery stores thought the U.S. and beyond, and pair with duck, lamb, salmon and aged cheeses. WVVI stock closed Friday, March 14 on the NASDAQ at $6.32 per share.
Production: 13,200 cases