Mark Vlossak, singled out by Robert Parker a decade ago for his work in Oregon with Pinot Noir, takes advantage of a historically dry vintage — which included 104 straight days without rain — to score high with this lofty vineyard first planted in 1984 at 760 feet elevation over basalt. Dense and dark aromas of blackberry pie, dark cherry, caramel, toast and sage lead to an exuberant palate focused on black and blue fruit akin to huckleberry, blueberry and Western serviceberry. Its concentrated and showy structure offers a pleasing push of tannins and finish of sweet pipe tobacco. Folks who tend to question the lofty price of Pinot Noir should take note of the crop load — a mere 1.4 tons per acre. Suggested pairings range from lamb to pork to salmon.
Production: 1,045 cases