52. Van Duzer Vineyards 2012 Saffron Fields Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $60
Burgundy native Florent-Pierre Merlier develops 10 expressions of Oregon Pinot Noir, and while most of them are from the cool Eola-Amity Hills west of Salem, he does work with two Yamhill-Carlton sites for his wine club. Saffron Fields, a former grass seed farm near the town of Yamhill, was first planted to vines in 2007. Here, it yields a remarkably complex nose of sweet cherries and dark raspberry with milk chocolate, California peppercorns, mint, orange peel and rain forest earthiness. Those ripe cherries and raspberries return as bright flavors, surrounded by an elegant tannin structure and a juicy finish.
Production: 167 cases