5. Penner-Ash Wine Cellars 2012 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $65
Lynn Penner-Ash believed so strongly in Shea Vineyard that she chose to build her winery and establish her family’s own picturesque vineyard essentially next door. Last year, Dick and Deidra Shea observed the 25th anniversary of their historic vineyard, arguably the most famous in Oregon, and one of the state’s most celebrated vintages allowed Penner-Ash to bring all of her Pommard, 777, 114 and Wadensvil fruit from Shea by Oct. 18. Ripeness wasn’t an issue (24.8 Brix), making for remarkably dark and dense tones throughout. Her 10-month program of French oak — 31% new barrels — helps create an attractive nose of black currant, plum and Marionberry with hints of cinnamon, espresso, chocolate and minerality. That theme continues on the alluring palate with more plum, blueberry and dark strawberry. Allspice and anise lead to a finish of bittersweet chocolate. While some Shea bottlings traditionally require time for the tannins to settle, this already shows balance, even a bit of creaminess.
Production: 865 cases