Joe Williams reached into acclaimed Freedom Hill Vineyard, and the 40-year-old site famous for Pinot Noir helped this Hillsboro, Ore., winemaker earn his first Platinum. His light touch with barrels, an 18-month program in neutral French oak, and proper amount of bottle age allows this to appeal to both Old World and New World palates with its early tones of earthiness and rewarding profile of black cherry and black currant, backed by nicely managed tannins and a spicy finish. Awards: Newport Seafood & Wine Festival (gold), Savor NW (gold).
Rating: Platinum, 93 points
Production: 200 cases