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2013 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir 

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Retail $20

Washington state's signature grape, pinot noir, flourishes in comparatively cooler areas of the world, but Willamette Valley's warm 2013 summer allowed grapes to ripen evenly and yielded wines with balanced alcohol and finesse. The hilly region's soils are the result of a tectonic shift and ancient lava flows characterized by red, iron-rich soils. For this wine, organically farmed grapes were sourced from six of Lemelson Vineyards' seven vineyards in Willamette's American Viticultural Areas (AVA) of Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee Hills and Chehalem Mountains. At the winery, each vineyard block was fermented separately in stainless steel vessels, using a gravity system to move the wine from level to level, instead of pumps, which can lessen aromatics and flavors. After vinification, 32 percent of the wine aged 16 months in new French oak and 68 percent in previously used barrels. The wine has great balance and structure. In the glass, it offers bouquets of red and dark cherries, cranberries and a touch of barrel spice. On the palate, taste plum, red berries, earth notes, dried herbs, fine-textured tannins and good acidity. Decant 15 minutes before serving. Drink it with salmon, tuna, rack of lamb, braised short ribs, pork chops, fowl and grilled or roasted vegetables. Buy it at: Martin Wine Cellar.

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