La Crema 2014 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, $30

Jackson Family Wines invested in the Willamette Valley to create cool-climate Pinot Noir, and here’s another delicious example from a warm vintage in the Pacific Northwest. Elizabeth Grant-Douglas collaborated with eight vineyards, primarily in the Yamhill-Carlton and Eola-Amity Hills growing regions for this deliciously balanced, fruit-forward Pinot Noir. Her reliance on only French oak, 23% of those being new barrels for nine months, shows pleasing integration with aromas of Bing cherry and cocoa with light toast, caramel and a whiff of charcuterie. It’s loaded with high-toned red fruit flavors — cherry, raspberry and currants – that combine to stay ahead of the Craisin skin tannins and roasted coffee finish. Suggested pairings range from pepper-crusted prime rib, rosemary rack of lamb, sautéed salmon, lentil soup with fresh tarragon, curried mussels and Chicken Masala. Nearly 100 percent of this production came estate fruit, allowing Jackson Family Wines to increase production by nearly 40 percent from the 2013 vintage.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 24,511 cases

Alcohol: 14.5%

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