Next Wines 2015 Pinot Noir, Oregon, $40

Last year, King Estate launched the Next Wines program not as a second label but a standalone tier within its young King Vintners division. For the branding, they paid tribute by using a rendering of work created by the late Sandy Marostica, an artist in Boise, Idaho. The original piece hangs in the home of Ed and Jodee King. There’s the investment of 18 months in French oak, longer than many Willamette Valley producers these days, but the riper style of this Pinot Noir can handle that wood. Dark purple fruit aromas and flavors of plum and blueberry are joined by vanilla, licorice and cinnamon. The juicy pomegranate acidity and lime zest finish provide extension.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 1,500 cases

Alcohol: 13.5%

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