Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2014 Estate Riesling, McMinnville, $18

This often-overlooked North Willamette Valley producer continues to excel with its cool-climate program, and while Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay grab most of the headlines in Oregon, Stephen Cary and Ariel Eberle continue to prove that Riesling deserves to be the discussion, too. They work with two blocks of…

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Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $55

It’s rather ironic that proprietor Page Knudsen Cowles, who grew up in the Northwest and now lives in Minneapolis, hired a graduate of the University of Minnesota to make her family’s wines in the Willamette Valley. And yet, it was natural appointment to go with Nate Klostermann of Argyle Winery,…

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Spangler Vineyards 2012 Syrah, Southern Oregon, $27

When Ohio native Pat Spangler purchased the La Garza property in Oregon’s southern Umpqua Valley, it came with some of the region’s oldest plantings of Cab. On the eastern slopes of his property is Sage Hill, and he dotes on the wind-blown Syrah near the top of his estate. That…

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Elk Cove Vineyards 2015 Clay Court Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains, $60

When this young 15-acre Pinot Noir project devoted to Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777 clones became available in 2009, the Campbell family jumped at it. And it’s become a smashing success – not only for winemaking son, Adam, but also for his tennis-loving parents. A product of a record-hot vintage…

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Abacela 2013 Barrel Select Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, $33

As the maturity of the Fault Line Vineyards settles in, Abacela’s amigos benefit. Founding winemaker Earl Jones describes Tempranillo as akin to a Cabernet Sauvignon in its youth, and here are classic notes of Bing cherry, pomegranate and cherry pipe tobacco with the variety’s magisterial tannins. While it spent less…

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Winter’s Hill Winery 2014 Estate Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $39

The Gladhart family established its vineyard in 1991, and their immediate neighbors along the upper reaches of this southernmost portion of the Dundee Hills include the likes of Domaine Serene and Stoller. A smooth growing season across their Salmon Safe site at 730 feet elevation paved the way for this…

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Leah Jørgensen Cellars 2013 Mae’s Vineyard Grand Reserve Cabernet Franc, Applegate Valley, $75

A product of Virginia, Leah Jorgensen was selling Loire Valley wines to restaurants and embassies in Washington, D.C., but an invite to Oregon Pinot Camp in 2004 changed her life. By 2011, she’d launched Leah Jorgensen Cellars. Mae’s Vineyard, owned and farmed organically near Jacksonville, Ore., by the Quady family,…

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Spindrift Cellars 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $32

A couple of older Willamette Valley sites established in 1978 – Woodhall and Mary’s Peak vineyards – were blended with significantly younger Deerhaven Vineyard (1997) for an expressive dry-farmed Pinot Noir. All three lots spent a year by themselves in French barrels, presenting an aromatic theme of toasty oak, grilled…

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Winter’s Hill Winery 2015 Reserve Pinot Blanc, Dundee Hills, $29

The Gladhart family’s 35-acre pocket in the higher elevations of the Dundee Hills seems to suit grapes native to Burgundy, and understated Pinot Blanc does deliciously well here. In the warm vintage of 2015, these berries were harvested Oct. 3, and a percentage of the pressed wine made it into…

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Winter’s Hill Winery 2014 Block 9-Corner Estate Single Block Series Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $49

Russell Gladhart and his family’s historic farm in the Dundee Hills were a featured attraction during the 2017 International Pinot Noir Conference, and this two-barrel production from Block 9 is a blend of Dijon 114, 115, Pommard and Wädenswil. The harvest of Sept. 14 yields the light and lively style…

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