Vidon Vineyard 2015 Estate Apollo Chardonnay, Chehalem Mountains, $60

Korean War veteran Don Hagge spent much of his post-Navy career as a physicist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, particularly missions 7 through 13 of Project Apollo. This launching of the Apollo Chardonnay signals another stage in the Space Exploration Series by this octogenarian grower/winemaker near Newberg, Ore.,…

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Welsh Family Wines 2015 Bjornson Vineyards Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, $38

Dry-farmed blocks of Pommard and Dijon 777 across the 8 acres of Kristjan’s Block in rising star Bjornson Vineyard near Salem, Ore.,  are turned into this full-bodied Pinot Noir by Portland urban winemaker Dan Welsh. One of the three barrels he used was new French oak, and that helps account…

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Wine By Joe 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $15

Best Buy! Joe Dobbes, one of Oregon’s most successful wine producers, removes pretense and packs some fun into this rosé from Pinot Noir. He offers it as a bargain, thanks in part to the fruit off his 189-acre Sea Breeze Vineyard west of Salem, Ore., and he creates the rosé…

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Seven Bridges Winery 2013 Kolibri Vineyard Reserve Malbec, Columbia Valley, $32

Portland winemaker Bob Switzer sources from eight vineyards in Washington for his impressive Seven Bridges portfolio featuring Bordeaux varieties, and here he casts a spotlight upon Kolibri Vineyard, a 7-acre planting just south of historic Cold Creek Vineyard in the northwestern foothills of Washington’s Rattlesnake Mountain. Aromas of black cherry,…

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Duck Pond Fries Family Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $14

Best Buy! The Fries family and winemaker Trevor Chlanda have the luxury of working with estate vineyards in the Willamette Valley as well as the warmer Umpqua Valley for their program. It is their St. Jory site north of Salem, cropped to a remarkably low 2 tons per acre for…

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Timothy Malone Wines 2016 Medici Vineyard Riesling, Chehalem Mountains, $20

This vintage marked the 10th anniversary of New York native Tim Malone’s move to Oregon, where he trained at the likes of J. Christopher and Cameron along his path to developing his eponymous brand. His work with Riesling, which was harvested Oct. 11, is a crowd-pleaser with aromas and flavors…

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Seven Bridges Winery 2013 Resolution Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley, $28

Bob Switzer creates this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (88%) and Merlot almost under the shadow of Portland’s Fremont Bridge and just downstream from the headquarters of the Oregon Wine Board. However, the fruit source is from the Walla Walla Valley, with the Cab from Les Collines and the Merlot from…

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Ponzi Vineyards 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $65

The bountiful 2014 growing season in the Willamette Valley allowed Luisa Ponzi to double production of her family’s reserve Pinot Noir, and yet it merited our top rating for the second straight vintage. Her sources range from the north slope Chehalem Mountains estate sites of Abetina, Aurora and Madrona Vineyards…

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Stoller Family Estate 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills, $25

Melissa Burr, who learned winemaking through Chemeketa College and Oregon State University, began working for Bill Stoller in 2003. During the past decade, she’s established a reputation as one of the Willamette Valley’s top rosé producers, and her latest and largest bottling also might be her most delicious. Welcoming aromas…

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Leah Jørgensen Cellars 2014 Clos Rogue Valley Reserve Cabernet Franc, Southern Oregon, $50

Portland vintner Leah Jorgensen continues to grow her following by producing several expressions of Cabernet Franc from the Rogue Valley. Sundown Vineyard is a Salmon-Safe site planted in 1999 and managed by the Moore family of Quail Run Vineyards acclaim, and this collaboration leads to a showy Cab Franc. Sweet…

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