Van Duzer Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $32

Van Duzer Vineyards near Dallas, Ore., drew on several Willamette Valley sources for its 2013 Pinot Noir, crafting a wine that startles the taster with licorice elements in its opening aromas, backed by cherries and spice. On the tongue, there are more cherries and licorice, plus a hint of blueberry,…

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Mt. Hood Winery 2014 Estate Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge, $28

Homegrown winemaker Rich Cushman rules the Pinot Noir class by crafting the flagship wine for the Bickford family in the Columbia Gorge town of Hood River, Ore. There’s little sign of oak in the nose of blueberry jam, cherry juice and plum flesh from this product of estate vines first…

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Armonéa Wines 2013 Russell Grooters Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $35

A look beyond the label of this Armonea release reveals why visitors to Wine Country Farm in Oregon’s Dundee Hills – and fans of Ken Wright – might fancy this wine. It starts on Savannah Ridge near the town of Carlton where Dave Grooters and Robin Russell established this vineyard,…

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Quady North 2015 Pistoleta, Rogue Valley, $20

Based in Medford, Ore., second-generation vintner Herb Quady tapped fruit from the Rogue Valley for its 2015 blend of 40% Viognier, 25% Roussanne, 25% Marsanne and 10% Grenache Blanc. Called Pistoleta and sporting a pair of derringers on its label, it’s highly aromatic, with spice, pear, melon and and lime…

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Zerba Cellars 2013 Zinfandel, Walla Walla Valley, $45

The prominent letter “Z” emblazoned on Zerba Cellars’ label is the perfect symbol for the Walla Walla Valley winery’s 2013 Zinfandel. Drawing on grapes from his home AVA, winemaker Doug Nierman crafted another gold medal winner for the Milton-Freewater, Ore., winery. In the glass, vanilla, black currants, blackberries and raisins…

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Elk Cove Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $29

Elk Cove Vineyards has built a long record of crafting fine Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley grapes, and its 2014 adds to that reputation furthered by second-generation winemaker Adam Campbell. Drawing on vineyards in the valley’s north end, this latest version yields cherry, blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors, plus…

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Seven of Hearts 2013 Special Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $49

Yamhill-Carlton grower/winemaker Byron Dooley uses his Luminous Hills Vineyard (40%) as part of this three-site blend with Armstrong (Ribbon Ridge) and Bjornson (Eola-Amity Hills) of five separate clones. The juice is both special and complex, opening with aromas of white pepper, dried strawberry, raspberry and black cherry, joined by whiffs…

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Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 Merlot, Applegate Valley, $34

There’s now a decade of age on these vines planted in Oregon’s Kubli loam soil by Calvin Schmidt as part of his original 12-acre project that’s grown beyond that. He and his children picked it at nearly 25 Brix then devoted two years of it to French oak (30% new…

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Leah Jørgensen Cellars 2014 Tour Rain Vin Rouge, Oregon, $25

Virginia native Leah Jorgensen saw her Loire Valley-inspired red blend from the 2012 vintage finish No. 33 on Great Northwest Wine’s Top 100 Northwest Wines of 2013, and she’s back with her latest graceful expression of Cabernet Franc and Gamay Noir off two sustainably farmed sites. It’s a 55/45 blend…

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TeSóAria Vineyard & Winery 2015 Vermentino Secco, Southern Oregon, $27

Southern Oregon pioneer Dick Troon introduced this white Italian grape to the Pacific Northwest. TeSóAria’s founding winemaker John Olson is helping to build a market for Vermentino at both ends of Oregon via his own work at the estate Celestina Vineyard in the South Medford foothills. Researchers have linked the…

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