Ponzi Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé, Willamette Valley, $22

For the third straight vintage – each of them warmer than the next – Luisa Ponzi merits our top rating for her rosé from Pinot Noir, a blend of Dion, Merten and estate plantings nearly five decades old. It carries a gorgeous light cherry hue and hints at cherries, peach…

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Spangler Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc, Southern Oregon, $27

Francophiles will appreciate Umpqua Vally winemaker Pat Spangler’s work with this lot of Cabernet Franc, which he brought into his Roseburg, Ore., winery on Oct. 8. There’s an abundance of leafiness and bell pepper in the nose, but there’s fruitiness of black cherry taffy and cola nut, too. It comes…

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King Estate Winery 2014 Domaine Pinot Gris, Oregon, $30

One of the Northwest’s priciest Pinot Gris also ranks among the best. The King family’s team selects top lots from its remarkable estate for its Domaine program, and clones 146 and 152 spend five months on the lees in stainless steel tanks to build mouth feel. The wine releases starfruit…

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Van Duzer Vineyards 2013 Saffron Fields Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $60

The Yamhill-Carlton AVA yielded the fruit for Florent-Pierre Merlier’s 2013 Saffron Fields Pinot Noir. And the result from this grass seed farm-turned-vineyad is aromas of violets, sandalwood, cherry, blueberry compote and spice that lead into flavors of sweet cherries, blueberry skin and whispers of chocolate, closing with a touch of…

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Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris, Applegate Valley, $22

Cal Schmidt and his family in Southern Oregon shined at the 2016 Cascadia Wine Competition, earning three gold medals, and while they grow much of the fruit for their program, they contracted with Aardvark Vineyards in Ashland for this pleasant Pinot Gris. Aromas of Mandarin orange, lemon oil and Pink…

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Seven of Hearts 2013 Armstrong Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, $35

Willamette Valley winemaker Byron Dooley took his five-clone harvest, leading with Pommard (50%), in late September/early October. It was a move that came days after the torrential rains had made their way across the Pacific after a Southeast Asia typhoon. Armstrong Vineyard, one of the southernmost, lower-elevation sites on Ribbon…

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Dobbes Family Estate 2012 Fortmiller Vineyard Syrah, Oregon, $50

A couple of decades ago, when he was the lead winemaker at Willamette Valley Vineyards, Joe Dobbes’ talent with Southern Oregon fruit led to the quick embrace of the Griffin Creek brand among Willamette Valley wine lovers. He hasn’t lost his touch  with Syrah, thanks to his collaboration with growers…

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Cathedral Ridge Winery 2012 Bangsund Vineyard Reserve Syrah, Columbia Valley, $48

The versatility of the Columbia Gorge region – and Bangsund Vineyard near The Dalles, Ore., – is showcased in this reserve Syrah from Hood River vintner Robb Bell. Bangsund is a source of Pinot Noir for Cathedral Ridge, and here it creates a Syrah with a theme of cured meat,…

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Schmidt Family Vineyards 2014 Riesling, Applegate Valley, $23

This three-generation winemaking team in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley draws its Riesling from Jacksonville and presents this is in a relatively dry style, leaving just 1.2% residual sugar. There’s a light bit of toast and diesel to the nose, backed by plenty of citrus aromas and flavors of lemon, lime…

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ArborBrook Vineyards 2013 Klipsun Vineyard Sydney Sèmillon, Red Mountain, $36

North Willamette Valley growers Dave and Mary Hansen reach over the Oregon/Washington border and into Red Mountain for this delicate and delicious late harvest Sèmillon they’ve named after their daughter. Renowned winemaker Laurent Montalieu, who trained in Bordeaux before landing in Napa, continues his success with this white Bordeaux grape,…

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