Appellation: Chehalem Mountains
This is a new addition to winemaker Gary Horners impressive lineup of vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs. The two-decade-old Dion Vineyard is an early ripening site of the northern Willamette Valley. We can see why Horner wanted to single out this wine, as it is one of the finest efforts we've tasted from the challenging 2010 vintage. This opens with complex layers of aromas, including blood orange, cherry candy, white pepper, cranberry and Rainier cherry. On the palate, it offers elegant flavors of cherry, cranberry, clove and cardamom. Its a juicy, fruit-driven wine, yet it is generous with its acidity and modest with its tannins. Rated Outstanding by Great Northwest Wine (13 percent alcohol).
Cases produced: 232.
Food matches: Enjoy this suave red with ham, chicken, mushroom polenta or grilled Copper River salmon.
Erath, 9409 N.E. Worden Road, Dundee, Ore., 503-538-3318, www.erath.com.