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Light and crisp white
2007 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris - $12
A perennial favorite from Oregon's first winery. Jason Lett brings out a bright, classic nose with a dry, mineral complexity. A true benchmark for this variety.
Rich, full-bodied white
2007 Ken Wright Cellars, Celilo Vineyard Chardonnay - $23
With fruit from a cooler Washington vineyard site, Ken Wright produces a rich wine with excellent acidity and notes of apricot, lemon, and vanilla. Big, but well-balanced, this is a reminder of why Chardonnay became so popular in the first place.
Lighter red, big value
2008 Owen Roe, O'Reilly's Pinot Noir - $15
Always a great value for Oregon Pinot Noir, the 2008 is better than usual. Deeply colored with juicy, intense fruit and well-balanced acidity. Showing well now, but will be even better in a year.
2006 deLancellotti Family Vineyards Pinot Noir - $48
Close family ties to Bergstrom Wines make this once vineyard-designated Pinot one of excellent quality and value. Cherry and violet-scented with marionberry and black fruit on the palate. This small, hand-numbered bottle production is always highly rated and deservedly so.
Rich, full-bodied red
2007 Pamplin Family Winery JRG Red Wine - $28
This Bordeaux-style wine is a blend of Columbia Valley Merlot and Malbec. Despite its youth, the ripe, lush fruit shines through a well-balanced tannic structure. This first release is outstanding both in quality and value. With only 164 cases produced, don't expect this price to last once word gets out.
Big, big, big red
2008 Owen Roe Red Willow Vineyard, Chapel Block Syrah - $40
Rarely does a Northwest wine end up as the highest scoring wine in an issue of Wine Spectator magazine, but this one did in August. They say, "Plum, blackberry, and currant fruit, hints of espresso and violet." I say, "Yum!"