Lurid red. Vibrant, sharply focused scents of ripe red berries and candied flowers are complicated by suggestions of cinnamon and allspice. Lithe and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering intense raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out with air. The floral note comes back strong on the clinging, spice-laced finish, which is given shape by harmonious, slow-building tannins. This wine delivers outstanding value and is an auspicious inaugural offering for this project, which is owned by the proprietors of California Pinot Noir specialist Banshee. A new project from the team that produces Banshee wines in California, winemaking here is under the watch of Adam Smith, a young but experienced winemaker who trained at Domaine Serene and Shea, among other wineries. He also has his own project, Eisold Smith. The wine is made without any new oak, with value strongly in mind, fruit is sourced from some of the Willamette Valley’s best vineyards, including Momtazi, Meredith Mitchell, Deux Vert, Looney and Nysa. The bang-for-the-buck factor here is really impressive. (JR)
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2015 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir (Previously $30)