Cloudline Pinot Noir, 2005

A stellar example of Pinot Noir, much closer to home than the great Burgundies. The 2005 Cloudline, from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, shows an upfront nose of raspberries and floral aromas, particularly violets, with cherries and other red berry fruit in the mouth. This is then backed by soft, supple tannins and marvelous complexity, with a delicious earthy finish, tending towards mushrooms and dried leaves. True varietal character! It seems that 2005 in Oregon provided an extremely rainy September, extending the harvest into October; this in turn led to extra ripening. What results is a fascinating wine, and unusually good in balance and depth for a domestic Pinot Noir. $20. Pairs well with beef roasts or stews.


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