Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block Pinot Noir 2012

Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block Pinot Noir 2012: Deep ruby-purple color with faint translucence; superbly complex and delightful nose with plum, raspberry, blackberry, some earth;

vivid cherry, plum, blackberry, cranberry, cedar on the palate; medium-full body, clean; definitive tannins with taut acidity will challenge inexperienced sippers; lingering finish with tartness and persistent fruits. This significantly benefits and opens up with air; decant for at least an hour. Owner Jim Bernau has been at it since 1983, making him one of the founding pioneers of Oregon wines. Willamette Valley Vineyards is one of the state’s largest operations—a large operation by Oregon standards. WVV is not a wine factory and WVV vineyard-specific offerings consistently deliver distinctive quality and value; they are not focus-group driven to fill a demographic niche on a supermarket shelf. Bernau Block PN is big and tart-fruity; expect no ethereal wisps of gossamer delectation. It emphatically is not a pop-and-pour pinot. The tartness and French-oak-engendered tannins will give tyros pause. If you are patient and your palate adept, however, this effort evolves into a mature pleasure giver. You are playing with the big boys and running with the bulls when you swirl, sniff, and savor this Bernau effort. The nose is particularly marvelous, so significant swirling in a big glass is not a tedious barrier; it is as satisfying to inhale this wine as it is to drink it. $48-55
Willamette Valley Vineyards website
Second photo: Jim Barnau
Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block Pinot Noir
Jim Bernau