2012DePonteDH2012 De Ponte Cellars, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The Baldwin family and winemaker Isabelle Dutartre (from Burgundy) have made De Ponte Cellars one of the finest small estate’s in the Dundee Hills, it’s an impressive vineyard with amazing valley views and the wines are some of the best values in Oregon Pinot. De Ponte Cellars also makes a great little Melon de Bourgogne, but it is their jory soil influenced Pinot Noir that really gets your heart pumping and the 2012 vintage is a not to miss beauty, full of intensity, depth and impressive ripe flavors. The 2012 De Ponte Cellars Dundee Hills is one of five different Pinots that were produced in this extraordinary year, and the best price, it was crafted from all estate fruit and saw about 20% new French oak, this maybe the sleeper in the set of 2012 offerings, being a bit less flashy and polished it shows great structure, vitality and length it has a lot of pleasure to give and should gain even more rewarding character over the next 3 to 5 years in bottle. The Dundee Hills De Ponte Cellars Pinot starts with a mix of floral tones with violets, rose petal and lavender coming through with dark berries, red pepper, smoke and minty herbs leading to a full palate of blackberry, plum, tangy red currants adding to a pure morello cherry core. There is a good play of juicy acidity to lift the weighty fruit and silky tannins to hold things nicely in place along with just the right amount of sweet toasty oak with just a hint of mocha and vanilla coming through, but with air some interesting truffle, mineral/flinty spice and licorice add to the array of flavors on parade. This is an easy wine to love now and I certainly recommend it for mid term drinking as well, plus if you get to Oregon, this is a must visit stop, best from 2016 to 2021.
($40 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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