Ballard Road Pinot Noir 2011

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Pinot Noir

In Oregon’s rainy, unpredictable climate, winemakers perpetually live on a meteorological knife edge. It’s not unlike what you’d find in the most famous Pinot region of all, Burgundy — and the payoff is never sweeter than in a remarkable vintage like 2011, where record-high temperatures yielded impressive fruit ripeness. “Ravishing… possessed of perfume and vibrancy of a sort one can only wish for most years,” says’s David Schildknecht.

To bring you an exciting taste, we hit the road — Ballard Road, to be precise. Winding through the premium Willamette Valley and beyond, this route takes you through some of the state’s best vineyard sites. And (as you’ll discover) local star winemaker Bryan Croft really knows his way around...

In the glass, expect billowing aromas of red fruit, spice and black tea. Pinot’s trademark softness frames ripe raspberry and strawberry on the palate. Bryan aged the blend in fine French oak, for a kiss of spicy complexity.

A lighter, juicy style like this can hang with fish, duck and pork — or, if it’s time for a snack, a variety of cheeses. If time allows, give it 15-20 minutes in the fridge before serving. The light chill will really compliment the delicate fruit flavors and soft texture.