Appellation: McMinnville, $45
McMinnville growers Frank and Susan Mitchell began selling their prized fruit to Scott Shull in 2000, and this lot came at 23.6 Brix on Oct. 12, 2012, a comfortable harvest compared to the recent cooler vintages. It’s one of 13 expressions of Pinot Noir that Shull created in 2012, and it shows McMinnville ripeness in the suave aromas with dark purple fruitiness of blackberry and Marionberry cobbler as toasty oak influence sits in the background. Those blackberry flavors stream across the palate with dark cherry, leading to plum skin tannin and blueberry acidity for a beautiful mouth feel. It’s capped by a dusting of cocoa powder as well as pinches of thyme and sage. Shull notes that his Meredith Mitchell releases rank among his longest-lived Pinot Noirs. Rated "Outstanding" by Great Northwest Wine. (14.1 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 130
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Food pairings: Enjoy with sirloin, prime rib or even creamy pasta dishes.
Raptor Ridge Winery, 18700 S.W. Hillsboro Highway, Newberg, Ore., 503-628-8463, www.raptoridge.com.