2014 Benton Lane Pinot Noir First Class

Year: 2014
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Country: USA-Oregon
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 88
James Suckling: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
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"Light and sleek, with a minty edge to the raspberry and cherry flavors, lingering on the deft finish. Drink now through 2021. 897 cases made. -HS" (WS)

"The 2014 Pinot Noir First Class has a pale to medium ruby-purple color and notes of blackberries, black cherries and menthol with hints of chocolate box and cedar. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is densely packed with ripe fruit and toasty flavors with chewy tannins and good length." (WA)

"Extremely aromatic with strawberries, cedar, tea and light caramel. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fruity finish – yet this always remains reserved and refined. Drink or hold." (JS)

"The barrel toast carries a lightly charred edge, while the strawberry fruit comes up front and center with flavors of sweet pastry. There's a lick of licorice running through it as well, and the overall structure suggests drinking it up now through 2020." (WE)

Winery Notes:
OMG! If you are looking for something very special this bottle is for you.

With fine wine, every barrel is different. Even if the wine is from the same fermenter, each barrel imparts unique flavors given it by the forest, the individual tree and the cooper’s methods of bending the staves and toasting the wood. So naturally, every once in a while Carol or I fall in love with a particular barrel. Years ago, I used to mark such a barrel with colored chalk so everyone knew to keep their mitts off. I would enjoy my barrel with family and friends and what was left (if any!) would be blended. Later I decided that I might want to taste these later on and so in 2014 we created our first OMG. This was our favorite out of 712 barrels. It produced a whopping thirty nine cases.

The wine is a stunning blend of red (cherry, boysenberry, and cranberry) and black (blackberry, blueberry, and cassis) flavors. The balance is superb with no component out of step. Then the bacon, dark chocolate, espresso and root beer flavors drift across the pallet. It finishes with the toasty vanilla of a beautifully crafted French white oak barrel. This is sexy stuff. We don’t like to contaminate a very special wine like this with a meal. We completely relax in a comfortable surrounding and let the wine do all the talking.