2016 Benton Lane Pinot Noir (375ml), Willamette Valley, Oregon

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Steve and Carol Girard have been producing wonderful Pinot Noir from their Benton Lane estate in Oregon's Willamette Valley since 1991. This 2016 Estate Pinot Noir was fermented in stainless steel tanks and went through a "technique called “pneumatage” which was utilized to extract color and flavor in the larger stainless steel tanks. This technique involves injecting large bubbles of air into the tank, which rise through the fermenting wine and gently break up the thick cap of skins that forms at the top of the fermenter." The Girards did this because it "allows excellent extraction of color and flavor from the skins while minimizing extraction of bitter seed tannins." Finally, the wine went through malolactic fermentation while aging in 17% new French oak barrels for eight months. Steve proudly describes the wine as follows, "the aromatics are smoky cedar and floral notes. They are delicate and not over powering. The perfect balance of this wine is apparent immediately. No one component stands out. There is rich, black cherry flavors, candied fruit sweetness, a slight hint of black licorice, and rose petals. The wine is amazing in its balance."

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