The Best of the Best 2003: Domestic Red Wines - The 1999 Oregon Pinot Noir, Archery Summit Estate

Admirers of Pinot Noir find few similarities between the red wines of Burgundy and the Pinots of California, whose unrestrained Mediterranean-like weather gives the fruit an intense ripeness that grapes from the damp, brooding climate of that peculiar region of France seldom attain. Nevertheless, wonderful as Pinots from Sonoma, Carneros, and Santa Barbara can be, devotees of the grape continue to esteem the creamy, earthy mold and mushroom essences that characterize, say, the Côte de Beaune.

Happily for them, the Pinots of Archery Summit in Oregon’s Red Hills encapsulate the best elements of both. The 1999 Oregon Pinot Noir, Archery Summit Estate exudes deep black cherry fruit to accompany its dark color; yet profound flavors of earth and minerals also assert themselves in a graceful, luscious, long-finishing wine that truly rivals Burgundy’s grand crus.

Archery Summit, 503.864.4300, www.archerysummit.com, $115

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