Carlton Cellars owner Dave Grooters came west from Pennsylvania in the late 1970s and worked with many of the Oregon Pinot Noir pioneers prior to launching his own winery. Most of his wines are named for locations on the rugged and scenic Oregon Coast. In the case of this superb Pinot Noir, the name comes from Cape Lookout in Tillamook County. Tobacco, cigar box, leather and coffee aromas driven by the oak open this wine. In the mouth, Bing and Van cherries predominate up front, with minerality and graphite emerging in the midpalate. Then dark chocolate and grippy but smooth tannins close out a long finish. This earned a gold medal at the Great Northwest Wine Competition (www.greatnorthwestwine.com). Alcohol: 13.2 percent.
Cases produced: 768.
Food matches: am, pork, braised beef, mushroom polenta or even grilled salmon would pair nicely with this classic Oregon Pinot Noir.
Carlton Cellars, 130 W. Monroe St., Carlton, Ore., 503-852-7888, www.carltoncellars.com.