Ayres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015 750ML ($24.95) Buy Now: $19 special
As you might remember, last year was hot, the hottest on record for the state of Oregon. The mere thought of it induces thirst. But the heat of 2015 also gave the potential to produce some delicious entry-level Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, and Ayres Winery took advantage. Rather than over-ripe or cooked, this wine, made from Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton grapes, offers a fresh Pinot fruit profile and a pleasant tartness. Savory notes mingle with a hint of salinity, and a well-judged sense of balance (only 13.6% alcohol) carries the wine through to a succulent finish. Even after being open overnight, the wine stays consistent like last year’s 90-degree temps. It drinks well today, could enjoy several years in bottle, and comes in for under twenty bucks: A nice way to dream of summer heat this winter, and a fine way to douse next year’s too-warm weather.