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Benton Lane Pinot Noir First Class 2010Benton Lane Pinot Noir First Class 2010

WS 91 WA 90 WE 87 IWC 89

Benton Lane's First Class is produced only when they have a particular lot of wine that is very, very special, and the 2008 First Class Pinot Noir is such a wine. To start, they look to their favorite vineyard sites for the most balanced, flavorful and concentrated Pinot Noir. They ferment these lots in small fermenters called “pots”. They baby them every step of the way and move the best wine into new French oak barrels for sixteen months of ageing. As the wines develop, we select the best barrels to eventually become “FIRST CLASS” - the best of the best.

The 2008 First Class Pinot Noir is a deep ruby colored wine that exhibits classic aromas of cherry, blackberries and wet earth, with complex underlying flavors of mocha, anise and blueberries. Very ripe, fine tannins and balanced acidity create a rich, velvety texture that leads into an extremely long finish. The First Class Pinot Noir represents the "best of the best" individual lots from a given year and is produced in small quantities only in vintages of optimal quality.


"Light and open-textured, a delicate style that offers a hint of caramel weaving through cherry and raspberry fruit, lingering enticingly under a veil of fine tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2018. 741 cases made. –HS" -Rated 91, Wine Spectator

"The much more limited (750 cases) 2008 Pinot Noir First Class is a selection of the best barrels in the cellar. It displays a more brooding bouquet containing darker fruits (black cherry and plum) along with attractive spice notes. On the palate it is firm, structured, and well balanced. It is likely to be longer lived than the Estate cuvee but no more pleasurable. Benton Lane, located in the southern tip of Willamette Valley closer to Eugene than Portland, is owned and operated by former Napa Valley-ite, Steve Girard. His Estate Pinot Noir has long been recognized for its excellent price/quality ratio as well as for its distinctive postage stamp label which makes it stand out on a retail shelf." -Rated 90, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

" This limited-reserve bottling captures pretty cherry fruit, opens well, holds firm and then fades. It has a little more fruit and more polished tannins than the regular estate. — P.G. (3/1/2011) — 87 " -Rated 87, Wine Enthusiast

" Bright ruby-red. Black raspberry and cherry-cola on the nose, with complicating notes of juniper, tobacco and musky herbs. Plush red and dark berry compote flavors provide very good palate coverage. Gains sweetness with air and picks up hints of sassafras and licorice pastille, finishing with very good cling and fine-grained tannins. This is approachable now but has the depth and structure to suggest that it will reward some patience." -Rated 89, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar