Vino Vasai, Laurelwood District – Chehalem Mountains (Willamette Valley, Oregon) Pinot Noir “Barrel Select” 2021 

($48):  Vino Vasai is Italian for Potter’s Wine and explains why the latter is what you see when you pull the cork.  Bill Sanchez, the winemaker and owner with his wife, Sandy, is a potter.  Sandy explains that they had trouble when they tried to trademark Potter’s Wine, so, given her Italian heritage, they opted to name it in Italian.  What is not confusing is the quality of the wines.  This refined one, for example, is the dual-headed Janus, showing both the savory and red fruited side of Pinot Noir.  Though not fruit-focused, this charmer delivers plenty of crunchy red fruit.  Thankfully, it’s not a bombastic wine, weighing in at a modest 12.9 percent stated alcohol. Instead, it’s refined and graceful.  It’s not a powerhouse but it commands a powerful presence.
93 Michael Apstein Aug 8, 2023