Bear Creek 1998 Pinot Noir (Rogue Valley)

A burly surprise from southern Oregon; there are flowery, almost honeyed elements to the black-fruit nose. It scores big points in the mouthfeel category—it's round, chewy and creamy. Oak is a giant factor here; you'd better like mounds of toasty wood. If you do, the plump plummy fruit will make your day. But stand clear of this hefster if you prefer elegant, streamlined Pinot Noir. Michael Schachner

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