As if you needed another reason to drink the crown jewel of Oregon wine, today, August 18, is National Pinot Noir Day. This red wine grape of Burgundian (France) origin has long staked its claim as a variety-to-watch in this nation, from the Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California to Oregon’s Willamette Valley and even Washington’s Puget Sound. Celebrate this day with one of these prime Pinot picks. 

Audeant Wines 2018 Nysa Vineyard 

Born-and-bred Oregon Pinot Noir from native Oregonian winemaker Andrew Riechers, this single-vineyard wine showcases the singular Nysa Vineyard in the Dundee Hills. Aromas of black cherry, marionberry, wet rock, tobacco, forest floor and rose bloom, while the tart berry palate fleshes out from cranberry to marionberry across the medium body, with great texture from acidity in the finish. | $75

Montinore Estates 2017 Reserve

Only select barrels from the vintage’s top growing sites go into this bottling from the Tualatin Hills, biodynamic, estate winery. Gently reminiscent of a cigar box on the nose with spices, cedar and wafts of tobacco, black berries and plum meld with earth and more spice on the palate, sealing with a hint of smoke, soft tannin and prickling acid. | $40

Nicolas Jay 2018 L’Ensemble

The ensemble — or duo — behind Nicolas Jay’s winemaking team is lauded French winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo and Tracy Kendall, a local vintner with production experience around the world and touting a masters in enology and viticulture from University of California, Davis. That expertise is on full display here in this young and exuberant wine that showcases finesse, dark berry characteristics, ample acidity and finely grained tannins. | $70

Bethel Heights Justice Vineyard 2017

If you don’t recall, 2017 was a relatively warm and dry vintage for the Eola-Amity Hills, where Bethel Heights hosts this estate vineyard. The result is a deep, bold and polished rendition of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. A real thinkpiece, this powerful wine also shows restraint and finesse in texture as it stretches out to exhibit dark plum and ripe blueberry flavors dusted with scorched earth and slate. | $56