A gorgeous expression of Pinot Noir from one of Oregon's leading wineries, the family-owned Ponzi Vineyards. Named for the table where the family gathers for meals, the 2005 Tavola is a lush wine loaded with cool, complex fruit. Take a sip, and you can trace an itinerary of sweet spices, blue plums, black cherries and toasted oak. It's a fascinating wine, one of this winery's best efforts and an argument for Oregon's Willamette Valley as Pinot Noir territory.
No need to age this one. Just pop the cork and drink it with that roast chicken or duck, sauteed liver and onions, a roast leg of lamb.
Region: Willamette Valley
Price: About $22
Style: Lush and complex
Food it goes with: Roast duck or chicken, liver and onions, leg of lamb
Where you find it: Available at fine wine shops and retailers, including Pacific Ranch Market in Orange, (714) 639-9792; Heritage Wine Co. in Pasadena, (626) 844-9333; Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 and (800) 769-4639; and from the winery, www.ponziwines.com, (503) 628-1227.
-- S. Irene Virbila