Our picks

Five LIVE-certified labels to try

A blind tasting of LIVE-certified wines from Oregon dispelled the notion that "sustainably grown" has anything to do with mediocrity. As one Sunset taster put it, "I haven't found one yet that I don't like."

Amity "Sunnyside" Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002  (Willamette Valley), $30. Well structured, with dark cherries, cedar, tobacco smoke, and sweet vanilla.

Benton-Lane "First Class" Pinot Noir 2002  (Willamette Valley), $35. Rich and velvety. Brambly berry, plum, mint, and sweet pipe-tobacco aromas give way to bright layers of cherries, mint, and white pepper.

Bethel Heights "Flat Block" Reserve Pinot Noir 2002  (Willamette Valley), $38. Sweet cherry flavors over cedar, mushrooms, and soft leather.

Ponzi Pinot Noir 2002  (Willamette Valley), $30. An elegant wine, with an earthy nose of blackberries, espresso, and licorice followed by velvety cherry, tea, and violet flavors.

Van Duzer "Dijon Blocks" Pinot Noir 2002  (Willamette Valley), $32. Deep cherry and leather aromas, with hints of cedar and vanilla; earthy fruit ― dried cherries and plums ― with black tea.

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