Dominio IV Review
Address: 888 NE 8th St McMinnville,Oregon 97128.
Phone Number: 503-474-8636
Tasting Hours: Friday and Saturday 12:00-5:00 and by appt.
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, McMinnville, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 11/10/2012
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Just off downtown in McMinnville, Oregon are a few blocks that have taken on the name The Wine Ghetto. Here wine lovers find Oregons premier wineries a few doors down from up and comersEyrie, Westry, Matello, Grochau Cellars and several more. Dominio IV is in the thick of it, making beautiful wines with a hint of mysticism, in an old tin warehouse.
The mysticism is biodynamic winemaking, which depending who you talk to is organic winegrowing either on steroids or crack (or just a bunch of mumbo jumbo). Explaining it is outside the mission of this article but the results are not: Dominio IV makes lovely wines. Heather, the enthusiastic tasting room maven, poured a flight that was all over the board for flavor but consistent in quality. This could be a good place for new tasters because she definitely raises the fun and lowers the intimidation factors.
First of the flight was a 2011 Viognier, with a lovely nose of rosewater and peaches. The higher acidity makes for a food friendly wine while the pear and citrus flavors make it an easy one to drink on its own. Its a lovely summer day wine (although we were there in the fall and it showed just fine).
Next up was the 2010 Native Flora Rosé. A Pinot Noir rose, it brought on even more summer with strawberries, briars and pink grapefruit. Delicious!
Moving on to lighter red, the 2010 Willakia Vineyard Pinot Noir was classic Oregon, with a nose full of cherries, strawberries and briars. The soft, silky mouth feel was full of cherry flavors. Its a perfect example of the delicate 2010 vintage.
However good their Pinot Noir is, though, Dominio IV is not best known for their Oregon Pinot Noirs. Instead, its the bigger Columbia Valley (on the Oregon side) wines like the 2007 You Write in Syrah. This is where things started to get interesting: dark, stewed fruit, plums and berries in the nose but it was woody, oaky, sawdusty. The cocoa, cinnamon and black plum flavors were rich and intense. The wine was a beautiful, inky, garnet color, worth contemplating along with the flavors.
Last and best of the day was the 2006 Sketches of Spain Tempranillo (a lot of the wines are named after classic tunes). The aromatics were off the hook: intense, cooked, jammy fruit, plums, berries and brown sugar. Ripe black and red plums and young blackberry flavors all vied for attention (and purchaseahem).
All this in a fun atmosphere that looks like a garage (a tidy garage). Considering some of the Napa-esque opulence of other wineries in the Willamette Valley, the Wine Ghetto offers a sense of this is all you really need feel that is almost part of the wines terroirits almost an AVA in and of itself. Its definitely part of the attitude and the wine is generally wonderful, producer after producer and Dominio IV swings with the best, although their Spanish varietal specialty means they wield a different bat than the others. The difference only works in their favor.