Montinore Estate Review
Address: 3663 SW Dilley Rd. Forest Grove,Oregon 97116.
Phone Number: 503-359-5012
Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 9/14/2013
Reviewer: Rob Boss
(Photos by Jai Soots)
Modern elegance is a term that not only applies to Montinore Estates gorgeous winery, but also to the wine thats produced there. Natural light spills through big windows into the capacious tasting room. High ceilings and light wood accent the airiness, but it still comes across as relaxed and thoughtfully appointed. With a production of 40,000 cases, Montinore is one of the largest wineries in Oregon. Unusual for the region, the fruit is mechanically harvested. But for all its bigness, Montinore is inviting, thanks to sharp and friendly staff.
Honeysuckle and pears filled up the nose of the first taste, a 2009 Riesling Reserve. Yummy pear, green apple and honey flavors spilled across the palate. The wine was barrel-aged for 90 days with no malolactic fermentation, so the fruit flavors are bright and clean. The 2010 edition showed more acid; bright, crisp Granny Smith apple flavors, with a touch of lemon. The nose had rich apple, lemon, lime and floral notes. Its a mouthwatering food wine.
Borealis is the name given to Montinores blend of Muller-Thurgau, Reisling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. This was a nice surprise on a hot day, with tropical flavors of star fruit, limes, oranges, lemons and lychee nuts, and a big, citrusy, floral nose with pineapple notes.
Up next was a rosé of Pinot Noir from the 2012 vintage. This wine was stainless steel fermented and aged, so the fruit flavors were simple and direct, with no distractions: Pink grapefruit and strawberries in the nose and mouth. Sometimes simple is better. Summer seemed to be made for this wine, rather than the other way around.
We moved into Pinot Noir next, starting with Montinores 2011 Reserve. This one spent thirteen months in small oak barrels. This elegant wine showed briars, pie spice and pepper (no doubt thanks to being made mostly of Pommard clones). The flavors were wound a little tight but it still offered young cherries on the palate, bright acid but excellent balance. It was shy and needed more bottle aging, but it was beautiful. The 2010 Cataclysm showed similar young cherry flavors, with a nice minerality. Crushed cherries on the nose with a nice touch of tobacco on the nose were enticing, but again, its still young and just starting to show well.
2009 was a warmer year so it wasnt a big surprise that the Parsons Ridge Pinot Noir was a little hot14.3% alcoholand showed cooked cherries on the nose. There were very ripe cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavors, the big splashes of red fruit that were characteristic of the vintage. Love it or not, 2009 is distinct.
For those of us who prefer to drink our sugar, there is the 2012 Riesling Sweet Reserve. This explosion of apricot and key lime flavors still had some acid, which begged for cheese. A challenging pairing but the results could be spectacular.
Picnics are the order of the day on the lovely grounds. Check the website for special events, which take place throughout the summer. Though its a huge winery, Montinore is a welcoming place, easy to recommend.