Stoller Family Estate Review
Address: 16161 NE McDougall Rd. Dayton,Oregon 97114.
Phone Number: 503-864-3404
Tasting Hours: 11:00-4:00
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, Dundee Hills AVA, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 5/15/2012
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Although the website offers the heads up that Stoller Vineyards is the largest site in Oregons Dundee Hills at 373 acres, imagining just how large is another matter. Turning onto McDougall Road is deceptive because the property cant be seen from Highway 99, and the scale is still not evident until rounding another corner and seeing the converted grain silo and beautiful house. The actual winery is a little further on, past sprawling grounds that feature shade trees, tables and chairs, and nine holes of Frisbee golf. Stoller is hugeand spectacular.
At the top of the hill is the gravity flow winery and the small, modest tasting room. A new visitors center was under construction on our visit, scheduled to open September 2012. For now, the tasting rooms brilliance is in its compactness. Everything is tastefully in its place, as elegant and refined as the wines that are produced here, belying the winerys 10,000 case productionwhich doesnt include the fruit they sell to other winemakers. But none of that matters if the wine isnt good, and Stoller Vineyards doesnt leave that to chance.
The flight started with the 2011 J.V. (Jeune Vignes, or young vines), a stainless steel aged Chardonnay that presents the bright, crisp fruit flavors from that style. 2011 was a cool year in Oregon and the wine shows bright apples and pears in the nose. Tart Granny Smith apples, pears and peaches abound. Theres nothing like steel aging for clean, clear, focused and distinct fruit flavors.
On the other side of the Chardonnay coin is 2009 Stoller Vineyards, which is barrel fermented and oak aged. The result is a buttered toast noselots of butterthat carries on to the palette, along with apple pie flavors.
In a black glass tasting, the 2001 Rose might be mistaken for a Sauvignon Blanc. Such was the citrus and grapefruit in the nose. The pink grapefruit and tart strawberry flavors certainly flipped that around. Incongruous? Hardly. In two more months, all of this will be integrated nicely. We got to it a little early.
But Pinot Noir is what the Willamette Valley is all about, and if youre unfamiliar with it, the 2009 J.V. from Stoller is a great place to start. The nose is full of fresh, crushed fruit; lots of cherries, raspberries and a touch of briar. The wine is striking in its refinement, full of beautiful, silky cherry flavors, opening and unfolding in a nice long finish. This was the bargain of the day.
The rightful star of the show is the 2008 SV Estate. The nose is earthy, rich with tobacco, cherry and strawberry. Theres plenty of structure to age, but its beautifully balanced with ripe, round, defined cherries and a lingering finish. Not an unusual profile for the 2008 vintage, actually, but everything about Stoller, everything around the place, says classic. Its beautiful.
Its easy to get carried away in a gorgeous place like this, but again, its about the wine. These guys have been at it for two decades and theyve got it down. Stoller grows great wine from the ground up (yet still sells about half their cropsome of the most coveted fruit in the Willamette Valley). And theres Frisbee golf right outside the tasting room door. Honestly, could a wine lover ask for more?