Stone Griffon Vineyard Review
Address: 153 E. Main Carlton,Oregon 97111.
Phone Number: 971-237-1045
Tasting Hours: Fri 5:00-7:00, Sat-Sun 12:00-6:00
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, Yamhill-Carlton Region, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 11/29/2015
Reviewer: Rob Boss
(Photos by Jai Soots)
In what might be the smallest tasting room Ive seen, Stone Griffon Vineyard greets guests in a hole in the wall located on the strip in downtown Carlton, Oregon. Its a dark little room, but its friendly. Terry McIntyre, owner, vineyard manager and winemaker is quite the storyteller and explained that they produce just over 1000 cases within the city limits of Carlton. The vines are actually within the city limits, which is unusual. Another great story revolved around the name Stone Griffon. The short version is a friend taking a smoke break at a party and upon seeing a lawn ornament from the back porch, was inspired. The eponymous Stone Griffon has since been moved from the backyard to the tasting room. The long version is a lot funnier, but in the interest of maintaining mystery
The first wine of the line up was Stone Griffons 2013 Jill Marie Pinot Noir, a blend of 50% Pommard and 50% Dijon clones. The wine had a lovely, light ruby color. The nose was an intense blend of crushed cherry, raspberry & strawberry aromatics. The palate was equally intense with ripe cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors. Next up was the 2013 Patricia Jean Estate. Only one barrel was produced, which translates to about 25 cases. Theres a bright, intense, nose of ripe fruit and a hint of white pepper on this one. Flavors included delicious, ripe, round, intense raspberries and cherries, and it ends with a long finish.
The last Pinot Noir of the day was a 2012 named after his wife, Carol Jean. The nose was a little shy but showed some white pepper and fruit hiding underneath. As was typical of the 2012 vintage, the flavors were ripe and very intense, although this wine was not showing that clearly defined cherry and raspberry Ive come to expectshy, indeed. Not to worry. That should come up in another six to twelve months.
Now we were on to other areas and other styles, starting with a 2009 Oregon Merlot, from the Walla Walla AVA. The wine was dark, with intense, black fruit on the nose and almost jammy black cherry, black plums, blackberries and currants on the palate. Last in line was a Syrah, also from Walla Walla. The 2012 Spofford Station Vineyard showed a fresh fruit nose. It was an inky wine with a mouthful of very ripe red and black plums and blackberries. There was a cocoa and espresso finish that I particularly enjoyed.
Good quality, here, at a reasonable price, while the exclusivity of a thousand case production certainly appeals to many buyers. I include myself among those, naturally. One of the privileges of such ownership is bragging rights when you serve it to friendswhich they in turn enjoy, knowing theyve had a last of a kind. Its what we live for, at least among wine geeks. Its a fun place among several fun places in downtown Carlton. My suggestion: since Stone Griffon is at the end of the street, make it one of your last stops. The Merlot and Syrah will stand out in contrast to all the Pinot Noir.