Troon – Carlton Review
Address: 250 N. Kutch Street Carlton,Oregon 97111.
Phone Number: 503-852-3084
Tasting Hours: Thurs-Sun 11:00-5:00 (Jan: Sat-Sun 11:00-5:00)
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, Yamhill-Carlton Region, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 9/21/2013
Reviewer: Rob Boss
(Photos by Jai Soots)
One of the great pleasures of exploring wine country, and in my case Oregon wine country, is the treasure hunt for hidden gems. Theyre everywhere. Sometimes theyre tucked in between major wineries (De Ponte is one of these), or just a little off the beaten path (like ArborBrook), and sometimes theyre hiding in plain sight, like Troon Vineyard’s Carlton tasting room.
Troon Vineyard is actually situated in the Applegate Valley AVA in Southern Oregon, but theyve recently opened a tasting room in Carlton to take advantage of the high traffic from Portland wine tasters (likely tripling the number of mouths tasting their wines), and take equal advantage of tasters who are suffering from Pinot fatigue. The latter is a stroke of genius, since Troons warm climate varietals are drastically different from everything else around them. They cant really be compared to any of the other locals because its apples versus oranges. But theyre some pretty good oranges.
It was a hot day, which proved to be perfect for the 2012 Semi Sparkling White, which was accurately described as bright and lively. Peach, apricot and lychee popped out of the glass to greet the nose. There was a little residual sugar that made the wine off-dry and jazzed up the ripe peach and apricot flavors. It’s semi sparkling like a Vinho Verde; frizzante, not bubbly. Refreshing and fun, its like summer in a bottle.
Next up was a fooder: 2011 Dry Riesling. The surprise was a hint of petrale in the nose, which is relatively rare in new world Riesling. Lychee and rose notes on the nose, tart citrus and mineral flavors on the palate. Its not a German Riesling but its more like it than most made in this country.
Vermentino is a pleasant white grape from Italy. Those who have worked in Italian restaurants often think of it as a beginners wine and thats not a bad way to look at it. Everyone starts with white Zinfandel, graduates to Chardonnay and after several gallons of California butter bombs, wants more out of life. Vermentino, while not the most complex wine, is deliciously accessible. New World Vermentino is a little different in flavor profile but retains its Old World cousins accessibility. Troons 2012 was a terrific summer quaffer with wet stones and citrus notes in the nose, a winking acidity to pair with salads, citrus flavors and a long finish.
Now into the reds, starting with the 2001 Druids Fluid, an entertaining blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Crushed fruit and pepper filled the nose, followed by a mouthful of raspberry, blackberry, boysenberries and black cherries. Theres some residual sugar that makes it accessible to people who think theyre not red wine drinkers, but will also cut the heat of spicy food.
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve was a well-balanced wine with a good backbone, bright cherries and plums with a dash of pepper in the nose. Rich black fruit abounded on the palate: plums and cherries galore.
The grand finale was the 2010 Meritage, a cuvee of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. It had a beautiful spicy nose, full of sandlewood, sage and summer savory. The flavors were a little more straightforward and defined plums and blackberries. It was a great way to end the show.
All of this, plus art and live music, in a pretty cool old building just a block off Main Street. Inconspicuous but not hard to find, because from down the street it elicits the obvious reaction, That looks like a tasting room. Tasting room manager Chelsea Janzen takes hospitality seriously and looks after customers with care, encyclopedic knowledge and utmost confidence in the products she represents. Its always a pleasure when a blade sharp professional has the reins. Troon is a good room; a very pleasant place to enjoy some interesting wine and overcome Pinot overload.