Continuing our conversation with Rudy Marchesi at Montinore Estate
After looking over the Willamette Valley AVA map and having Rudy give us some background on the soils and the impact of the Missoula floods we sat with him to talk about how these soils influence the wines at Montinore Estate.
Pinot Noir is very expressive and Rudy told us that pinot grown in the windblown loess here tend to be brighter, with berry flavors rather than the cherry notes that are so often associated with pinot noir. The pinots here also are very spicy with baking spices.
They produce several different Pinot Noirs here. Here is a sampling. I can’t promise that I have not missed one.
- “Red Cap” Pinot Noir: This is a blend from all the vineyards giving you multiple areas and soil types blended into one bottle.
- Reserve Pinot Noir: Again from multiple sites but all within the estate. These are the best blocks and lots. They ferment and age separately and then blend the best.
- Parsons’ Ridge Pinot Noir: This vineyard block sits on a part of the vineyard where the vines face two different directions. The lots, as they are different, are fermented separately and then blended.
- Keeler Estate Pinot Noir: This is a 25 acres Biodynamic vineyard in Eola-Amity Hills that they source from. This gives you another opportunity to taste and compare the terroir.
- Windy Hill Pinot Noir: This comes from the Southern part of the Valley and is influenced by the winds of the Van Duzer Corridor.
- Cataclysm Pinot Noir: Comes from their Block 1 which has mineral rich soils. They pick the most expressive barrels from this block to make this wine.
He finds the white wines to actually be more distinctive. Pinot gris grown in the Missoula flood loess, is very complex. Rather than apple and pear, they get citrus and herbal notes. In warmer years there will be tropical notes. Always he finds pinot gris here to have lots of texture.
The riesling he find distinctive, but without as much difference although he feels sure some might disagree.
Chardonnay is new here. They had quite a bit planted early on, but it was the clone brought up from California. This clone was a late ripener and had tight clusters which were prone to rot. It was a great clone when there was good weather in a vintage, but that was about 1out of every 4 years.
They have now planted the new Dijon clone, which has looser clusters and is an earlier ripening clone. They are back in the Chardonnay business in a small way. He is encouraged by the quality, but it’s too soon to know what they will get stylistically from the vineyards with these clones. They will need a few more vintages to figuring this out.
They are currently producing a prosecco style bubbly, and have a Traditional Methode Champenoise Sparkling wine of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which is yet to be released.
In addition they are growing bits of Teroldego and Lagrein, Gerwürztraminer and Müller Thurgau.
Blends and specialty wines
You will find Rosé, Orange wine, fortified wine (Ruby), Ice wine (Frolic) and Verjus also on their wine line-up which is very diverse, having something for every palate.
Everything here is done on site, and they try to be as Estate as possible. The 2016 Pinot got away from 100% Estate because they had too much demand and had to contract a couple of other growers.
Speaking with Rudy and walking the winery, you can see the pride they take in making the best possible wines here.
You can learn a bit about the estate with our posts.
And check back here as we will next talk to Rudy about Biodynamics before heading with him to the cellar for a tour and barrel tasting.
If you are in the Willamette Valley stop by and give the wines a taste for yourself. You can find them a:
3663 SW Dilley Road
Forest Grove, Oregon 97116