2013 Ayoub, ??? Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $55
Winery info: Owned and operated by Mohamad “Mo” Ayoub in Oregon’s Dundee Hills
Winemaker: Mo Ayoub released his first vintage in 2005 and is now one of the hottest winemakers in Oregon. See our write-up for the March 2015 Oregon club for some of the outstanding accolades he’s recently received from top reviewers.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard sources: “Three great vineyards from Dundee Hills, whose identity he is “unable to reveal.” (But we can tell you confidentially that they are allegedly owned by a premium winery whose initials are “Arch… Summ…”) The volcanic Jory soils here tend to produce complex, earthy, concentrated Pinots.
Flavor profile: A broad, expansive palate, with excellent structure and savory notes of black cherry, tea, and exotic spices
Production/Availability: 325 cases, still available through the local distributor
Drinkability: Best from 2016 to 2023, but Ayoub’s Pinots will really reward your patience.
Food Pairing: Will pair well with all the usual matches for Pinot, but so complex it would be rewarding to savor it without food.
2012 Rex Hill, Seven Soils Chardonnay, $29.75
Winery info: A family-owned winery founded in 1982 in Newberg, Oregon, with over 38 acres of estate vineyards
Winemaker: Michael Davies, the Executive Winemaker, is from a small town in New Zealand. He’s worked in his home country as well as Burgundy, California, and Australia, and was previously vineyard manager and assistant winemaker at Chehalem.
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
Vineyard sources: Grapes from six different Willamette Valley vineyards (26% Roserock, 21% Jacob-Hart, 20% Carabella, 16% Margelle, 11% Alpine, 6% Gran Moraine), blended to achieve maximum complexity and depth of flavor.
Flavor profile: Elegant, creamy, and rich, but balanced by good acidity and minerality. Aromas of peach, pear, wet stone, and citrus, with an oak profile that doesn’t overwhelm the fruit.
Production/Availability: 446 cases, so in good supply
Drinkability: Approachable now, it will age and develop layers of flavors over the next five years.
Food Pairing: Try it with salmon, lamb or mushroom dishes.