Monday, July 23, 2007

Torii Mor Vineyard and Winery

On a brief trip to McMinnville, OR, to wish my father-in-law a happy birthday, I convinced Brenda to take a little side trip to Torii Mor Vineyards and Winery. I'd heard a lot of good things about their wine from the local wine-geek squad and figured I better get in on the action. The drive, as expected, was gorgeous. It was a beautiful day in July, the sun was out and a little breeze made it comfortable. The tasting room was small, but cozy. The staff was very friendly, knowledgeable, and buzzing with energy. We decided to get the full meal deal and taste all the wines, a total of 8, for $12.

I won't bore you with the details of each, but just mention the highlights: The 2005 Reserve Pinot Gris and 2005 Anden Vineyard Chardonnay. Yes, the white wines blew us away. The pinot noirs (there were three) were certainly acceptable, but at $29 - $60 a bottle, I felt was a bit steep for my economic taste buds. It's true they were young (all were 2005), so they tended to be a bit tight, but even so I didn't sense that they were extremely age-worthy. They seemed a bit out of balance and...enough about that...I'll go back and try them again to be sure. Now, the tasty wines.

The 2005 Reserve Pinot Gris ($21 a bottle) was astounding. As I sniffed, bright aromas of honeysuckle, peach, and melon slapped me upside the head. Taking the backseat was just a hint of grass. I took it for a whirl, whoa...the high acid instantly awakened the taste buds. The fruit on the nose stuck with me in the mouth. This wine had a rich, enveloping mouthfeel, which gave it a lusciousness that worked very well with the huge amount of fruit in the glass. Very good, very well-balanced.
The 2005 Anden Vineyard Chardonnay ($34 a bottle). I'm not a huge chard fan, so it takes a lot to impress me. I like mine rich and buttery, with bright tropical fruit, but easy on the toast. This one had a fair amount of toast, but it didn't bother me. I think because the fruit, which brought apples and a hint of lemon, was very lively. The mouthfeel, which maintained a bit higher acidity than I would expect for a wine of this richness, was very well-balanced and never felt over the top. On the finish there was a tiny bit of dill herb bathed in warm butter and apple spice.

The grounds here are beautiful. You can take your glass of vino and meditate in the Japanese-inspired garden, or stroll through the nearby vineyard. A really nice place. I'll be excited to come back again when they re-open in their new state-of-the-art gravity fed winery and tasting room.

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