Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Torii Mor Pinot Noir (2008)

As much as I love pinot noir wines, it is the one varietal that I perhaps drink the least.  The reason is not due to a lack of wines, as any grocery store, wine store or any store is usually stocked with a lot of different pinot noir wines. Yet, I walk by all of them.  Or, I should say almost all of them.  When it comes to pinot noir wines, I am very selective.  The reason is that, as I have written about a couple of times on this blog, pinot noir wines embody some of the greatest memories of my life ... namely, my honeymoon with my beautiful Angel in the Willamette Valley.  

I have reviewed many of the wines from vineyards and winemakers that we visited during our vacation, including Prive Vineyards, Sokol Blosser, Bergstrom, and Stoller.  One vineyard that we did not visit and whose wines we did not taste, is Torii Mor.  This winery was established by Dr. Donald Olson in 1993, and, it has increased its production from about 1,000 cases at its start to more than 15,000 cases now.

I bought a bottle from one of those cases of Torii Mor Pinot Noir wine and set it aside for us to enjoy.  The bottle sat in our wine rack for quite a while until we opened it.  The wine poured a dark red, almost earthy crimson color.  As the pinot noir opened, there were notes of cherries, raspberries and some minerality.  These are the elements that I come to expect and enjoy from pinot noir wines.   They are also the elements that set aside an Oregon pinot noir from its Californian and French relatives.  

As for the taste, the Torii Mor wine proudly displays round, ripe cherries in the forefront.  There is a little darkness to these cherries, but it is very interesting and very good.  There is some slate and earthiness in the background, which lingers long after the cherries have passed.  

The earthiness of this wine allows for it to be paired with more than what one would traditionally pair pinot noir wines.  I would even pair this dish with some red meat, perhaps a grilled steak or even some lamb.  The nice thing about Oregon Pinot Noir wines is their ability to pair with somewhat more substantial dishes.  

I have seen Torii Mor wines in wine stores and grocery stores with large wine selections. I don't recall what the price of the wine, but it was probably in the mid $20 range.  


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