As you drive down Highway 99 from Portland into the Willamette Valley, the first AVA you hit is Chehalem Mountain with the town of Sherwood marking the entrance to wine country. Blue and white signs along the road announce which wineries are where and your heart starts to beat a bit faster just thinking about all of the delicious wine that awaits you. And as we came through Sherwood on that initial drive down through the valley, one of the very first blue signs I see is for Alloro Vineyards. Including the location of the winery into that file in the back of my brain, we drove on through Newberg, then Dundee and Lafayette, stopping finally in Carlton to check in to our apartment.
That evening at dinner James Moises is talking about other wineries that have approached him about distributing their wines in New Orleans. Again the name Alloro comes up and I realize that after the third mention in a day, I need to pay attention. So James ends up visiting the winery the day we leave the valley and is incredibly impressed with the place, the wines and the people. Yes, he will be picking up the wines and he can't wait for us to try them. And after much discussion we end up putting Alloro Vineyards on our itinerary for our upcoming Artisan Oregon wine trip in October, based purely on James' excitement about his experience.
|Photo from allorovineyards.com|
Then comes the big Wine Spectator article on Oregon's 2010 vintage and the Alloro Riservata Pinot Noir is chosen as one of the top 20 wines out of 550 tasted for the article and the Chehalem Mountain Pinot scoring 92 points! No longer filed in the back of my brain, the wines certainly have gotten my attention and are now in the store. We finally had a chance to revisit the 2010 Chehalem Mountian with dinner last night, inspiring this blog post today!
From the southwest facing slope of Laurel Ridge in the Chehalem Mountains, the vineyard plantings start at 475 feet and rise to about 650 feet and have either a southwest or southeast aspect. The soil is classified as Laurelwood Series, a silty soil made of ancient decomposed volcanic material with a top layer of ancient sediment.
It's all estate grown fruit and they only produce 1200 cases of the Chehalem Mountain and 300 cases of the Riservata. Both are in stock as well as their lovely Pinot Noir Rose'! So if you are a fan of really well made, small production Oregon Pinot Noir, come by, we are sure you'll be impressed!
2010 ALLORO PINOT NOIR, 92 points
Sleek and refined, with a nice point to the black cherry and mineral flavors, lingering with haunting delicacy on the finish. Drink now through 2018.
2010 ALLORO ‘RISERVATA’ PINOT NOIR, 93 points
Polished, expressive and distinctive, offering meaty, savory overtones around a silky core of black cherry and mulberry fruit, coming together with intensity and harmony on the finish. Drink now through 2020.