Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red back to Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley, where unique Pinot Noirs are born. Infiltrate Torii Mor Winery, whose Pinot Noirs have been earning stellar scores. Secure an ample allocation for our Pinot-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Torii Mor
Wine Subject: 2007 La Cuillère Members Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Chris Williams
Backgrounder: Oregon’s Willamette Valley, just south of Portland and along the Willamette River is well known for Pinot Noir and other Burgundian varietals. Its deep and fertile volcanic soil, cooler climate most directly effect viticulture. Most of the vineyards in this area are planted in the valley’s and hillsides along the river.
Today, we celebrate Torii Mor Winery and winemaker, Jacques Tardy, whose family has been engaged in wine making and grape growing over the last five generations, in France. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes, along with his interview with Jacques Tardy, below.
Look – Gorgeous ruby hues and perfect clarity, from the core of the wine, out to the pink edges. When swirled, thick tears take a long time to form – before falling slowly, from low on the glass wall.
Smell – Lush and full, with aromas of black cherry, earthy tobacco, dried fall leaves, wild strawberry and raspberry bramble. As the wine opens, it reveals soft spice, dark chocolate and cigar box with hints of dried orange peel and pine needles.
Feel – Velvet-smooth and round with a satiny entry. As the wine moves onto the mid-palate, it gains weight and dimension, with balanced acids and supple tannins adding complexity and intrigue.
Taste – Bright black and red fruit take lead with black cherry, wild strawberry candy, young blackberry and Bing cherry in the lead. As the wine breathes, it opens up, revealing cigar box, forest floor, dried cranberry with hints of subtle dried herbs and flint.
Finish – Long, sweet and flavorful, with long-sustaining bright red fruit, earth and soft spice. At the end, hints of subtle dried herbs and flinty minerals appear as the palate becomes slightly dry.
Conclusion – Recommended, and available in very limited quantity, today’s 2007 Torii Mor La Cuillère Members Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a delightful, delicious, approachable wine. Once the wine opened up (we recommend decanting for at least 30 minutes) our tasting panel found itself taking largegulps of this wine. This wine shows off its terroir, with plenty of characteristic earthiness, but it was the sweet and tart red fruits that really got our attention; the fruit was balanced, red, delicious and just juicy enough to make it more widely appealing to lovers of California Pinot Noir. In other words, this wine is distinctly Oregon but with just the right amount of California flair. Pair this elegant, flexible and food-friendly wine with lamb or a savory grilled chicken dish. Act qquickly, dear Operative, this wine will sell out.
The location of the VINEYARD can be seen in thissatellite photo.