Monks Gate Vineyard 2012 Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $36
In 1998, the Moore family began to develop their 50 acres of farm near the emerging wine destination of Carlton, Ore., and their neighbors are the monks at Trappist Abbey. A gate the Moores built allows abbey workers the farm access they enjoyed before vines were planted. Hence, the name of this winery. One of Oregon’s top vintners, Laurent Montalieu, works on the estate program for the Moores, and this bottling from Pommard (83%) and 777 clones shows elegance. Minimal new French oak allows for aromas of cherry juice, ripe raspberry and dusty Bing cherry with a scrape of vanilla bean and cocoa powder. There’s a fascinating texture to the drink of ripe raspberries and cherries, which is smooth, juicy, balanced and capped by milk chocolate. These wines are available not only at the family’s vineyard in Carlton but also at Zupan’s Market on Belmont Street in Portland. And it’s scheduled to be poured at Pinot in The City at Sodo Park in Seattle on Sept. 11.
Production: 136 cases