Was I at all fearful that my visit to Ayoub Friday would have me rethinking my lofty praise for Mo's wines a couple weeks ago? Nope.
I've tasted every vintage of Ayoub -- fifteen -- and watched Oregon's wine industry mature in the process. Along the way I've talked with countless Pinot fans who've helped inform my opinions.
My original conclusion stands: Ayoub is unquestionably one of Oregon's best producers; Ayoub's Estate Pinot noir is unquestionably one of the best wines made in our state. It takes a lot to impress me, and I was floored for a second time by Mo Ayoub's 2017s, from top to bottom. If you buy only one, make it the truly transcendent Estate, though I'll vouch that you can't go wrong with any of them! Oh, and you'll notice a new wine added below: the last of Ayoub's Estate Whole Cluster '17 which is, to use Mo's word, "phenomenal."
$58.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($64.95 regular)
One of the most exquisite Pinot noirs in the entire Willamette Valley, Ayoub's Estate defies conventional descriptors. Even more about feel than flavor, it's a silky, sensual wine that's an absolute must-have for Oregon Pinot lovers.
Mo's Estate Pinot always comes back to one word: silk. It's the texture and the way the wine moves. Since I don't have to stick to one word, I can say that the 2017 Estate is aromatically gorgeous, too, boasting red fruits and nutmeg cream. The elegant, understated power surges effortlessly, creating a sense of completeness.
Having tasted each and every vintage of Ayoub Pinot noir, I am fully confident in agreeing with Mo that this is one of his best Estate Pinots ever and will be an exceptionally long-lived wine. I recommend letting the '17 rest for a few months before trying it and drinking it over the next fifteen years. - Marcus
$49.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($54.95 regular)
At first impression, a darker version of the Dundee Hills and then oh yeah! it's silky and round with immediate deep charm. Showing its vibrant evolution, the Dundee light switch flicks on to reveal scrumptious red fruit sweetness accented by Mandarin orange. Beguilingly detailed with elements of whole cluster-complexity, Anonimo is a wildly exciting new wine for Ayoub which we'll see for many years to come; Mo has a long-term lease on the four-acre vineyard, a stone's throw from his estate vineyard and winery. Mo planted Anonimo to nine different clones of Pinot noir, which he credits for the wine's beautiful complexity. - Marcus
$67.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($74.95 regular)
Only 140 cases made of this incredible, 100% whole cluster Pinot. I have to downplay it's greatness because as you might expect, there's no enough to go around. From Mo: "This is a nuanced and captivating red wine. Very aromatic with violet, rose petal, white pepper and cardamom/cinnamon. Seamless and powerful on the palate, with layers of succulent fruit and spice, incredible energy. The harmonious and very expansive finish showcases the wine great structure and lingers endlessly. This is a gorgeous wine, although tempting to drink now, the longer you can wait to drink it the more rewarding it will be. Best from 2020 to 2032."
$35.05 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($38.95 regular)
Another fantastic Memoirs, this wine offers a wonderful introduction to one of Willamette Valley's top wineries. Beaming with black cherry and attractive spices, it shows subtle power, excellent freshness, and is a thoroughly engaging wine today that will also age nicely should you be able to resist drinking it over the coming months. - Marcus
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Purple Wine Company, Inc., a California limited liability company, and its AVALON brand are not in any way affiliated with Avalon Wine, Inc, an Oregon corporation, or Avalon Wine's store at its physical location in Oregon.
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