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Oregon Pinot noir: Ayoub Vineyards Pinot noir


Mo Ayoub with Northwest Wine's Marcus LoozeI’m having flashbacks to last July, when I wrote about Mo Ayoub’s 2010 Ayoub Vineyards Pinot noir with two simple, direct words: buy them. Many (many) did and were especially happy when the wines got rave reviews some months later. We won’t have the luxury to wait this year – Ayoub is one of the hottest wineries in the country right now and I fully expect all of Mo’s wines to sell out months before they are reviewed. And we shouldn’t wait, because the wines are awesome.

at right, Mo Ayoub with Northwest Wine’s Marcus Looze and Adrienne Marler

Now to the 2011s: If you want incredible, energetic, evolving Pinots, Ayoub 2011s are for you. These wine are made for aging – I love that Mo wrote about it being a crime to drink his Estate Pinot young, and I’d apply that to all of his 2011s. Start with 4-6 years to fully experience the magic.

Ayoub Vineyards Estate Dundee Hills Pinot noir 2011Ayoub Dundee Hills Estate Pinot noir 2011
$49.45 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($54.95 retail)
The flagship of Ayoub Pinots floors us again. I believe this will be the finest of Mo’s 2011s and the longest-lived. It smells amazing, complex and perfumed,  displaying gorgeous red fruits, cedar-spice, and an evocative fresh-rain-on-earth quality. Raspberry, pie cherry and strawberry layers are wrapped with a ribbon of orange and clove. It’s very silky upfront, with underlying mineral accents melding perfectly with the sweetness of the Ayoub Estate’s fruit. This has depth of character to spare! Buy it, age it, love it.

Ayoub Brittan Vineyard 2011
$39.95 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($44.40 retail)
The 2011 Brittan may have been made in the land “Where the Wild Things Are.” A dark wild berry heart meets a beam of bright acidity. The flavors remind me of a blueberry and blackberry cobbler, mixing in accents of licorice and slate-like minerality. Mo referred to this as a monster and I can see why – intense, juicy, mouthwatering, savory, wild, the Brittan will be ready to pounce when it is cellared for 4-6 years or longer. Mo said he had a bottle open for three weeks and it was still holding up.

Ayoub Meredith Mitchell VIneyard 2011
$39.95 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($44.40 retail)
This is Mo’s first vintage working with Meredith Mitchell Vineyard and it’s an exceptional debut. The most aromatically showy of the wines shows dark cherries, creamed blueberries, and grated nutmeg that leads into a huckleberry and black cherry palate, brimming with juicy acidity, finishing with savoriness and dried herbs on the finish. This, too, has fantastic aging potential and given it’s showiness, may be the high-scorer of the bunch.

Ayoub Winderlea Vineyard 2011
$39.95 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($44.40 retail)
The smallest production of Ayoub 2011, with only 75 cases produced. Mo says, “take my word for it – it’s an amazing wine.”

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