AWG Correspondent

Rob Boss

Gran Moraine Winery Photos

Gran Moraine Winery Review

Regions: Willamette Valley AVA, Yamhill-Carlton AVA, Oregon

Reviewed: November 12, 2016 by Rob Boss
Published: June 6, 2017

(Photos by Jai Soots)

Just outside Yamhill, Oregon, lies the Laughlin Loop, a particularly glorious collection of excellent wineries, any of which would be worth a trip of its own. The Loop offers wine tasters the convenience of one target destination, a lot of variety and quality and minimal driving. Gran Moraine winery lies near one the entrance of the road, making it an excellent start or finish to the tour.

The property exudes a quiet elegance, from the manicured grounds and on into the well- appointed but understated tasting room. Our tasting room maven was Jason, who greeted us warmly and served with professional aplomb. Like everything else about the surroundings, his service was exactly correct, neither more nor less than the situation required. He started the tasting flight with Gran Morain’s 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir.

“Rosé with intent,” he explained, meaning this wine was not sagnier style, but pressed specifically for that rosé. Jason was pretty much on top of everything, with that astute line just the beginning. He went on to tell us the fruit is from a 2008 planting that’s located around the building itself. There were bright strawberry and pink grapefruit notes on the nose. It was a simpler, more straightforward wine with strawberry flavors but plenty of food-favoring acid; once again, understatement.

The 2013 Chardonnay that followed was more complex and even more delicious. With a nose full of pears, this remarkably balanced and integrated wine showed Granny Smith apple, pear, and golden apples flavors, too. I thought it was fantastic.

Next, we moved to Pinot Noir. Although Gran Moraine was offering only two, they were interesting side by side. They’re both from the same vineyard and Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Both showed a rich, intensely spicy nose. Both offered a palate of black and red plum, blackberry and black cherry flavors. But the vintages of 2013 of 2014 are like siblings, as different as they were similar. The 2013 showed tart, young, fruit flavors while the 2014 offered ripe, juicy fruit. Although I preferred the 2013, I liked them both a lot.

Last up was a bonus pour of the 2013 Estate Reserve, which was every bit as elegant and sumptuous as I expected it to be. The nose was a beautiful, earthy tapestry of violets and strawberries. While I tasted a nice raspberry note—for a long time, in a lovely finish—I still thought the wine was being shy that afternoon. The potential was definitely there, though, and that’s why we go to tasting rooms: your tasting fee keeps you from opening a bottle before its time. Open this one in 2018. It’ll be worth the wait.

This is easily one of the nicest tasting room experiences you can have in the Willamette Valley. That’s a bold statement, particularly with the caveat that I won’t say I was exactly blown away. Everything is balanced, mannered, professional and proper at Gran Morain, such that any avid wine taster will leave perfectly satisfied—to return again and again. I’m a big fan of exceeding expectations, but I have a lot of respect for an establishment that does things exactly right while giving the impression that the customer will always see that level of competent service, every visit, every day. With that, Gran Moraine offers a unique sense of refinement that puts them in a league of their own.

Address & Contact Information: 17090 NE Woodland Loop Rd Yamhill, Oregon 97148. Telephone: 503-662-5454, email:, website: Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00.

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