Alloro Vineyard Review
Address: 22075 S.W. Lebeau Rd. Sherwood,Oregon 97140.
Phone Number: 503-625-1978
Tasting Hours: Feb-Mid Dec: Fri-Sun 11:00-5:00
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, Chehalem Mountains AVA, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 1/30/2015
Reviewer: Rob Boss
(Photos by Jai Soots)
When touring through Willamette Valley wine country, there are occasionallywell, oftenplaces that require a little extra planning, either due to their hours of business, location, or occasionally both. Alloro Vineyards has just expanded the hours of their tasting room an extra day, to Friday through Sunday. Many wineries resembling Italian villas have been built, but Alloros must surely be the most inviting, surrounded by a herd of sheep and their newborn lambs. The tasting room is comfortable, with a fireplace in the winter, but I was particularly enamored with the dream kitchen. Red granite counter tops, Viking range top flight equipment in a very cool looking room. And Alloro offers cooking classes, too.
But there is a little more to this than just coveting a kitchen. Alloro has a special place in my heart because they were on the first wine list I wrote, back in 2005. As I recall, it was a 2004 that knocked meand my customersfor a loop. Since then, the winemakers have changed but the fruit has not, unless perhaps for the better. I was drooling, and I hadnt even tasted any wine yet.
But taste I did, starting with the 2013 Chardonnay. This was a rich wine, with butter and broulee in the nose thats generally not a characteristic I think of in Oregon Chardonnay (more in our neighbors to the south). But it wasnt over-oaked, didnt overwhelm with the buttered popcorn that dogs California Chardonnays. The palate offered green apples and pears, and it was a little stony; minerally. The last always scores with me. Production is a blink-and-youll-miss-it 135 cases.
Next we went to Pinot Noir, starting with the 2011, which had a gorgeous nose of briars, crushed cherry and raspberry. Flavors abounded, with tart cherry, raspberry, strawberry and rhubarb. It was pretty refined now but should age very gracefully.
More intense was the barrel selection 2011 Riservata. The nose was darker, more intense, with riper black cherry and black currant notes. The same was true for the palate: ripe cherry (that elusive Chehalem cherry), raspberry; earthy and briary, with a long finishmany of the same characteristics as the wine before but more clearly defined, focused and deep. I shivered.
We wrapped up with the 2012 Estate Pinot Noir. As is proving typical of the vintage, the nose showed very ripe, fresh fruitnot focused yet, but tantalizing all the same. In the mouth was a celebration of black cherry, ripe raspberry, all very juicy flavors. Its delicious but right now its not yet at its peak. If you can stand the wait, another year or two in the bottle will deliver something breathtaking.
Memory doesnt serve for comparison, but the quality certainly seems as good as I remember it. Simply put, this winery offers exquisite quality. The fruit is top flight, thanks to superb vineyard practices (founder/owner/vineyard manager Tom Fitzpatrick proves it every day). These are beautiful wines, not to be missed on your trip to Oregon wine country. Make a plan, make it a priority and prepare to be enthralled. These people put in a lot of effort where it counts, and it will be worth yours.