Friday, July 17, 2020

Italian Grapes of Northern Italy Reside in Oregon with Montinore Estate

If you’ve been following along my wine journey, you’ll notice that I also enjoy seeking out wineries outside of Italy that are growing Italian grapes.  It’s interesting to see the reasons behind why wineries choose these grapes and the results in the bottle in comparison to those grown on Italian soil.  This week I explore the wines of Montinore Estate located in northern Oregon in the Willamette Valley AVA.

Montinore Italian grapes in Oregon

The Winery ~ Montinore Estate 

Montinore was purchased in 2005 by Rudy Marchesi, whose Italian roots run deep.  His grandparents, Carlo and Rosa Marchesi, lived in Northern Italy and lived a “sustainable “lifestyle” growing their own food and making their own wine.  When they moved to the United States they settled in the Northeast and passed these traditions down to Rudy.   

Rudy had made and sold his own wine, but had a fascination with Oregon for its beauty and creativity.  He wanted to show this in the glass and make sure that the wines he produced reflected the characteristics of place while showing their own individual character.  He believes in making food friendly, approachable wines.  He became a part of Montinore first overseeing operations until he later purchased the 200 acres.   

The vineyards of Montinore were planted in 1982 and are on slopes East facing the Coastal Range foothills.  Their focus is on the pride of Oregon, the Pinot Noir grape, along with Italian grapes and cool climate whites.

Montinore Estate in Willamette Valley Oregon
The Wines 

I was surprised to see exactly how many grapes Montinore is really working with.  I tried a few wines featuring four Italian grapes. 

Montinore NV Rosso di Marchesi Sesto Atto – This wine is a blend including 34% Lagrein, 27% Sangiovese, 16%  Nebbiolo, 13% Teroldego and 10% Pinot Noir.  It is a dedication to Rudy’s grandparents and is the 6th vintage or as the name refers to as Sesto Atto meaning “sixth act”.  All the grapes are grown at Montinore except the Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, which are grown in the Red Mountain AVA of Washington.  A full-bodied wine full of jammy, juicy fruits with hints of both tobacco and even some chocolate.  I always find blends interesting as you have such an array of flavors and characteristics that show in the blend.  SRP $28

Montinore Rosso di Marchesi Sesto Atto

2017 Montinore Teroldego – Many of the qualities of Teroldego, that calls the wine region of Trentino home in Northeastern Italy, translated into the glass for this wine produced by Montinore.  Rudy actual is using the vine cuttings from Elisabetta Foradori, well-known for her Teroldego.  Deeply colored, with intense berries and some earthiness.  Good acidity and some notes of vanilla.  A full-bodied wine produced in a New World style. This wine spends 20 months in 100% Hungarian oak that is 1/3 new.  SRP $40

2017 Montinore Teroldego

2017 Montinore Lagrein Lagrein, another grape that calls Northern Italy home in the Alto Adige wine region.  Lagrein isn’t produced in large quantities at Montinore, but are produced biodynamically.  Also darkly colored, flavors of juicy cherries and plums are displayed in this smooth wine.  Aged 20 months also, but in French oak that is 1/3 new.  SRP $40

2017 Montinore Lagrein

Although I have yet to visit Oregon I’ve always been a huge fan of their Pinot Noir.  I greatly appreciate wineries like Montinore that are bringing attention to Italian grapes and educating wine consumers.


*These wines were provided as samples, but opinions are all my own. 

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