Mo Ayoub is a fascinating person and well-reviewed vintner for whom growing grapes and making wine is a retirement gig – and what a gig it is. His wines are eagerly sought after and elusive, as he doesn’t make much, and what he does make is often only available at his home in the beautiful Dundee Hills AVA of Oregon.
So, that’s where we went to meet him – in his kitchen for a tasting in August 2018. There we tasted through his five offerings that day, and came away with several bottles which have been sleeping ever since in the cellar – that is, until visitors and turkey with trimmings gave us a reason to pop the cork over the holidays.
At five years old (January 2022), this Pinot is translucent garnet on the eyes with aromas of black cherry, nutmeg, and leather couch. The palate has mouth-watering acidity with flavours of more ripe cherry, mint, leather, savoury light mushroom, a little freshly turned dirt, and some softly scrubbed tannins.
I can’t recommend this wine, and a visit with Mo, highly enough. Next time you’re going to be driving through the Willamette Valley, make sure to contact him in advance for a private tasting. Visiting with him and talking with him about his wines are well worth the effort.