|The "Red Hills" jory soil of Dundee Hills at Lange|
After leaving Lange, we went to Ayoub winery where we had made an appointment. Mo Ayoub welcomed us and showed us his new, as yet non-functional, winery built adjacent to his home. He then invited us into his kitchen where he had opened a bottle of his 2008 wine, along with a spread of cheeses, bread and almonds. Mo is making an incredibly enjoyable and complex Pinot Noir which continued to develop as it opened up. In the course of our conversation, Mo talked about the Chardonnay that he made and he and John struck up a discussion about Burgundian Chardonnays. Suddenly, a smile crept across Mo's face and he said "You may be in luck" as he went to his refrigerator and pulled out a barrel sample of his '09 Chardonnay. Indeed, we were fortunate. This was another beautifully made wine which, as it warmed up, delivered a wonderful balance of fruit, acid and minerality. This visit was definitely the highlight of Day 3, and I'll be looking forward to the '09 releases.
We continued down the hill to Winderlea, a relatively new winery with a glassed-in tasting room overlooking the valley and owned by a couple in their "second career". The wife of the partnership was pouring in the tasting room alongside a staff member who was congenial and knowledgeable. The wines were pleasant, but nothing stood out as a must buy. After leaving Winderlea, we headed to Carlton where we tasted at two of the tasting rooms.
Tyrie Evans is the tasting room for Ken Wright Winery. I was not impressed by the wines they were pouring, though I've had a Ken Wright from 2006 that I really enjoyed. Our next stop was Scott Paul, across the street, who makes wine as well as importing wines from Burgundy. Interesting, but again, nothing outstanding. We also stopped into The Tasting Room in Carlton because we had had an enjoyable visit in 2008, but did not taste here.