2017 Ayoub, Pinot Noir “Memoirs” Willamette Valley, Oregon.
One of my favorite values, the Ayoub Memoirs Pinot is always a well crafted effort, and this fresh 2017 version is no exception, after two warm vintages this wine feels slightly less dense and more vivid in detail, while still having a lovely ripe character. Mo Ayoub noted that in 2017, there was an unusually wet cool spring that delayed flowering, setting the stage for a later harvest, and even though the summer was hot, it was followed by a mild September with few cool days of rain prior to harvest. All of which has given the wines a remarkable freshness and vivacious nature and this 2017 Memoirs uses that to great effect, it has a beautiful lively sensation on the medium weighted palate and racy red fruits, light spicy tones and a lingering finish. The 2017 Memoirs is a blend of Pinot Noir crafted from all the vineyards that Ayoub sources fruit from, and is a personal tribute to Mo’s family with this vintage showing a picture of his parents from the early 70’s, it came in at 13.4% natural alcohol and is wonderfully textured. Robert Brittan, long time Stags Leap Vineyard winemaker, who also makes wine under his own label Brittan Vineyard and Winderlea, consults for Mo Ayoub at Ayoub Vineyard, and has made a great impact on the wines here.
Brilliant ruby/garnet in the glass the 2017 Memoirs bristles with energy, while still being heavenly in mouth feel and textural pleasure showing black cherry, plum and cranberry fruits along with that dusty (red) spice, mineral note and with a touch of earth, cedar, cinnamon and blood orange, adding a faint herbal element as well as subtle sweet toast from the French oak. Ayoub’s winemaking reflects a combination of tradition and innovation and is not set in dogma as he believes in constantly learning and applies this to each new vintage to make very elegantly styled wines. While this Memoirs is a multi site Willamette wines, there is a Dundee influence here with a red spice quality, which is fitting as that is where Ayoub feels most at home. The Ayoub Vineyard and Winery was born out of Mo Ayoub’s passion for food and wine and his own vines, planted in 2001 are all in the Jory soils of Dundee on a small four acre estate which is farmed all organic. Made from a selection of old clones like Pommard and modern Dijpn 667, 777, 114 and 115 to name a few Ayoub’s Pinot(s) are complex and full of flavor, and this one should age nicely for 3 to 5 years at the minimum.
($39 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive