TN: 2008 Montinore Pinot Noir Willamette Valley - My Dog Could Have Done Better

I’m on record as having said that my dog (if I had a dog) could have made good wine in the Willamette Valley in 2008, so I decided to test the theory by trying a wine from a producer with virtually no reputation for producing pinot noir that’s even close to memorable. Well, maybe my dog could have made good wine in 2008, but the Montinore dog surely couldn’t . . . and didn’t.

Tart, green, stemmy sour cherry is all I got when I smelled and tasted this wine. There isn’t anything beyond the nice ruby color that’s attractive about it. Linda Lindsey’s 2007 Rascal (interestingly enough, also a doggy wine - just look at the label) is built to sell for around $8 and, from a lesser and more difficult vintage, is a better wine at half the price. This one became drain food in a big hurry.

Montinore is widely distributed. No wonder people outside of Oregon have a whacked-out view of what the Willamette Valley can produce. Sad.

Tell us how you really feel about the wine!

Good TNs, good comments!

You should know by now I don’t beat around the bush. The wine sucked.

hmmm … too bad this one sucked, Bob. their ‘98 WV Pinot is the wine that got me into wine — i have no idea if it was a good wine or not, but i did like it! [berserker.gif]

Ruff. They could ask Gallo about cheap “Pinot” blending stock to beef it up a bit more next time.



Montinore Wines were not always as bad as present. In the earlier years they were at least average to above and at a good price point. Good vintages they turned out decent wines, poor vintages, not so much. Much better than Firestead, for instance, that sold in about the same volume and price point. They were owned by a very Jewish fellow if I remember. Bob could probably give you an exact year, but about 04-05ish they sold. It has been 100% downhill ever since,imo. Your history lesson for the day.

I guess i won’t be taking a flyer on any recent vintages – and, without Bob’s note here, and your input as well, I very well may done just that. This is why I like it when people post ALL their TN’s, not just the laudatory ones.

Interesting thread. Word on the street here in Portland is that Montinore is on the upswing, just the opposite of what Gordon suggests. They’re even farming biodynamically. That’s not necessarily an indicator of quality, but it appears from the outside that the old mass market approach has more recently turned at lot more natural. I can’t say who’s right. I tried the '08 a couple of months ago at a party and thought it was unremarkable. Pleasant enough, nothing I would seek out but hardly green and stemmy. As TomHill might say, perhaps I need to investigate further.

I’m sorry, but I must be missing something. What exactly does the man’s religion have to do with the quality of his wines?


You’re right and I apologize if anyone was offended it wasn’t meant in that vain. For some reason it just stuck out in my mind. Like if you go to a farmer’s market and there is an Amish booth there, you might tell someone go down to the Amish booth in so and so section. You know they were Amish. Their relegion had nothing to do with the produce raised but it was an identifier. I don’t remember what stuck out in my mind with them, Orthodox, Conservative, but something(dress/ haircut,etc) outside of the ordinary that one knew they were Jewish like one knows someone is Amish.

Didn’t mean to offend anyone!

Unfortunate, as I really enjoyed the 06 and 07 versions of this bottling. Was looking forward to the 08 based on the vintage rep to date as well as the reduced price I’ve seen around town. At the $11 I’ve seen it for I think I’ll give it a try but in general I’m not hopeful as I find that my palate aligns pretty well with Mr. Woods.

Gordon, as a bone fide member of the tribe I can assure you that I was in no way offended by your comment.