Smelling the 2016 Momtazi, it is immediately obvious that this wine comes from a unique place. The extremes from exposure, day/night temperatures and thin steep soils are apparent from the first impression. Fresh peat, ground coffee, blueberry, blackberry and smoky spice aromas typify the normal spectrum for Momtazi. This wine always has substantial density and the 2016 vintage amps up the juicy, sweetness of its flavors. While always dense, this wine has a suppleness that is immediately appealing. A great match for rustic meals including mushrooms, roasted vegetables, wild game and braised meats.
Momtazi Vineyard is located in the McMinnville AVA, 7 miles west of McMinnville, Oregon. Planted in 1999 and 2004 on thin, poor soils, the vines have a south and SW exposure at an elevation of 680-760'. The vineyard is certified biodynamic by Demeter. In 2006 I approached Moe Momtazi and asked if St. Innocent could contract for Pinot noir fruit from his bio-dynamically farmed vineyard. From my first trip to France in 1998, I observed that the greatest domaines in both Burgundy and Alsace had one thing in common: they farmed bio-dynamically.
The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in 4-8 ton stainless steel and
Burgundy oak fermenters with no SO2 allowing the fermentation to proceed
naturally. After gently pressing and settling the wine aged in French oak
barrels, 23% which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity
2016 was the third in a string of warm summers and early harvests. It produced the smallest crop of the three. The harvest began with a bit of heat and dehydration in the fruit. This immediately resolved with cooler temperatures and the rest of the harvest produced well balanced fruit with lovely flavors and ripe tannins. We finished picking at the end of September, producing a total of 10,200 cases. In general 2016 produced lush, early-drinking wines with lovely aromatics and accessible fruit, spice and floral notes. They can be aged and are quite approachable in their youth.
Food Pairing Notes
Braised meats, roasts, mushrooms or dishes with eastern spices
Release Date: ; Production: cases