Recently, while traveling through the Willamette Valley in Dundee, Oregon, my family came across a winery perched high up in the hills known as Torii Mor Winery. Torii Mor Winery was founded in 1993 by husband and wife team Donald Olson, MD and Margie Olson with the intention of showcasing the grapes harvested in one of the oldest vineyards in the Dundee Hills. The winery has seen a huge surge of success since its inception in 93, originally producing about 1,000 cases of premium Pinot Noir and cool-climate white wines to producing over 15,000 cases in an ever developing variety of wines. I was fortunate enough to sample one of their more limited released wines, the 2007 Syrah Port. According to resident wine maker Jacques Tardy the fruit is “grown in the warmer southern Oregon Rogue Valley, the syrah grapes had ample heat and sunlight to ripen and develop rich and intense flavors. They were harvested on October 27th, destemmed and cold soaked for 2 days.” Eventually the wine finally reaches about 19% ABV after adding 150 proof brandy produced from Torii Mor’s Pinot Noir.
I was more than pleasantly surprised by the delicious red wines deep, rich profile that remained perfectly balanced from beginning to end. The color is very dark compared to most ports and the nose has a strong oak aroma stemming from its maturation in cabernet barrels mixed with scents of bright raspberry and faint hints of chocolate. What I found most surprising was just how smooth and velvety it was. Even though it sports a dark color which made me assume it would have the consistency of Sambuca, instead it is light and perfectly balanced. Rather than a slow progression of flavors the 2007 Syrah is a cacophony of rich and complex notes consisting of both blackberries and blueberries, light spices and a subdued sweet chocolate finish. For such a young alcohol I was shocked by how refined and balanced it was not to mention that the sweetness in many young alcohol based products typically have an almost artificial sweetness while the Syrah port’s is perfectly married to all of the other flavors. Honestly, I am by no means an authority on port or really any incarnation of wine for that matter, however, out of the many I have had the opportunity to try I can say without hesitation that the Torii Mor 2007 Syrah Port is excellent and well worth fifty dollars or so to try. And if you’re looking for the perfect cigar pairing I suggest a medium to full body vitola like a Tatuaje Avion or the new Casa Magna Domus to complement the rich complexity of the port.
Price: $45.00 – $50.00 per bottle
Characteristics: Bold Blackberries and Blueberries layered with mild spices and chocolate.
Verdict: With only 220 cases produced, GO NOW and BUY