In 1998, the Moore family began to develop its 50 acres of farm near the emerging wine destination of Carlton, Ore., and its neighbors are the monks at Trappist Abbey. A gate the Moores built allows abbey workers the farm access they enjoyed before vines were planted. Hence, the name of this winery. One of Oregon’s top vintners, Laurent Montalieu, works on the estate program for the Moores, and this bottling from Pommard (83 percent) and 777 clones shows elegance. Minimal new French oak allows for aromas of cherry juice, ripe raspberry and dusty Bing cherry with a scrape of vanilla bean and cocoa powder. There’s a fascinating texture to the drink of ripe raspberries and cherries, which is smooth, juicy, balanced and capped by milk chocolate. Rated "Outstanding" by Great Northwest Wine. (13.9 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 136
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Food pairings: Enjoy this suave red wine with prime rib, pork roast, enchiladas, glazed ham or turkey.
Monks Gate Vineyard, 9500 N.E. Oak Springs Farm Road, Carlton, Ore., 503-852-6521, www.monksgate.com