One of the great historic Oregon wineries, Maysara dates back to 1997 when Moe and Flora Momtazi purchased 496 acres of what was an abandoned wheat farm just south of their home in McMinnville, Oregon. Moe’s vision for the Momtazi Estate was revolutionary. Pinot Noir clones were then planted in 1998, as Mo opted for biodynamic farming to improve soil quality and vine health. The vineyard health is apparent as plants looked wonderfully healthy during my vineyard tour. It is no wonder that some of the top Oregon wineries, like St. Innocent, have been sourcing from this great vineyard for decades.
My tour also was an opportunity to gaze into the amazing diversity of soils in the vineyard — from marine sedimentary towards the bottom of the hill and pure volcanic soil at the top. At a dinner with Mo Momtazi he talked about the aging potential for his wines. I was delighted when he poured his 2008 ‘Asha’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) which showed a brilliant minerality and was still going strong despite its age. Intrigued by older Maysara wines, I embarked on a mini-vertical tasting which showcased a range of wines and vintages. 2007 was panned by many critics as an unfavorable vintage with lean, angular wines that were simply not ready upon release. These wines improved considerably after some time, which fooled most wine critics (including myself). The 2007 Maysara ‘Asha’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 90) is a gorgeous wine that has wonderful terroir and a Burgundian character. This still has at least another five years of life left. In terms of new vintage wines, I was very impressed by the 2014 Maysara ‘Cyrus’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) which is a wine that shows marvelous terroir, richness and balance — essentially everything that you want in a great Oregon Pinot Noir. Learn more about these fantastic wines at https://maysara.com/ Here are the wines that I tried in my Maysara vertical tasting.
2003 Maysara ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir- The 2003 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir is a remarkable age bottling by Maysara. Straight away once in the glass the Pinot Noir shows some nice smoky notes with wet rock, white truffle crudo and peat moss with boysenberry on the nose. The wine has wonderful tension and shows a delightful range right now from lighter earthy and citrus tones to red and dark fruits that all mingle in the glass. A downright delicious bottling, this will cellar well over the next five years. This is truly an outstanding wine from a challenging vintage. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2007 Maysara ‘Asha’ Pinot Noir- Sourced from a cool vintage in the Willamette Valley, the 2007 ‘Asha’ by Maysara opens with lighter red fruits with forest floor and wild mushroom on the nose. The palate displays a nice freshness and shows Burgundian overtones with smoke, peat moss, wet stone and red raspberry with blood orange flavors that come together beautifully in the glass. Lithe, and on the leaner side, this feminine style Pinot Noir still has five to ten years left in the bottle.This is truly an outstanding wine from a challenging vintage. Drink 2018-2024- 90
2008 Maysara ‘Asha’ Pinot Noir- Tried beside Mo Momtazi during IPNC, the 2008 Maysara ‘Asha’ PInot Noir has aged remarkably well considering that it is a ten year old bottling right now. Blinded I would have guessed this was a 2012 or 2013 Oregon Pinot Noir. The freshness and acidity to the wine is remarkably retained, as the wine dazzles through the mid-palate with wonderful earthy terroir and dark fruits parading. Lithe and sleek, this medium bodied Pinot Noir still has another ten plus years of enjoyment. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2014 Maysara ‘Cyrus’ Pinot Noir- The 2014 Maysara ‘Cyrus’ Pinot Noir shows remarkable balance and poise in this warm vintage. Straight out of the gate the wine displays an insanely perfumed nose with cigar ash, mulberry, red currant and dried herbs. The palate shows marvelous tension and weight with a sterling minerality. Citrus rind, red currant and cigar box flavors mingle in the glass. Complex and downright delicious this is a stunning effort by Maysara. Drink 2018-2035- 93
2015 Maysara ‘Immigrant’ Pinot Noir- Mo Momtazi has dedicated this wine to the lives of immigrants that have made their way to the United States, as he forged his way to the Willamette Valley many decades ago. There is a lovely balance here between fruit and terroir on the nose. Medium bodied on the palate, the wine shows nice brightness with dark and red fruits and a touch of peat moss with smoky undertones. This has wonderful poise in this warm vintage. Drink 2018-2024- 90