Marshall Davis Winery is a family-run winery — the silhouettes on the label represent Sean Davis, Ryan Marshall, and Matt Marshall, the three brothers responsible for creating wines sourced from the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and from eastern Washington. We’ve been fans of their accessible, fruit-forward wines since they began pouring in 2013, from the family’s other business, The Horse Radish cafe in Carlton. Each vintage has gained in finesse while retaining the winery’s characteristic freshness and approachability, as well as the refreshing price point, with several wines under $25 a bottle, a rarity among Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs.
Marshall Davis recently moved from the wine bar at the rear of the Horse Radish to a lovely, bright spot a few doors down on Main Street in Carlton, one of our favorite wine-country towns. They share the space with an art gallery featuring work by local artists. With vintage brick down one side and a smooth white wall on the other, the tasting room is a wonderful place to be inspired by artworks, or just to sit and sip from the Marshall Davis list of wines.
Marshall Davis sources their grapes from two locations: the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, including their Beacon Hill estate vineyard, and the Seven Hills Vineyard in Washington’s Walla Walla AVA. Oregon provides Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while Washington provides Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their Chardonnay represents classic Oregon brightness, with only a portion of the wine going through malolactic fermentation; this results in bright, tart green-apple aromas and vibrant acidity, excellent for spicy foods with a high fat content. (Try it with the Italian sandwich at the Horse Radish, where the hot Italian charcuterie is the perfect foil for this crisp, tangy chardonnay.)
Their first rose of Pinot Noir ($23), produced from the 2017 vintage, is already sold out but that’s just an inducement to keep in touch for next year. With only 3 to 4 months of barrel age, this whole-cluster fermented rose carries the typical cherry aromas of pinot noir, but with additional florality and just a hint of residual sweetness. As with so many roses, this one pairs best with a sunny day and good friends.
Their reds, though, are what drew us in and keep us coming back. At $23, their 2016 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir would be an excellent house wine. But even their higher-priced offerings rarely break the mid-$30 price point, remarkable for an Oregon Pinot Noir of such flavor and finesse. And for those who love wines made from southern French varietals, their Seven Hills Vineyard Syrah is beautifully intense, expressive, and lush, with the classic Syrah character of blueberries and pepper over beautifully managed, firm tannins. We’d serve this with a green-peppercorn steak, and then sip the last glass while lingering by a fire pit.
Their wine club offers three levels of participation, all with two shipments (spring and fall). At an estimated $90 per shipment, the Sampler Series comes with a 10% discount on purchase in the tasting room, three bottles per shipment, and an invitation to all events. Estate Series members pay about $170 per shipment and enjoy a 15% discount, 6 bottles per shipment, first access to limited releases and complimentary tastings for the member and up to two guests. The Reserve Series (about $300 per shipment) boasts a 25% discount on purchases, 12 bottles per shipment, an exclusive invitation to the annual Winemaker Dinner, a 1-% discount at The Horse Radish, and complimentary tastings for you and up to 4 guests.
Marshall Davis Winery
125 W. Main Street
Carlton, Oregon 97111