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Rogue Valley

Troon Riesling Whole Grape Ferment 2016

Troon Riesling Whole Grape Ferment 2016

Southern Oregon wines never fail to surprise me, such is the case with Troon's 2016 Whole Grape Ferment Riesling from Applegate Valley. Burnished gold in the glass, with oxidized notes—baked apple, lemon oil, grilled pineapple, almond skin, and yellow flowers. On the palate, texturally speaking skin contact is quite evident, as is the case in most orange wines. The medium-length finish is slightly herbaceous too. Crushed herbs and lemon pith. 12.0% ABV | Sample Troon Vineyard 9.1 Points ...

Ledger David Rouge Valley Southern Oregon Tempranillo 2015

Ledger David Rouge Valley Southern Oregon Tempranillo 2015

Ledger David's 2015 Red Valley Tempranillo displays some hard angles on opening, especially in terms of acid balance. It's much better on the second day, yielding soft aromas of plums, bing cherries, cedar, and violets. Medium bodied, and tightly-wound, with powdery tannins and a spicy hit of black pepper that charges in the back palate and gradually fade to Dutch cocoa powder process. Needs decanting. 14.7% ABV | sample Ledger David Cellars 8.8 Points ...

Ledger David Rouge Valley Southern Oregon Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Ledger David Rogue Valley Southern Oregon Sauvignon Blanc 2016

This is my first experience tasting David Leger wines, and I am absolutely blown away by their 2016 Rogue Valley Sauvignon Blanc. It opens with eccentric rings of guava, kiwi fruit, juniper berry, and chervil. On the palate, it's an acid metronome—an electric, energetic pulse that flows in and out of a tropical and orchard fruit core, culminating in a burst of pure, white grapefruit. I look forward to tasting more from this winery. 13.4% ABV | Sample Ledger David Cellars 9.3 Points ...

Troon Blue Label Longue Carabine 2014

Troon Blue Label Longue Carabine 2014

A bit of a kitchen sink blend, reminiscent of some of the complex whites I've run across from South Africa—Troon's Longue Carabine 2014 is composed of 43.81% Marsanne, 27.35% Viognier, 12.65% Vermentino, 8.79% Riesling, 5.0% Roussanne, and 2.4% Sauvignon Blanc, all from the Applegate Valley—offers cadence in its aromatic range. Bruised pear, yellow apple, star gazer lily, a pinch of granulated honey. Vermentino shapes the palate with its characteristic mineral spine, giving lift to this fleshy white. 12.5% ABV | Sample Troon Vineyard 9.0 Points...

Troon Vineyard Applegate Valley Vermentino Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Troon Vineyard Applegate Valley Vermentino Sauvignon Blanc 2014

This unusual blend of 80% Vermentino and 20% Sauvignon Blanc hails from Troon Vineyard in Applegate Valley—A sub-appellation of Southern Oregon that finds itself a bit overshadowed by the Willamette Valley. I have tasted some lovely whites, especially Rieslings from this region, though this is admittedly, my first Vermentino. Bright lemon yellow in the glass, it's a wine that manages to be full, yet light, there is a real sense of flesh over bones. The fruit flirts at being tropical, but remains reigned in. Asian pear, meadow flowers, golden delicious apple. A burst of minerally-citrus verve at the close. Nicely done. Sample Troon Vineyard 8.9 Points...

Troon Vineyard Applegate Valley Zinfandel 2014

Troon Vineyard Applegate Valley Zinfandel 2014

Ripe blackberries, plums and spice. The palate is somewhat lighter than is typical for say, a California Zinfandel, especially those found in warmer climates. Troon's 2014 Applegate Valley Zin is full and lush, and laden with black fruit, perhaps what is most remarkable is the finish. An organoleptic explosion of dark chocolate, Herbs de Garrigue and unapologetic cracked black pepper afterglow that lasts for over a minute. Great QPR. Sample Troon Vineyard 9.0 Points...

Raptor Ridge Rogue Valley Tempranillo 2013

Raptor Ridge Rogue Valley Tempranillo 2013

Upon opening, the nose of this 2013 Rogue Valley Tempranillo from Raptor Ridge exhibited a strong savory green note, a cross between chervil and nettles that blew off to reveal a wine that quite primary in its expression. Mulberry and plum skirting earth and game and even a touch of wild lilac, these are notes that might underpin a classic Tempranillo, but here they are particularly fresh and energetic, the sort of profile I'd expect from a wine that had only recently finished fermenting. 13.8% ABV | Sample Raptor Ridge Winery 8.9 Point...

Cowhorn Spiral 36 Applegate Valley White 2014

Cowhorn Spiral 36 Applegate Valley White 2014

Whatever magic it is that Bill and Barbara Steele are conjuring in their biodynamically farmed Cowhorn vineyard, I hope they keep it up, the results are stunning. The 2014 Spiral 36 Applegate Valley White is a nuanced blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne with extraordinarily pretty notes of dried honey, almonds, and golden apple. A vibrant acid backbone gives lift and structure to lush layers of orchard fruit, lanolin and a welcome note of spice. Perhaps dried ginger or as Bill suggested, Asian radish. Sample  Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden 9.2 Points...

Cowhorn Applegate Oregon Syrah 42 2011

Cowhorn Applegate Oregon Syrah 42 2011

As with all of Cowhorn's wines the 2011 Applegate Oregon Syrah 42 is a lovely thing to behold, and made lovelier still by the fact that 2011 was a difficult growing season in Oregon. What this wine conveys is terrific purity, high-toned black fruit, cinnamon bark and violets with just a touch of earthy savoriness. It's medium-bodied, and fine-boned for a Syrah. Is this to do with a cooler growing season, or is it biodynamic farming combined with the winemaker's deft hand? Probably. 13.1% ABV | Sample Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden 9.1 Points...