Many of us in the wine world know that Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley is king when it comes to varieties such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. However, in the southern part of the state, they are making wine as well from exciting varieties such as Zinfandel, Malbec, Sangiovese, and Vermentino to name a few.
Many of you are also familiar with my long time friend Craig Camp, who is the former managing partner of Cornerstone Cellars in Napa Valley. He recently relocated to Grants Pass, Oregon to be a part of Troon Vineyard which is located in the beautiful appellation of Applegate Valley. Troon Vineyard produces natural wines from a diverse group of grape varieties with very little use of new oak. I recently, had the opportunity to taste some of the wines of Troon Vineyard and was absolutely delighted by these wines.
The 2014 Vermentino / Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect summer sipping wine. The blend is dominated by Vermentino and pours a clear, lemon yellow color in the glass. Upon swirling the wine in the glass, the lovely bouquet emerges. On the nose, there are aromas of crisp apple, grapefruit, lemon zest, tropical fruits, and white flowers. On the palate, you get layers of bright lime, tangerine, grapefruit, and a hint of pineapple. The wine is crisp and bright, with racy acidity and a long finish. This wine is the perfect partner for chilled seafood or lovely as an aperitif. The wine retails for $24 per bottle.
The 2014 Longue Carabine is made up of a unique blend of co-ferments; a marsanne / viognier co-ferment, vermentino / sauvignon blanc co-ferment, and a second vermentino co-ferment with muscat. The wine pours a lovely, clear golden color in the glass. The wine has beautiful aromatics to delight your senses. The nose is filled with peach cobbler, apricot, honey, flowers, and baker’s spice. On the palate, you get the abundance of juicy white stone fruits, citrus, ginger, and spices; all beautifully balanced with nice acidity and a finish that goes on for days. This is not your typical one-dimensional, boring white wine. This wine demands your attention and will please you with its complexity. It will pair nicely with fish and pasta dishes with heavier cream sauces. The wine retails for $34 per bottle.
When it comes to Zinfandel, I have yet to find one that I truly love. The ones that I have tasted in the past, have been overly jammy wines with very high alcohol content, and not balanced. The 2014 Troon Vineyard is a breath of fresh air when it comes to Zinfandel. The wine pours an enticing deep ruby color in the glass with a very fragrant bouquet. Aromas of blackberry crumble, raspberry, and allspice take center stage. Multiple layers of blackberry, cherry, raspberry, mocha, fresh cracked pepper, and spices entice the palate. Brilliant acidity and firm tannins round out this wine. The finish is very long and begs for another sip. This is an example of an elegant Zinfandel that is beautifully balanced. The wine begs for BBQ such as bacon cheese burgers, ribs, or a juicy ribeye steak smothered in mushrooms. Suggested retail price is $18; a remarkable value for this wine.
It’s obvious that Troon Vineyards is producing some exceptional wines in Southern Oregon. These wines are sophisticated, yet versatile enough to be enjoyed for a casual, weeknight dinner. They are worthy of a place at your table for those special occasions as well. I am looking forward to seeing what Craig and his team have in store for Troon Vineyards; wines definitely worth seeking out. Be sure to connect with Troon Vineyards on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. You can also visit them at their Applegate Valley and Carlton Tasting rooms.
*These wines were provided as media samples for review purposes.