A fine vacation . . .part 3 of 3

October 2016

On a clear, sunny Friday morning in Southern Oregon,  we decided to venture to the far side of Jacksonville in search of Cowhorn Vineyards.  I was drawn to this far-flung vineyard for a couple of reasons.  They had very recently gotten some great press for their biodynamically created wines, and a friend I had made at another winery had moved here to be their tasting room manager.  So, two birds.  We started off with:

2014 Viognier – This was very tight and tart, not overly acidic . . . almost creamy.  It also had a nice crisp mid palate structure.

2014 Rousanne/Marsanne – Smooth initially then brisk and tart.  A really nice round mouthfeel.

2015 Spiral 36 – This one is a southern Rhone blend of Viognier, Rousanne and Marsanne.  Tastes were brighter than the first two, a bit tart with an accent of stone fruit like nectarines.  Also a nicely round mid palate.  Took one of these home.

2013 Grenache 21 – Excellent nose of this guy.  Bright and vibrant dark fruit flavors (plums, dark cherries, etc), and a bit of a smoky mid palate . . . like grilled meat . . then a round full finish.

2013 Syrah 21 – Surprisingly prominent blueberry on the nose.  Silky smooth texture and very well balanced.

2013 Sentience – A Syrah reserve – Nice dark fruit, very smooth transitioning to a mineral taste and dry finish.

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Back to Jacksonville for one of my favorites, Quady North.  Herb Quady is the Owner, Winemaker and all-around bon vivant at Quady North.  We first encountered his work when he was winemaker for Troon vineyards, in nearby Applegate Valley.  When he left Troon (about 2011?)   he took the flavors and structures that made their wines so good with him.  Following winemaker could not live up.  So naturally I had to visit and taste more of his delicious creations.

Let’s begin with a side-by-side taste test of Viognier.

2015 Ox Block Viognier – Light and bright with mild acidity and stone fruit on the mid palate.

2015 Steelhead Run Viognier – A bit more tart than the previous and has brighter fruit flavors . . . Winner.  Going home with me.

Now for the ones I’ve been wanting to taste for some time . . .

2014 La Battalla – A Cab Franc and Malbec (75/25) blend.  Brambly berries on the nose and delivered on the tongue.  Silky smooth structure and very nicely balanced . . . Two going home

2013 Table Wine – Didn’t write down the blend . . .definitely a smoky nose and silky smooth on the mid, with a bit of bbq flavor.  Great texture.

2011 Arsenal – Really rich aromas (I got Merlot immediately), silky mid  with a bit of spice . . which lingers for quite a while.  The tannins are superbly integrated.

And for dessert . . .

30 Brix – Pastel 13 – Early Muscat / Orange Muscat . . . From a tenant winemaker . . .Bright orange aroma and flavor.  Sweet but not syrupy.  Dangerously easy to drink.  Excellent . . A couple of those are going home.

I also had to take home some Starboard Batch 88 Port-style wine.   Traditional Portuguese grapes and made at Quady Winery in Central California.

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Back in Central Point for the last wine stop of this vacation.  I had heard some good things about Ledger David . .so we decided to check it out.  And BONUS . . Rogue Creamery and Lille Belle Farms Chocolates are right next door.

2015 Chardonnay – Crisp and bright nose, sharp fruit, a bit tart and high acid.

2015 Sauvignon Blanc – Bright Floral and fruit nose, moderate acidity (the way I like these) and a crisp / clean finish.

2013 Cabernet Franc – Robust berry aroma, good fruit in the mid, spicy with a dry finish.

2013 Sangiovese – Good nose, smooth, and then NOT.  Moderate acid.  Could use more bottle time cuz this is a bit harsh.

2013 Orion Nebulla – Red bled – Great aroma, dark fruit is very evident.  Dry mid, not silky at all, but a long finish.  Mild spice and acidity.  Maybe would be better with some steak.

Another really great vacation has come to an end and I, as always, am grateful to my partner in crime (Teresa Rankin) for riding shotgun on my passion / obsession with wines.


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