2014 Cowhorn, Sentience, Syrah, $55
Winery Info: Bill and Barbara Steele purchased their property in southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley in 2002 with a dream of owning a piece of land where they could “create a new model of small-scale farming…economically viable, good for the community, and good for the earth.” Because their site has similar characteristics to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, they planted Rhône grape varietals and continue to focus on Rhône-style wines. The New York Times calls Cowhorn “a Biodynamic cult favorite among chefs from San Francisco to New York.”
Winemaker: Bill and Barbara Steele
Grapes: 100% Syrah, aged in neutral French oak for 9 months.
Vineyard: Their estate vineyard in the Applegate Valley.
Flavor profile: Cowhorn Syrahs are known for their aromatics and Old World character. This one is dark, rich, and concentrated, with notes of fruit, earth, and dark cherries, and fine tannins on the finish.
Production: 385 cases produced. There are about four cases left of this vintage.
Drinkability: While delicious now, it could age another six to eight years.
Food Pairing: Grilled flank or hangar steak, lamb, or other savory fare. Or grilled burgers with blue cheese, caramelized onions, and arugula.
2019 Teutonic Wine Company, “Helvetii” Viognier, $29.75
Winery Info: Teutonic Wine Company is owned and operated by Barnaby and Olga Tuttle, whose hearts are firmly planted in the cool climate regions of Germany and Alsace. They are passionate about cool-climate, Old World style wines and focus on producing lean, refreshing wines, that are low in alcohol and food friendly, with plenty of acidity. They have their own vineyard in Alsea, Oregon, and work with other vineyards as well, favoring dry-farmed sites where the vine roots can grow deep into the soil and absorb the distinctive mineral components from the specific site. They are based in Portland.
Winemaker: Barnaby Tuttle
Grapes: 100% Viognier, aged one-third in clay amphorae and two-thirds in neutral oak barrels for five months. Fermented with wild yeasts from the vineyard.
Vineyard: Goschie Farms, in Silverton, Oregon. In addition to grapes they also grow hops for many local breweries. They farm sustainably, practice micro-irrigation, and are salmon-safe.
Flavor profile: Beautifully structured and aromatic, with notes of peach, ripe pears, and flowers, and balancing minerality. The amphora aging adds intriguing, complex flavors
Production: 125 cases made. It is still in fairly decent supply.
Drinkability: Delicious now, or over the next five or six years.
Food Pairing: Pork tenderloin with a cherry glaze, or anything with mushrooms.