Capitello Wines 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Spinning the globe top to bottom

Like a lot of Kiwis, Ray Walsh left New Zealand to explore the world shortly after college. Traipsing about Europe, he ran out of cash while in Germany. So, broke and curious, he picked up some work in the vineyards in Mosel. And like a lot of folks who get their hands dirty in a vineyard, a passion was sparked.

Before long, Ray moved back home to New Zealand. But the wanderlust continued.

For the last 24 years, Ray has split his time between Oregon and New Zealand - working two growing seasons, two harvests, and two crushes a year. That's one way to accelerate your experience! (Not to mention always chasing the edge of the summer and fall - and skipping the rainy winter/spring months.)

Oregon's known for Pinot Noir and New Zealand's famous for Sauvignon Blanc. Ray's answer? Make both wines in both places! Ray and his partner, Jen, make their wine and the wines of a few other local wineries in a shared space in downtown Eugene. Their darling urban tasting room is right around the corner. Be sure to stop by!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Capitello Wines, Eugene, Oregon
2011 Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs are often considered the best in the world. (If you're drinking the good stuff, not the grocery store bottom shelf, of course.) And Ray Walsh brings that expertise to his Oregon Sauv Blanc.

The grapes come from the sheltered coastal range of the southern Willamette Valley near Junction City. The herbal notes typically found in New Zealand are subdued, and the tropical notes typical of Oregon are more pronounced. You'll notice passion fruit and lemon zest on the nose, with the tastes of lychee mellowed by the rich mouth feel produced by the concrete egg tank.

Concrete egg tank? That's right: Rarely used, this old method is considered a sweet spot between oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Concrete allows for oxygenation like barrels, but without the flavors of the wood infusing the wine. Ray keeps the wine on the lees (yeast) throughout the entire fermentation process - but the rounded edges of the egg, he says, mean that the wine circulates more and achieves a more rounded mouth feel.

A Cellar 503 selection in March 2017, Urban Wineries Outside Portland Willamette Valley | Sauvignon Blanc

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