L. Donovan Wines 2011 Touriga Nacional

A star in Southern Oregon

Imagine: You're a farmer. You rip out your apples, pears, or alfalfa, and plant wine grapes. You'd better make some great wine to show off your grape growing prowess. But the chemistry and artistry are a foreign language. In Southern Oregon, you call Linda Donovan.

Linda Donovan is a legend. I fell in love with Linda before I even met her. As a "custom crush" winemaker, she helps vineyards by making their wine. Last year, she made 32,000 extraordinary cases of wine for 25 different small wine producers in Southern Oregon. You know what's amazing? There's no "Linda Donovan style." Every wine she makes is an expression of the grapes, the terroir, and the vineyard.

Well, until now. With L. Donovan Wines, Linda is finally making wines that reflect her personal style and approach. With her sister, she's growing grapes that aren't well represented. She's making wines from those unique grapes - but only about 600 cases a year.

Next time you're in Medford, drop by Urban Cork - her winery and tasting room. It's in a rundown industrial area ("like Portland's Pearl District before it was cool!", says Linda) but you'll get a chance to try a wide selection of the wines that feature her imprint.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

L. Donovan Wines, Medford, Oregon
2011 Touriga Nacional

This is a real treat! There is very little Touriga Nacional grown in the United States, less than 40,000 cases a year nationwide. It is considered the national wine grape of Portugal and is often the primary grape in port blends.

As a tough grape that grows well in hot climates, it thrives very well in Southern Oregon. Touriga is a high-tannin wine with surprising intensity. This edition from L. Donovan is a 2011 which means that it has had ample time to mellow in the barrel and the bottles, giving it a real depth of flavor.

You'll find bold red fruit mixed with an earthiness and spiciness that makes for a complex wine and a long, lingering finish. This is a great one for these lingering days of winter to pair with beef stew or roasts, or keep it 'til your first BBQ of the year and pair with smoky meat.

A Cellar 503 selection in March 2017, Urban Wineries Outside Portland Applegate Valley | Touriga Nacional

Explore Oregon Wines: Wineries | Varietals | AVAs | Cellar 503 Selections