Matello Wines 2012 Deux Vert Viognier

Celebrating the fool in all of us

In Renaissance literature, the “fool” is the character that stands apart from the learned men, but is nonetheless wise and worldly, with a critical viewpoint shaped by his position outside society.

That’s not a bad metaphor for Marcus Goodfellow’s approach to winemaking at Matello, and explains why every bottle is adorned with the fool. Rather than pursue enology and viticulture through formal academic training, Marcus’s education in wine came through apprenticeship and informal mentoring while he worked in the restaurant business.

Unlike some in the Willamette Valley, Marcus didn’t grow up in a vineyard – but rather on an 80-acre farm outside Silverton, surrounded by goats, cows, blueberries, apples, and currants. From the farm to the table, Marcus found himself working in some of Portland’s finest restaurants – and credits Heathman chef Philippe Boulot with expanding his wine and food horizons.

Today, Marcus’s “foolish” approach includes restricting himself exclusively to dry-farmed vineyards that are committed to environmental sustainability. And it shines through in the wine – hardly foolish at all!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Matello Wines, McMinnville, Oregon
2012 Deux Vert Viognier

The Matello “foolish” attitude extends to their partnership with the Deux Vert vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton region. Winemaker Marcus Goodfellow gives enormous credit to grower Mike Green: “Planting and tending a vineyard is a tremendous undertaking and to be the first person to plant, much less plant something no one else thinks will ripen, takes a fortitude very few people have.”

That’s right: This is Willamette Valley Viognier. Very little Viognier is grown in Oregon (a few hundred acres) because it’s temperamental and needs to hang on the vines until it’s very ripe – and most of what is grown is in Southern Oregon. Up north, the danger is that the grapes won’t ripen by the time the fall rains come.

But this 2012 vintage survived – hanging on the vines until October 24. And it’s worth every drop – with that honeyed aroma, ripe peach at the initial taste, and toasty apricot notes that develop as you enjoy it.

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2016, Dry Farmed Wines Yamhill-Carlton | Viognier

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