LaBrasseur Vineyard 2012 Ember

Over the river and through the woods...

LaBrasseur Vineyard is a special place for me. In many ways, it’s where I found the inspiration for Cellar 503.

It was 2014 and we were exploring Southern Oregon wine country. We’d heard about LaBrasseur, so we headed out to see it -- over the river, through the woods, across a one-lane bridge, up a long gravel road (and with no cell reception for miles). After tasting their wine, one idea stuck with me: “This place is in the middle of nowhere, but everyone needs to know about this wine!”

Fred and Candy LaBrasseur started the winery in 2011 as their ‘retirement project’. Fred had just finished a 34-year career in the Medford Fire Department and they wanted to grow something on their property in White City, Oregon. After consulting with a few folks in the area, they decided that grapes were the perfect crop. But they didn’t just want to grow grapes, they decided to take on the winemaking as well.

With a lot of hard work, a little luck and some great advice from fellow winemakers in Southern Oregon, they planted their vines and built their winery by hand. Every grape was harvested and every wine bottled all by themselves.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

LaBrasseur Vineyard, Eagle Point, Oregon
2012 Ember

I’m sad to say that this is the last wine ever we will ever feature by Fred and Candy. After 10 years, it’s time for a “real” retirement and are closing their excellent winery. I don’t begrudge them time with grandchildren and their beloved horses, I am sad to see such an inspirational couple leave our Oregon wine community. But I am thrilled to be able to share one last wine with you.

The 2012 Ember is a Bordeaux style blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Merlot. Bourdeaux blends always have those three grapes but the uniqueness comes out in the proportions of each grape. “Left bank” Bordeaux wines are Cabernet Sauvignon focused, while “right bank” Bordeaux are built around Merlot.

This wine is neither – unusually, it leads with Cabernet Franc. You get the kick of green pepper singing through, balanced with flavors of cheer, spice and a rich earthiness. It smells of spiced cranberries and caramelized brown sugar and has nicely balanced tannins. Consider decanting this wine to help round it out before dinner.

A Cellar 503 selection in February 2018, We Love Southern Oregon! Rogue Valley | Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

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