Schultz Wines 2012 Merlot

From Baton Rouge to Oregon

The first thing you'll notice when you talk to Greg and Debbie Schultz is their accent. They are undeniably from the South. Baton Rouge, Louisiana to be specific. Technically, they do grow wine grapes in Louisiana. But... let's be honest. It's too hot and it's too humid.

So, when Greg and Debbie decided to make wine, they pulled up stakes in Baton Rouge and moved to Oregon. Due west of Jacksonville, they found a former cattle ranch in the Applegate Valley that was the perfect spot for a vineyard.

A 60-acre site, eventually half will be vineyard and half will remain forested. As a certified Master Gardener and Land Steward, Debbie is preserving trees, maintaining creek access for wildlife, and taking out non-native plants. Grapes were planted in 2015 and, in a few years, will be ready to harvest, crush, and bottle. (For now, they're making wine with purchased grapes.)

Like many in Southern Oregon, they've partnered with winemaking impresario Linda Donovan to produce their wines. It's a perfect pairing, combining the Schultz's love of natural agricultural approaches with Donovan's passion for sustainably produced wines.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Schultz Wines, Grants Pass, Oregon
2012 Merlot

We still have a little while to wait until we're tasting wines from Greg and Debbie Schultz's Glory Oaks Vineyard. So, this Merlot comes from the Steel head Run Vineyard, one of Southern Oregon's most highly prized grape sources - a Salmon Safe and LIVE-certified vineyard that consistently turns out amazing fruit.

This Merlot was aged for 21 months in a variety of oak barrels,just one-quarter new oak, which lets the fruit shine through. As a 2012 vintage, it's been in bottle for several years and it's ready to drink.

A deep and rich wine, it is well balanced with notes of dark cherry, plum, leather and black pepper. As with all their wines, this one was created with no added yeast and was unfiltered and unfined. Only 92 cases produced.

As they say in Louisiana, this wine will "make ya slap ya momma!" (That's a good thing!)

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2017, Natural Wines Rogue Valley | Merlot

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