Silas Wines 2014 Gamay Malbec

Stop me if you’ve heard this one

A comedian, a lawyer, a TV editor, and a programmer walk into a wine bar…

It was 2005, and Todd Sigaty showed up at Calliope Vineyards in Beavercreek, Oregon looking to pitch in with the neighbors who had been working the vineyard for years.

Within two years, Todd and his buddy – software guru Frank McBrearty – bought the place and Silas Wines was born. Here’s where the story gets weird. You see, Todd’s always been a global citizen, including founding a charity in Cambodia. And it wasn’t long before he felt the pull back to New York where he’s worked on architecture projects on four continents.

So, he told a New York pal – former chemist-turned-comedian Alex Clark – his crazy story of falling in love with a winery in the middle of nowhere in Oregon. Smitten, Alex closed his wine bar and hightailed it west. Why not try making wine? Before long, they’d roped in another New Yorker – Tony Markward. When he heard the story and tried the wine, he gave up his career in TV to go west, too.

I’ve heard a lot of “I ditched my career to make wine” stories, but none quite like this! So far, it’s working out!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Silas Wines, Amity, Oregon
2014 Gamay Malbec

You know those jeans? The ones with the ripped knees? Back in the day, a pair of ripped jeans were headed for the Goodwill pile. Now, pricey fashion houses are deliberately ripping jeans – just a bit, and just in the right spots – and selling them at a premium.

That’s what’s going on with this wine. There’s a bacteria called brettanomyces that in large quantities is considered a wine disaster – might as well empty the barrel into the floor drain. But just a hint of “brett”, and a young red wine can pick up just a little funk that gives it the feel and flavor of a wine aged beyond its years.

Imagine you’re the winemaker. Play it safe? Or gamble on introducing a little brett into your wine? If you’re wrong, you’ll lose an entire vintage. But if you’re right…

Naturally, the 2014 Gamay Noir and Malbec blend is labeled the “Optimism” blend. You’ll taste the usual Malbec notes – dark blue berries and dried flowers – alongside the lighter, earthy Gamay Noir. And yes, just enough funk to make you want to dance.

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2017, Focus on Winemaking Techniques Willamette Valley | Gamay Noir, Malbec

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