Troon Vineyard 2014 Malbec
Easy call: Grants Pass, not Napa.
Craig Camp and Steve Hall were prominent Napa Valley wine guys, making celebrated top -flight wines. So why would they walk away and move to rural southern Oregon to make wine?
For Craig, it was about the freedom to make great wine: "There was a vineyard on Napa's Howell Mountain that we had been buying Cabernet from at over $10,000 a ton. The vineyard was sold and the new owner told me the new price would be $21,000 a ton. What fun is that? You can't take risks with fruit that costs so much that you're doomed to making a safe Napa Valley style. In the Applegate Valley, we can take risks and make exciting wines with a real edge."
So when the opportunity came up to take over as general manager of Troon, he jumped! After all, the original vines at Troon Vineyard were planted in 1972.
And it wasn't long before winemaker Steve Hall made the same jump from Napa to Grants Pass. For Steve, it was that same freedom - and the chance to work with the many the Italian varietals at Troon, grown in a climate similar to Italy.
Cellar 503 Tasting Notes
Troon Vineyard, Grants Pass, Oregon
At Troon, they don't do anything halfway. Every grape is harvested by hand and crushed by foot. Wines are made with minimum interventions, so that the character of the vineyard and the Applegate Valley to defines the wine, not winemaking tricks or additives. Malbec is known as an Argentinian wine. And that's true today, but it was originally grown across France, with as many as a thousand regional synonyms.
Demanding sunshine and heat, it grows very well in Southern Oregon. I fell in love with the dark berry aromas and the rounded tannins that carry the deep, vibrant fruit into a lengthy finish.
But I'll let winemaker Steve Hall share his rather unusual notes with you: "Color: black hole absorbing all light. Nose: ox blood, blood sausage roasted with fennel, winter savory, caraway seed aquavit, chocolate, dried chiles arboles, refritos negros, and squash blossom. On the palate: huge, fat, becoming lively and purposeful into the lengthy finish."