Upper Five Vineyards & Wines 2014 Oso Grande

A unicorn in a bottle

At 1920 feet of elevation, the Upper Five vineyard just outside of Talent, Oregon is situated on the site of an historic pear orchard. The first organic certified vineyard in Southern Oregon, it was planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Tempranillo in 2003.

Confession time: The Upper Five wines have been like a mythical unicorn for me. I'd tasted them on multiple occasions in the Rogue Valley (even begging the business card off of a server at a wine bar!), but each time I tried to meet with the winemaker, they'd sold out of their wines. Nice problem for them, but frustrating for me!

But at long last, I connected with owner and grape grower Terry Sullivan. And wow, has the wait been worth it!

At Upper Five, the approach is to let the time and place shine through the fruit in bottle; avoiding excessive winemaking technigues that can overshadow the natural flavor and texture of the wine. The focus is on the fruit, not on the wood or any of the winemaking technigues that can sometimes overshadow the fruit in the bottle.

With just 650 cases of wine made annually, it's easy to understand why they're constantly sold out!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Upper Five Vineyards & Wines, Amity, Oregon
2014 Oso Grande

Southern Oregon is getting a great reputation for Tempranillo. There are a growing number of wineries making the Spanish-style wine and each of them has a different take on it. And it's fun to see folks playing around with the varietal and even combining it with other warm-weather grapes.

This Oso Grande is the first blend from Upper Five. It is a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 20% Tempranillo. But we wine lovers are not the only ones who love the Tempranillo. You see, this wine is called Oso Grande in honor of the big bears that come back, season after season, to munch on the Tempranillo grapes at Upper Five. That's right, just the Tempranillo. They know big, bold fruit too!

You'll first notice baking spices on the nose, followed by bold fruit delivered by the Syrah. As you swirl it in your mouth, it'll finish with the spice and dark cherry of the Tempranillo. A real treat, with just 120 cases produced!

A Cellar 503 selection in June 2017, Best of Pour Oregon 2017 Rogue Valley | Grenache, Syrah, Tempranillo

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