Weisinger Family Winery 2015 Claret

Born to be a winemaker

It was 1978, and nine-year-old Eric Weisinger joined his two younger siblings helping their father, John, plant vines on a hillside just south of Ashland. Eric’s never seriously considered doing anything else, becoming head winemaker at age 29. His approach? Continuous experimentation, while staying true to his core winemaking philosophy.

Spend time with winemakers in Southern Oregon, and you’ll hear Eric’s name again and again. He’s served as a mentor to countless winemakers. Quiet and humble, he’s the backbone of the Southern Oregon wine community.

Of course, if you’re going to lead, you’ve expand your horizons. For seven years, Eric did two harvests a year – alternating between Oregon and New Zealand, focusing on Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Even now, Eric is the winemaker for a winery in Texas. Believe it or not, Texas is the #5 wine-producing state in the USA. We’re hoping to host an Oregon vs. Texas event at the Cellar 503 tasting room someday soon!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Weisinger Family Winery, Ashland, Oregon
2015 Claret

Like many good stories, this one starts with a beautiful woman. Wealthy and powerful, Eleanor of Aquitaine was the most eligible bride in 12th century Europe. She became Queen of France, but when she tired of Louis VII, the Pope granted her an annulment.

Eight weeks later, she married Henry II and soon became the Queen of England, delivering the French province of Aquitaine. The English nobility adopted the Bordeaux wine of her home - but anglicized it as "Claret". Whether Louis VII went to war with Henry II over the woman or the wine is lost to history, but Eleanor survived both of them, running the Empire while her son, Richard the Lion-Hearted, joined the Crusades.

This Claret is a traditional blend of Bordeaux grapes – 57% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec and 8% Cabernet Franc. It is a bold and rich wine, garnet in color, and smells of cherries, blueberries and raspberries. Those deep berries are matched with a hint of bell pepper, spice and cocoa powder on the palate. The tannins have softened over the years in barrel and bottle leaving a lovely, long finish.

A Cellar 503 selection in February 2019, Wines We Love Rogue Valley | Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot

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