Leah Jørgensen Cellars 2015 Malbec

Welcome to Loiregon!

Some winemakers are dabblers, experimenting with lots of grape varietals, tinkering with taste profiles. That’s not Leah Jorgensen. Leah knows exactly what she wants to make, and her passion shines through. It’s the wines of France’s Loire Valley, mostly Cabernet Franc. Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc, too. But mostly Cab Franc.

It all started in Washington DC, a town known for its wine consumption, not wine production. But Leah represented an importer of extraordinary suite of Loire Valley wines and shopped them to embassies, fancy restaurants, and high-end retail shops.

Before long, she wanted to try her hand at putting the wine in the bottles, not just selling it. So, she headed west, to her Dad’s home state of Oregon. There was just one problem – there’s not a lot of Cabernet Franc grown in Oregon.

So, Leah works closely with a handful of vineyards in the Rogue and Applegate Valleys that meet her exacting standards for sustainability and collaboration. If you fall in love with Leah’s Loire-style Oregon wines, you’ll be excused if you start musing aloud about a magical place called Loiregon…

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Leah Jørgensen Cellars, Portland, Oregon
2015 Malbec

It’s true, Malbec is best known as an Argentinian wine, where 70% of the Malbecs today originate. But its roots are in the Loire Valley, where it is known as Côt and is typically blended in to build up light reds and rarely found in a stand-alone bottling.

Of course, in Leah’s hands, this Rogue Valley Malbec takes on a Loire Valley style — not at all like the over-the-top jammy Mendoza Malbecs that you’ll find at the grocery store. Hers is an earthy, intensely dark wine with a good hit of acidity. The Crater View Vineyard climbs up from 900 feet elevation. That means less intense heat and more cool air, especially in the evenings, to reduce the fruitiness and bring out the acid.

You’ll taste freshly ground pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, hints of leather and dark fruits like plums and black cherries and that lovely intangible “brambly” quality. This is a savory wine with a kick of fruit that has softened in the bottle over the past year.
Open the bottle in mid-afternoon and let it breathe while you ready your burgers or steaks for the grill, then ice it while you’re grilling for a slight chill before serving. So good!

A Cellar 503 selection in May 2018, Women Winemakers Rogue Valley | Malbec

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