Goodfellow Family Cellars 2015 Matello Whistling Ridge White

Celebrating the fool in all of us

In Renaissance literature, the “fool” is the character that stands apart from the learned men, but is nonetheless wise and worldly, with a critical viewpoint shaped by his position outside society.

That’s not a bad metaphor for Marcus Goodfellow’s approach to winemaking at Matello, and explains why every bottle is adorned with the fool. Rather than pursue enology and viticulture through formal academic training, Marcus’s education in wine came through apprenticeship and informal mentoring while he worked in the restaurant business.

Unlike some in the Willamette Valley, Marcus didn’t grow up in a vineyard – but rather on an 80-acre farm outside Silverton, surrounded by goats, cows, blueberries, apples, and currants. From the farm to the table, Marcus found himself working in some of Portland’s finest restaurants – and credits Heathman chef Philippe Boulot with expanding his wine and food horizons.

Today, Marcus’s “foolish” approach includes restricting himself exclusively to dry-farmed vineyards that are committed to environmental sustainability. And it shines through in the wine – hardly foolish at all!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Goodfellow Family Cellars, McMinnville, Oregon
2015 Matello Whistling Ridge White

Here’s how most winemakers make a blend: They harvest their grapes and produce wines as single-varietals. Then, as the wine develops, they pull samples of wine and produce dozens of blends until they find just the right one. It’s smart, it’s scientific, it’s risk-averse.

But if you’re the sort of “fool” that’s willing to throw caution to the wind, trust the grapes, and do things in a traditional Alsatian way, you’ll produce a field blend. That’s right: You’ll pick your grapes all at once, throw them together in the fermenter, and hope for the best (informed, of course, by your experience.)

And that’s what you’ll find in this Whistling Ridge Blanc blend. Entirely from one vineyard on the crest of Ribbon Ridge, this unique blend is 45% Riesling, 25% Pinot Blanc, 23% Pinot Noir, and 7% Gewürztraminer. Just 156 cases produced.

There’s a balance of sweetness, texture, and acidity that makes this a fantastic food wine. The nose is rich and floral, layered over peach and nectarine, with hints of sweet spice and ginger. The palate is full and lush with stone fruit, spice, and a kick of minerality.

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2018, Environmentally Thoughtful Wines Ribbon Ridge | Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling

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