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Fossil & Fawn

Fossil & Fawn 2015 Pinot Noir

Rules? Rules are made for breaking!

Jim Fischer and Jenny Mosbacher are leading the way for Oregon's latest generation of winemakers, blowing up convention and breaking all the rules. As Jenny says, some traditionalist wine consumers "do not understand the wine." So, what are they doing? Well, on the one hand, they're part of a cadre of winemakers focused on returning winemaking to its roots - a focus on natural methods, yeast harvested from the vineyard (not bought off the shelf), old barrels, no additives or enzymes. It's an approach that's so traditional, it's radically fresh.

On the other hand, Jim and Jenny are upending established norms for what kind of wine you're supposed to make with particular grapes. They've used Pinot Gris - a classic white wine grape - and produced a shockingly bright red wine with it. And they've used Pinot Noir to make a wine that's ... white? orange? rose? (More on that in the tasting notes.)

Launched in 2013, Fossil & Fawn is just getting started. As Jenny told the Portland Mercury, "Every generation is going to have its own way of doing and making-Oregon has a lot of story to be written at this point. We've got a lot more experimenting left to do."

Fossil & Fawn

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Fossil & Fawn, Portland, Oregon
2015 Pinot Noir

The grapes come from Silvershot Vineyards, a vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills owned by Jim's family. It's a unigue dry-farmed, own-rooted vineyard highly prized for its grapes. You see, 15 million years ago, the vineyard was the ocean floor. Today, just 18 inches below the surface, you'll find sedimentary sandstone with fossilized sea shells. The vines struggle to crack through the sandstone, producing extraordinary wine.

Jim and Jenny have labeled this wine simply "Pinot Noir". But it drinks like a white wine, bright and refreshing. Some would call it a rose, but that's not right either - the pink hue left behind by the grape skins is there because they've eschewed filtering and fining.

You might say that it's a "Blanc de Noir" style, meaning white wine from red grapes, but that French term is typically reserved for sparkling wines. (Your grandmother might call it "blush", but don't get caught using that 1970s jug-wine term around here!)

No matter what you call it, you'll notice a citrus and strawberry aroma followed by flavors of lemon zest, white pepper, and crushed stone. Absolutely delicious.Try not to drink the whole bottle in one sitting. Or do!

A Cellar 503 selection in February 2017, Wines We Love Oregon | Pinot Noir