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William Rose Wines

William Rose Wines 2015 Primitivo

A fabled bootlegger and rapscallion...

As the legend goes, William Rose was born in Scotland to English parents with Irish blood. He was a fabled bootlegger that traveled the underworld in his Bentley, known as “Demon Bird”. With a taste for the finer things in life, Rose was in high demand for his sought-after cargo of fine wine.

Sadly, William Rose isn’t real – as much as we’d really like him to be. But you can still taste his wines – at least, as interpreted by winemaker Mark Nicholl. Mark, the owner and winemaker at William Rose Wines, delights in telling his visitors about the latest exploits of that rapscallion William Rose.

When Mark launched William Rose, as part of the burgeoning urban wine scene in Eugene, he quickly discovered how tough it would be to earn distribution and reach.

An innovative entrepreneur, he opened the Oregon Wine LAB – a unique tasting room in the heart of Eugene. The LAB features wines from small local winemakers, like William Rose, that don’t have their own dedicated tasting rooms.

William Rose Wines

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

William Rose Wines, Eugene, Oregon
2015 Primitivo

Primitivo is an Italian varietal closely related to the Zinfandel grape found in America. Originally thought to have been an American wine imported to Italy, the truth is far more interesting: Both wines are actually descendants of a Croatian grape, Crljenak Kaštelanski, revealed only through DNA testing in the 1990s on a single 90-year-old grape vine in the garden of an elderly woman on the Adriatic coast of Croatia.

The “Primitivo” name denotes that in many vineyards, this grape will be the first to ripen. That means lots of sugar in the grapes, which produces big, dark, luscious wines that are increasingly popular here in Oregon.

This William Rose Primitivo is emblematic of the wine – rich and fruity, with flavors of brambleberry and anise and a spiciness that will make it the perfect pairing with grilled lamb, a pepper-crusted steak, or a dark chocolate dessert.

A Cellar 503 selection in June 2019, Best of Pour 2019 Oregon | Primitivo