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J. Scott Cellars 2016 Avanté

Painting with the full palette of colors

Jonathan Oberlander, winemaker and founder of J. Scott Cellars, loves experimenting, dabbling, and playing with new varietals and unusual blends.

As he told the Register-Guard in 2013, “I have a buddy who has only made Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. To me that’s like painting in the colors red and blue only. You have this entire palette; why limit yourself? I go for it.” And he does. J. Scott features nineteen different wines.

Which one is his favorite? Don’t ask – he’ll tell you it’s like picking your favorite child: they’re all great!

J. Scott Cellars is part of the burgeoning urban winery scene in Eugene, with a facility in an industrial park on the outskirts of town. The brick-and-mortar location is a nice step in the evolution of J. Scott.

Without a personal fortune to sink into wine, he’s bootstrapped his way up, starting with a production of just 100 cases when he started – and closing in on 2500 today.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

J. Scott Cellars, Eugene, Oregon
2016 Avanté

Avanté is the blend that Jonathan Oberlander is known for – and he has fans across the country who clamor for its release. True to his “painting with a full palette” approach, the Avanté blend changes each year, though it’s always a big and powerful red wine with unique grapes that blend together into a delicious wine.

This 2016 edition lands someplace between an Iberian and a Bourdeaux blend, with 44% of the Portuguese varietals Tinto Cao and Touriga Nacional, 27% Malbec, 15% Petit Verdot, 11% Syrah, and a 3% splash of Tempranillo, a Spanish varietal.

Never heard of Tinto Cao and Touriga Nacional? You’re not alone. There is very little grown in Oregon and all of it comes from just a few vineyards in the Rogue Valley. Traditionally used in Spain and Portugal to make Port, these are intense red wines that naturally pair well with the Tempranillo. Alongside the traditional Bourdeaux wines Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Syrah, and you’ve got a rich and delicious wine that will be fabulous with grilled meats and big spices, including tinga de pollo, carnitas, and carne asada.

A Cellar 503 selection in June 2020, Mexican Food Wine Malbec, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional