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Natalie’s Estate Winery 2016 Rock Horse Ranch Stable 39

The power of going small

Winemaker Boyd Teegarden grew up on a large family farm in Kansas, but never wanted to be a farmer. Coming out of college, he joined the mammoth E&J Gallo Winery, but worked on the business and management side.

The magic moment for Boyd and his wife, Cassandra, came when Gallo sent him to Oregon in 1995 to build relationships with grape suppliers in the Willamette Valley. Before long, they’d caught the winemaking bug and in 1999, they cashed in their retirement accounts, bought land in Yamhill County, and named their winery after their infant daughter, Natalie.

It’s ironic, but for the first four years, Gallo required Boyd to adhere to a non-compete contract that forbade him from selling wine in Oregon. A blessing in disguise, because it forced the Teegardens to develop a wide network of out-of-state distributors that put Natalie’s Estate on restaurant tables across the country. Then, in 2003, the non-compete was off and Oregonians discovered their wines, too!

As a winemaker, Boyd pursues an old-world European approach, with minimal interventions, extended barrel aging, and a focus on high-quality grapes. Pretty different from what his old pals at Gallo do!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Natalie’s Estate Winery, Newberg, Oregon
2016 Rock Horse Ranch Stable 39

This wine is a field blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Sangiovese and 10% Zinfandel. And no, that’s not a common blend at all! But in Boyd Teegarden’s hands, it shines.

All red wines from Natalie’s Estate see a minimum of two years of aging in barrel before bottling, as a critical part of Boyd’s old-world winemaking style. Aged for 30 months in neutral oak barrels, this 2016 wine is their current release.

This is a big, rich red wine. The strong berry qualities have softened with time. You’ll taste black cherry and hints of minerality and spice with firm tannins. And you’ll surely appreciate the integration of all the four varietals into a stellar red wine.

This wine will pair beautifully with anything on your grill this summer from a juicy steak to grilled veggies.

A Cellar 503 selection in August 2020, BBQ Wines Columbia Valley | Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel