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Tero Estates 2016 Super Tuscan

It’s all about the fruit

Amidst the rolling hills outside Milton-Freewater, amidst the Blue Mountains, Doug Roskelley found what he was looking for: A mature vineyard with luscious fruit right in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley’s best winegrowing region (the Oregon side!)

Doug had been working in construction, building many of the wineries and tasting rooms in Woodinville. Hang around wineries and you’ll soon fall in love with winemaking. So, when it came time to “retire”, Doug partnered with Mike Tembreull and launched Tero Estates.

They bought that beautiful Windrow Vineyard, the western section of the historic Seven Hills Vineyard, and committed themselves to making wines that showcase the extraordinary fruit. And what fruit! Planted in 1981, Windrow and the Seven Hills were the first commercial vineyard in the Valley and many of the famed winemakers in the area have made wine with grapes from Windrow.

As Doug says, “if you’ve done a good job growing the fruit, the wine will evolve on its own. You shouldn’t have to play with it.” Sadly, in July 2020, Doug passed away at the age of 71. The wine community mourns with his family. His legacy lives on, but he will be deeply missed.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Tero Estates, Milton-Freewater, Oregon
2016 Super Tuscan

In Europe, the rules for naming wines can be maddening – even for winemakers who have been navigating them for decades. In the 1970s, frustrated by the rules governing Chianti, Italian winemakers started releasing wines they called “Super Tuscan”. An unofficial name, it came to mean traditional wines of Tuscany blended with wines from outside Italy – often Sangiovese blended with French varietals like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.

Tero’s 2016 Super Tuscan style blends 56% Sangiovese and 44% Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll notice aromas of berries and plums – and plenty of that Cabernet heft to go with the Sangiovese spice. It’s a great wine to enjoy with your summer grilling, or saved for a big tomato-based pasta when the fall rains arrive.

Finally, in a bit of bureaucratic irony, the term “Super Tuscan” is barred from wine labels by American regulators bent on protecting a term even the Italians don’t care for. That’s why Tero’s bottle is mysteriously labeled “S.T.”, rather than Super Tuscan. Go figure.

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2020, Italian Varietals Walla Walla Valley | Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese