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Goodfellow Family Cellars 2016 Syrah

From the farm to your table

Unlike some in the Willamette Valley, Marcus Goodfellow didn’t grow up in a vineyard – but rather on an 80-acre farm outside Silverton, with goats, cows, blueberries, apples, and currants.

Rather than pursue enology and viticulture through formal academic training, Marcus’s education in wine came through apprenticeship and informal mentoring while he worked in the restaurant business.

Before long, Marcus found himself working in Portland’s finest restaurants – and credits Heathman chef Philippe Boulot with expanding his wine horizons and leading him to his work as a winemaker.

Now, it’s a farm-to-table approach that Marcus brings to winemaking. He sources his grapes from old vines from unique sites, grown by farmers who respect the land.

In fact, he’s a committed member of the Deep Roots Coalition, a group of winemakers that restrict themselves exclusively to dry-farmed (non-irrigated) vineyards that are committed to environmental sustainability.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Goodfellow Family Cellars, McMinnville, Oregon
2016 Syrah

In France's Northern Rhône Valley, in a wine-growing region called the Côte-Rôtie, you’ll find rows of red Syrah grapes planted alongside rows of white Viognier grapes. By law, they’ll co-ferment both grapes in the tank together (rather than blending after the fact.)

Well, that’s exactly what Marcus Goodfellow has done here. He co-fermented 92% Syrah and 8% Viognier from the organically-farmed Deux Vert vineyard. Long before Goodfellow Family Cellars was named to the Slow Wines list, Marcus was talking about taking the “slow food” approach to wine: “Nothing is rushed. Each process is given full attention, and the time required to maintain the true nature of the vineyard.”

The Willamette Valley isn’t typical for Syrah, so Marcus lets it hang, hang, hang on the vines until the last possible moment to capture as much fall sunshine before the rains come.

You’ll taste those deep notes of dark fruit and smoked meat of the Syrah, elevated with floral grace notes and peach flavors from the Viognier.

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2020, Deep Roots Coalition Yamhill-Carlton | Syrah, Viognier