Upper Five Vineyards & Wines 2017 Acacia Sauvignon Blanc

A unicorn in a bottle

At 1920 feet of elevation, the Upper Five vineyard just outside of Talent, Oregon is situated on a five-acre site of an historic pear orchard. The first organic certified vineyard in Southern Oregon, it was planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Tempranillo in 2003.

Confession time: The Upper Five wines had been like a mythical unicorn for me. I’d tasted them on multiple occasions in the Rogue Valley (even begging the business card off of a server at a wine bar!), but each time I tried to meet with the winemaker, they’d sold out of their wines. Nice problem for them, but frustrating for me!

But at long last, I connected with owner and grape grower Terry Sullivan. And wow, has the wait been worth it!

At Upper Five, the approach is to let the time and place shine through the fruit in bottle; avoiding excessive winemaking techniques that can overshadow the natural flavor and texture of the wine. The focus is on the fruit, not on the wood or any of the winemaking techniques that can sometimes overshadow the fruit in the bottle.

With just 650 cases of wine made annually, it’s easy to understand why they’re constantly sold out!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Upper Five Vineyards & Wines, Amity, Oregon
2017 Acacia Sauvignon Blanc

You know all about the great oak vs. steel debate when it comes to wine barrels. But now, some winemakers are experimenting with wine barrels made of acacia wood. Particularly used for Sauvignon Blanc, acacia wood tends to allow the grape to shine through while adding a gentle aromatic and floral touch to the wine.

For his 2017 edition, winemaker Terry Sullivan fermented just 70 cases of his Sauvignon Blanc wines in a large acacia puncheon. And it’s truly a delight that we’re so lucky to have.

You’ll pick up those lovely herbaceous aromatics of Sauvignon Blanc, along with flavors of nectarine and peach. Drink it before dinner with a pairing of cheeses – or wait until you’ve got fish coming off the grill. You might also discover that it goes well with Indian curries well-spiced with coriander and turmeric.

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2019, Slow Wine Movement Rogue Valley | Sauvignon Blanc

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