Seufert Winery 2017 Auxerrois

Tasting the vineyard in the bottle

Every industry has its talent scouts, the men and women that can spot quality before their competitors. When it comes to vineyards, Jim Seufert is the king of the talent scouts, recognized as “a future star of Oregon wine” right from the start.

Seufert Winery is a small production winery that flies under the radar, known mostly for its Pinot Noir. Jim’s approach? Producing a half-dozen single-vineyard Pinots every year using the exact same winemaking regimen on every wine. With a minimalist approach, Jim works hard to not “work” the wines, so that the terroir, the climate, and the season shine through.

A fourth-generation Oregonian, Jim’s love of this place is expressed in the wines that he makes. If you want to taste the difference between a Yamhill Pinot and a Dundee Hills Pinot, stop in at Seufert’s Dayton winery.

Of course, it’s not just Pinot Noir that you’ll find at Seufert. Jim loves to experiment with less well-known grapes, bringing his “vineyard in a bottle” approach to unusual varietals.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Seufert Winery, Dayton, Oregon
2017 Auxerrois

Auxerrois? Yes, Auxerrois. You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of it. In fact, just five vineyards in Oregon grow it; and that’s almost all the Auxerrois outside of Europe. It’s a grape native to the Alsace region of France, near the northeast border with Germany.

(How do you pronounce it? With a hard X and a soft R, “ox-uh-wah”.)

This Auxerrois – just the second one we’ve featured at Cellar 503 – comes from the Zenith Vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills region in the Willamette Valley. Named for Aeolus, the Greek god of wind, this region is known for a narrow corridor that draws Pacific Ocean winds deep into the Valley. Those winds cool down summer afternoons, allowing the grapes to retain strong acidity and structure.

Similar to Chardonnay, this Auxerrois packs a powerful punch of flavor and complexity while still remaining elegant. Fresh aromas of honeydew melon, pear and lemon-lime citrus pair nicely with substantial minerality and flavors of ripe apples and roasted pineapple. This is a dry and crisp white wine with a big enough body to hold up to other big flavors during these winter months.

A Cellar 503 selection in December 2018, Winter Warmers Eola-Amity Hills | Auxerrois

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