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Anchor Valley Wine 2017 Primitivo

Punk rock meets the Rogue Valley

You know how it goes: The snooty wine snob sniffing at the glass, pinky in the air, describing the wine in impenetrable terms while everyone around silently rolls their eyes.

That is not Anchor Valley Wine. It’s a partnership between four people who want to upend the wine world and bring a punk sensibility to wine. Mike Herrera, frontman for punk band MxPx, had partnered with clothing entrepreneur Joe Moxley to launch a rock-and-roll apparel company. Before long, they wanted to get in the wine business and hooked up with Matt and Ashley Cates, who had been looking to launch their own wine label.

Their tasting room is located in the historic Southern Oregon gold-mining town of Jacksonville. It’s usually been a sleepy little spot, filled with tourists enjoying wine before an evening of Shakespeare. But at Anchor Valley, you’ll find (when the pandemic is over) young wine lovers dancing to live music late into the evening – in a spots where tattoos are welcomed, not frowned upon.

As Ashley is fond of saying, they wanted to create a “pinkies down!” wine that is approachable to new wine lovers, but a commitment to quality that even the snootiest sommelier will appreciate (if not the tattoos.)

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Anchor Valley Wine, Jacksonville, Oregon
2017 Primitivo

Primitivo is an Italian varietal closely related to the Zinfandel grape found in America. Originally thought to have been an American wine imported to Italy, the truth is far more interesting:

Both wines are actually descendants of a Croatian grape, Crljenak Kaštelanski, revealed only through DNA testing in the 1990s on a single 90-year-old grape vine in the garden of an elderly woman on the Adriatic coast of Croatia.

In the glass, this 2017 Primitivo from Anchor Valley is an inky dark, softly tannic, luscious and lovely wine. You’ll taste lots of big red fruit alongside the spice and earthiness. Pair this wine with a good steak, a rack of lamb, or even a dark chocolate dessert.

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2020, Unusual Varietals Rogue Valley | Primitivo