Gersing Cellars 2017 Shell Viognier

Playing jazz in the vineyard

It’s a classic tale. An accomplished young musician heads to the bright lights of New York City to make his fame and fortune. He’s getting gigs, but it’s not quite enough.

So, he… what? He heads to Long Island to work harvest for a winery. Not exactly classic.

Jason Gersing had hit upon the second passion of his life, after the saxophone. Before long, he realized that if he was going to be successful at wine, he’d have to leave New York. Sure, Long Island wine can be drinkable, but it takes a lot of intervention from the winemaker.

After studying enology in France, Jason moved to Oregon and joined Argyle Winery on the business side. Before long, he’d found his way to the Southeast Wine Collective, where his focus is on traditional, natural, and low-intervention winemaking.

As he likes to say, a winemaker should think like a doctor – and take a Hippocratic oath to “first, do no harm” to the grapes!

Jason is now producing 800 cases a year – but you can still hear him picking up the sax and playing gigs around Portland.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Gersing Cellars, Portland, Oregon
2017 Shell Viognier

Oh, Viognier. It’s such a fantastic Old World wine – lush and aromatic, fruity and floral.

It’s an ancient grape, brought to France’s Rhône Valley by invaders from the Roman Empire. But just a few decades ago, it was nearly extinct, with less than 8 acres in production in the world. But now, Viognier (vee-oh-nyay) has staged a comeback – particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

When tasting this 2017 Gersing edition, you’ll first notice tropical aromas of orange blossom, white peach, pear, lime, and apricot. As you taste it, you’ll pick of bright citrus and pineapple, as well as that classic Viognier minerality that rounds it out and gives it a velvety mouthfeel.

Jason calls it the “Shell”, an homage to that open, two-note chord that a jazz pianist plays with his left hand. The shell creates the harmonic structure upon which the melody can dance. Add your melody by pairing this Shell Viognier with spicy foods, particularly seafood. Think Thai chili salad with fish sauce and dried shrimp.

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2018, Urban Wineries Columbia Valley | Viognier

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