Craft Wine Co 2018 Minimus Double Helix

Doing it their own way

For years, Craft Wine Co. was led by a superstar winemaker quietly backed up by two assistant winemakers, Meredith Bell and Laura Cusick. Today, these ladies have stepped up and they’re impressing just the same.

For Meredith Bell, spending two years “in an Islamic republic where wine is illegal” while serving in the Peace Corps convinced her that wine would be her future. She’s a graduate of the famed UC Davis enology program, but part of a group heralded as “mavericks” who are “upending expectations” while “having fun in a way that’s unusual” in winemaking. Meredith’s approach? Question all the assumptions. Study the masters deeply, then challenge everything they’re doing.

As for Laura Cusick, her love of wine came into being through a circuitous route. Her passion for the outdoors led her to Jackson, Wyoming where she worked in restaurants. As often happens, food led to wine and she was soon off to make wine in New Zealand – where she figured out what kind of wine she didn’t want to make.

Laura came back to the US to find the right winery for her – natural winemaking techniques, sustainable practices, small-batch wine lovingly crafted – and ended up at Craft Wine Co.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Craft Wine Co, Carlton, Oregon
2018 Minimus Double Helix

Mondeuse and St. Laurent – two obscure varietals that were planted together at Johan Vineyard, in the newly-created Van Duzer Corridor AVA. The plan? Create two separate, single varietal wines from these grapes. But when they were finished fermenting, they had a little leftover of each so they put them together in a barrel. When they tasted the resulting blend, they realized that the combination was better than either alone.

Mondeuse is a grape native to eastern France, in the Savoy region near the French Alps. For years, its origins were a mystery, but it has recently been confirmed through DNA testing to be a relative of Syrah.

St. Laurent is a native grape of the Czech Republic, some 700 miles away. Its genetic origins are even more of a mystery, as a likely hybrid of Pinot Noir and... something else.

It’s these genetic mysteries that are honored in the name “Double Helix”, as this wine showcases the spice and tannin qualities of the Mondeuse and the rustic fruit and bright acidity of the St. Laurent.

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2019, Unusual Varietals Van Duzer Corridor | Mondeuse, St. Laurent

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