Explore Oregon Wines: Wineries | Varietals | AVAs | Cellar 503 Selections

Ransom Wine Company 2019 Albariño

Held hostage by a dream

Ransom, noun. a sum of money or other payment demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner.

When Tad Seestedt launched his distillery in 1997 he named it Ransom – the debt he would have to incur, held by the bank, in order to realize his dream.

Tad thinks of himself less as a winemaker and more as a lover of fermentation. Basically, he’s a fan of yeast, that one-cell microorganism that makes most everything we love possible.

Ransom is an unusual operation, encompassing both winemaking and distillation of liquor. The two go hand-in-hand, of course, as many liquors are really just distilled wines – grappa, eau de vie, and brandy. And there’s that hybrid between the two – vermouth – which is where Ransom has really excelled.

Whether it’s distilled liquors or wine, Ransom is known for their commitment to what they call “the core values of craftsmanship, historicity, and terroir.” No short cuts or fancy technology here, just good old-fashioned fermentation techniques.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Ransom Wine Company, Dundee, Oregon
2019 Albariño

Albariño in the Willamette Valley? Yep, you read that right. I’m not sure if this is the only Albariño in the Valley but there’s definitely not much more.

I was skeptical at first but totally convinced after my first taste.

Albariño typically comes warm-weather locations in Spain where they range from light and lovely to over-the-top floral bombs. But Tad was convinced that he could grow Albariño here in Oregon and imported plants that had been grown in a similar location in Spain.

This Albariño has fresh aromatics of Meyer lemon and honey. It is an acid-driven wine, but not overly so, with flavors of citrus fruit and Asian pear complemented by layers of minerality. The wine stays on its lees while aging, giving it a lovely creaminess.

Pair this wine with grilled shrimp, ceviche, fish tacos, shellfish, risotto, manchego, grilled peppers. So good!

A Cellar 503 selection in June 2020, Mexican Food Wine Willamette Valley | Albariño