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James Rahn Wine

James Rahn Wine 2019 Omero Vineyard Mondeuse

Try the newbies!

James Rahn is one busy guy. In two years, he transitioned from running the wine program at a well-known downtown restaurant to planting a vineyard and turning a horse barn into a winery at Abbey Road. It’s a gorgeous and unique destination with a beautifully-crafted winery in Carlton. Still focused on unusual varietals, you’ll only find one Pinot Noir on the tasting room line-up and the Pinot Gris is a red one!

When I asked him if he considered himself a “natural wine” winemaker, he laughed. Yes, he believes himself to be making wine in the most natural way he can but he doesn’t like the trappings – or the confusion – behind the “natural wine” label. He greatly admires the winemakers in Oregon who are pioneers of the movement but would rather be known simply as a good winemaker.

For two decades, James has pushed well-known restaurants around the country to “try newbies!” – wines they may not have tried before from small producers. As he says, those small winemakers “have a vision that comes from managing a 100-case production rather than a 100,000-case production, so that’s their baby. And that wine, for better or worse, has more personality than the majority of large-production wines. I believe that wholeheartedly.” We agree!

James Rahn Wine

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

James Rahn Wine, Portland, Oregon
2019 Omero Vineyard Mondeuse

Mondeuse is an ancient red grape variety usually found in the Savoie region of eastern France, originally cultivated by Gallic tribes prior to the Roman invasion. The Roman writer Columella marveled at “the grape that ripens amidst the snow.”

Very little of it is found here in the United States, and when it is, it’s usually blended. This edition from James Rahn is the first stand-alone Mondeuse we’ve featured at Cellar 503.

Rahn gives us a classic expression – deeply aromatic, with a dark purple color and lots of acidity. You’ll get aromas of sour cherries, plums and savory spices with intriguing hints of floral notes. This wine truly reminds me of autumn, leaves falling, roasted meats, and a fire burning in the fireplace!

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2021, Unusual Varietals Willamette Valley | Mondeuse