J. Scott Cellars 2013 Zinfandel
Painting with the full palette of colors
Jonathan Oberlander, winemaker and founder of J. Scott Cellars, loves experimenting, dabbling, and playing with new varietals and unusual blends.
As he told the Register-Guard in2 013, “I have a buddy who has only made Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. To me that’s like painting in the colors red and blue only. You have this entire palette; why limit yourself? I go for it.” And he does. J. Scott features twenty-two different wines.
Which one is his favorite? Don’t ask – he’ll tell you it’s like picking your favorite child: they’re all great! (And sure enough, here at Cellar 503 we’re featuring his wines twice this year.)
J. Scott Cellars is part of the burgeoning urban winery scene in Eugene, with a facility in an industrial park on the outskirts of town. The brick-and-mortar location is a nice step in the evolution of J. Scott.
Without a personal fortune to sink into wine, he’s bootstrapped his way up, starting with a production of just 100 cases when he started – and closing in on 2000 today.
Cellar 503 Tasting Notes
J. Scott Cellars, Eugene, Oregon
This is a real treat — an honest-to-goodness Oregon Zinfandel. You can count the number of Oregon vineyards producing Zinfandel on one hand — as the vast majority is produced in California, followed by Washington. Just 92 acres of Zinfandel harvested in Oregon statewide in 2013. (Compare to over 13,000 for Pinot Noir!)
This J. Scott edition comes from a vineyard in the Columbia Valley, just east of The Dalles, across the river from the famous Maryhill Winery on the Washington side. In this location, the climate is warm, dry, and perfect for big, bold reds. Most of Oregon is just wrong for Zinfandel, as the grapes won’t ripen evenly or at all.
The aromas on this wine are rich and dessert-like: vanilla, chocolate, cherries, perhaps even clove. With soft tannins and jammy berry flavors, it’s the perfect wine to drink with grilled meats on the barbecue.