Laurel Ridge Winery 2014 David’s Tableau Vivant

Staying true to the vision

David Teppola was one of the 1970s pioneers of Oregon wine, making several vintages with his business partner, Charles Coury (who famously smuggled grape vines from France in a suitcase).

Where to plant vines? For most early winemakers, they headed straight for the rich, deep volcanic Jory soils. But David understood that wine grapes grow best when the vines struggle and strain to grow. Tough growing conditions mean that the plant shifts its energies to reproduction (the grapes) rather than expansion (the vines).

So, he bucked the conventional wisdom and sited his vineyard in the nutrient-poor, sandy loam of the Yamhill-Carlton area. His peers thought he was crazy, planting vines up on the slope he called Finn Hill. But David was right. Today, Yamhill-Carlton is one of the finest wine-growing regions in Oregon.

David passed away in 2006, but his dream lives on. His wife, Susan, continues to operate the winery according to his vision, supported by his daughters, Kira and Maija. Sustainability remains at the center of everything they do at Laurel Ridge – and it means wines that highlight the fruit and the terroir, not winemaker fussiness.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Laurel Ridge Winery, Carlton, Oregon
2014 David’s Tableau Vivant

David’s Tableau is an homage to the founder of Laurel Ridge Winery, David Teppola. In 2006, he passed away shortly after completing his first Bordeaux-style blend. His family released the wine in his honor – and it has become a standard in their wine lineup.

Fans of France’s Bordeaux region will tell you that there are really two regions – the “left bank” and the “right bank”. On the left bank, you’ll find tannic wines from prestigious estates featuring Cabernet Sauvignon that belong in your cellar. On the right bank, you’ll find Merlot-based fruit-forward “drink me now” wines from small garagiste producers.

David’s blend is a right-bank style, with 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep and dark with aromas of black cherry and a hint of cedar, the flavors are of ripe plums and chocolate with a little coffee thrown in. This is a beautiful winter wine, it will warm you up on a cold night and go beautifully with beef brisket, pot roast, or a juicy steak.

A Cellar 503 selection in December 2017, Holiday Wines Willamette Valley | Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

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