Four Northwest Wines from Jørgensen, ORR, Savage Grace, and Southard
If there is one wine store in Seattle that I make sure to visit then it is Pike & Western Wine Shop. During my most recent trip I asked Michael Teer for several recommendations. Of the Northwest quartet of wines, the 2015 Savage Grace, Cabernet Franc, Copeland Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills is my favorite. This is a lively wine with bright red fruit and no sense of greenness. It is a fun wine to drink now but I suggest you let this age through the winter so that it will open up. Combining both character and value is the 2013 Southard Winery, Syrah, Columbia Valley. With air the grapey flavors become more floral and take on hints of smoke. The final two wines will benefit from some age. Drunk over a week, the 2015 ORR, Old Vine Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley shows a respectable amount of tropical, floral, and nut flavors to be an elegant wine leaning towards the ripe side. The 2014 Leah Jørgensen Cellars, Malbec, Crater Lake Vineyard, Rogue Valley is from Oregon. It is a tense and focused wine best left in the cellar.
2015 ORR, Old Vine Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley – $25
This wine is 100% Chenin Blanc fermented with indigenous yeasts. Alcohol 12.9%. Though very pale in the color, the nose is rounded with aromas of slightly tropical white flowers. The offers a taut start with vibrant acidity moving through similar flavors. There are hints of nuts matching the tropical, floral, white fruit. It shows some lifted and controlled ripeness. It will benefit from a year in the cellar. **(*) 2017 – 2020.
2014 Leah Jørgensen Cellars, Malbec, Crater Lake Vineyard, Rogue Valley – $32
Alcohol 14.34%. The nose is slightly black and floral. The flavors begin with tart red fruit moving into a citric and black middle and a tangy finish. The structure eventually comes out with a moderate amount of focused tannins. There is more of an acidity driven wine that comes out as tension. It certainly has a future potential. **(*) Now – 2020.
2015 Savage Grace, Cabernet Franc, Copeland Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills – $27
This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc that was aged for 5 months in neutral oak barrels. Alcohol 12.5%. This lively wine has a slightly electric start of brighter, red fruit. A fuzzy ripeness builds as an underlying inky spine becomes apparent. There are no green nor black pepper flavors. It is all bright red fruit, with subtle, bright red berry ripeness in the finish. With good acidity and fine texture, this is a fine wine. I would only age to let it open up. *** Now – 2018.
2013 Southard Winery, Syrah, Columbia Valley – $18
Alcohol 14%. There are some flavors of dark, red fruit, a touch of tang, and a ripe haze. There is plenty of watering acidity which matches the grapey hints. With extended air the wine develops a smokey start and becomes more floral. **(*) Now – 2020.