Joe's Winos Wine Club june 2017



Gavi producers view the Cortese grape uniquely from almost any other white wine. While most producers try and deliver their whites as fast as possible and suggest drinking their wines in their absolute youth, Piedmonte's Cortese grape is thought to have the aging potential of high end German Rieslings or Champagne. We had our reservations having seen the unflattering decay of modern Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc after a few too many years. The development is entirely different for this unique white. A 1991 old vine La Scolca was showing beautifully and their representative assured us they still have white from the 1970's in their cellar that drink amazingly. One of the secrets of Cortese's age-ability may be its unusual profile; with very little up front fruit and lots of nuanced secondary characteristics, this wine's looses very little with time in the bottle. Sourced from the estate's 20-30 year old vine Cortese, the La Scolca White Label Gavi shows beautifully in its youth while still offering the exotic profile of the Cortese grape. The aromatics of this wine are nuanced and savory. Almond, peach blossom, Parmesan, lemon peel and wet stone lead to a floral and textured palate. White pepper, macadamia, orange peel, and pear balance beautifully with Gavi's moderated nuance and acid. Give this wine 10 minutes to open up!


Assorted Cheese place with chutney, Kale Salad with almonds and goat cheese, Baked Brie



We have a special guest writer to tell the story that lead to the creation of this very special bottle of Tempranillo. Rob Stuart has, for the first time in written form, put his first hand account of the story of Tempranillo's origins and future in the Oregon wine country. His story is quite detailed and can be found below his picture. Rob pulled some strings to bring this wine to Joe's and it can only purchased here (in our market). The 2012 Big Fire Tempranillo offers a wild and inviting nose of rhubarb pie, baker's chocolate, raspberry, vanilla, cooking spices, and hints of licorice. The palate is more reminiscent of traditional Spanish Tempranillo with dusty, structured tannins but is considerably lighter than its European counterpart. The palate offers black fruit and a silky texture concluding with a delicious Luxardo cherry and nutmeg finish.


Roasted quail or chicken with a reduced fruit glaze, Spice rubbed pork loin.


Rob Stuart and Tempranillo (The Story of)

The very first International Cool Climate Grape Symposium ever began in Eugene, Oregon in 1984 as an idea generated by the Oregon Wine Industry to bring together on a world scale, International Wine Industry individuals to discuss the multifaceted issues of growing grapes in the more marginal areas of the world. Predominately to discuss grape growing and wine making with regard to grapes that performed best in Region I & II (out of I through V with increasing heat units).

At that time, Dr. Barney Watson (then the Oregon State Enologist) presented to the group of about 600 a wine made in a 5 gallon glass carboy (no oak involved) that was made from Tempranillo grown outside of Medford, OR. To me, it had the most beautiful color of ruby with pretty floral notes and plenty of acid. It reminded me of a delicious Pinot Noir. And that memory stuck with me for many years. Oddly enough, even though that experiment station outside of Medford was considered a warmer climate (region II-III and sometimes IV) the brix, acid, and pH of the Pinot Gris growing in the same place was identical to the Tempranillo when they were both picked and made into wine.

Rolling forward to my days of winemaking for Dick Erath (Erath Winery) in the mid 90s to the early 2000s, Dick had planted about 6 plants in his experimental block near Dundee, OR. I watched as those plants matured a bit to the point where they produced a few grapes. Sadly, there was never enough to make a decent amount of wine. But it kept my interest alive in the grape to the point where I waited for an opportunity to find a grower that would produce Tempranillo on a larger scale in OR. We worked with a Wayne and Deedy Parker out of Roseburg, OR (their vineyard is Melrose Vineyard) and they had planted a 1 acre block of Tempranillo. I became fascinated with what they were doing with the grape in their own winery.

Ultimately, in 2002, when we at R.Stuart&Co. Winery started our own winery, I urged Wayne and Deedy to plant some Tempranillo for us. Eventually they did. And with the 2011 vintage, we released our first Big Fire Tempranillo in May of 2013. But, the critical belief of even making the wine started with the 1984 tasting at the Cool Climate Symposium, knowing that the grape could be made structurally like Pinot Noir and not necessarily like the big, tannic, heavily extracted and heavily American Oaked wines out of Rioja Spain. In the meantime, Greg Jones, Oregon’s State Climatologist, had published a paper reporting where Pinot Noir Grape growing existed in Oregon from 1950 to 2000. And with the Climate Change that he has been tracking, he suggested a few things. That from 2001 to 2050, twenty five of those years will be too hot to grow Pinot Noir successfully. That the ideal place to grow Pinot Noir as we move into a warmer grape growing area in Oregon would be to plant either closer to the coast (that would implicate more fungal issues and possibly not enough sun), or further east where we have high desert. It’s a warmer climate there and we have winter kill as well. Both choices are less than ideal for world class Pinot Noir to be grown. So my immediate reaction in reading this paper was that we, in the Willamette Valley, are totally screwed. Then my second reaction was the conclusion that: We are a successful Wine industry and we know how to grow grapes and make wine. If we had to change to an ideal grape that could make a wine structurally like Pinot Noir but that could handle a warmer grape growing region, that my choice, based on the 1984 Cool Climate Symposium and my experimenting with fruit from Melrose Vineyard would be Tempranillo. That it would be easy to convert over our existing vines rather than starting all over by just grafting over our Pinot Noir vines. We would lose only one year (as opposed to 4 or 5 years) of crop and be starting with a very well established root stock (the existing Pinot Noir vines). Thus stylistically you will see that the Big Fire Tempranillo is not heavily oaked (we use 5 year old French oak) and it has plenty of acid. It is very much flavor and aromatically wise, Tempranillo. It is floral and fruits of blackberry and plum and spice of cinnamon. And so, it is very much like our Big Fire Pinot Noir in structure, but a different fruit.

-Rob Stuart, Winemaker