The SOMM Journal

August / September 2016

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{ }  41 B----------------------------------------� USA: Umpqua Valley, Oregon "I'm a scaredy cat," Reustle admitted. "No native yeasts for me, because I want control." However, to add complexity, he used three different yeast strains—fermented separately, then blended—in the sensuous and elegant Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards 2013 Winemakers Reserve Syrah ($39). Reustle added, "It takes a long time but you can actually determine which clones go best with what yeasts by fermenting separately." For Reustle, terroir is about soil and climate. While conduct - ing his search for his own potential vineyard sites, he reasoned that different soil types can yield good wines, but well-drained soils became his primary criteria. Armed with three decades of data to determine which varieties to plant—all the while keeping in mind the numerous microclimates of the Umpqua Valley—Reustle began to plant his vineyards. And though most of Umpqua falls into the Winkler Scale Region IV (i.e. suitable for both Riesling and Merlot), noting Pacific Ocean breezes, and 35 to 45 degree diurnal tem - perature swings, he planted varieties suitable for ranges III through V, "because there's no such thing as an average year," he said. Stephen Reustle of Umpqua Valley's Reustle Winery. FRANCE: Bourgogne Three wines presented provided excellent examples of how winemak- ers often blend different terroirs to achieve a winemaker's vision or a consistent house style. Although the Domaine de la Vougeraie 2013 Terres de Famille Pinot Noir, Bourgogne ($50) from the Boisset Collection's portfolio is from Burgundy—a region that has parsed site-specific terroir like no other—Domaine de la Vougeraie is a blend from several vineyards. "The separate lots are Village level wines, but once blended, the Village appel - lation can no longer be used," explained Lisa Brown, Boisset Collections Brand Manager, but noted that Boisset regional wines are treated like Grand Crus. "Regional wines give the first impression of Burgundy, so it's important to make it a good one," Marks agreed. The Pinot Noir did show impressive delicacy and uncommon finesse, "especially since 2013 was a difficult vintage, but this is one of the best Bourgognes Rouges I've ever tasted," he said. NEW ZEALAND: Marlborough vs. USA: Napa Valley On the same topic of vintages, speaking about the Kim Crawford 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($18), imported by Constellation Brands, Marks explained that, "It isn't a mix of vintages, but the winemaker has consistency in mind when making a mélange from seven different Marlborough sub-regions. And you're never far from the ocean anywhere in New Zealand, but the more north - ern vineyards give you the stone fruit characteristics, while further south you get more of the grapefruit elements and higher acids." Marks returned the seminar discussion to specificity of site in a comparison between the same variety in the Kim Crawford 2015 Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc ($30) from Marlborough and Robert Mondavi Winery 2013 Fumé Blanc Reserve, To-Kalon Vineyard ($50) from Napa Valley. "The Spitfire gives you the cool-climate acidity, typi - cal gooseberry aromas and passion fruit and melon on the palate, he said. What you get with the Fumé Blanc is the concentration that comes from vines planted in the 1960s and 1990s. The warmer climate gives creamier sen- sations than the intense acidity of Marlborough and there's more peach and cantaloupe in the flavors."

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