Troon Vineyard continues to expand our appreciation of viticulture and winemaking in Southern Oregon. Troon wines are consistently well-crafted, distinctive, and appealing — products of “Team Troon’s” sustainable farming practices, thoughtful selection of varieties, gentle and natural winemaking techniques (including crushing harvested fruit by foot and employing indigenous yeasts in fermentation), emphasis on varietal co-fermentation (far too rare in modern winemaking), and minimal use of new oak in aging their wines (a welcome restraint). Simply put, Troon allows the soil, vines, and fruit to express themselves in harmony and with authenticity, and it is telling in their wines.
We recently had opportunity to taste Troon’s newest releases — a white and a red, both well-suited for the coming holiday season — and offer our tasting notes, below.
2014 Vermentino | Applegate Valley Southern Oregon
Vermentino is grown throughout Italy (nearly half of all Vermentino wine is produced on the island of Sardinia) as well as in France (mostly in the south, where it is called “Rolle”), but the vine has only a small, scattered presence in the United States. Stylistically, Vermentino is somewhat similar to Sauvignon Blanc, and its character can range from simple, lean, and zesty to complex, rich, and creamy, depending on its environment and upbringing. Troon’s 2014 rendition tips toward the latter style, reminiscent of the renowned white wines of the Vermentino di Gallura DOCG appellation in northeastern Sardinia. Troon aged the wine for 13 months in mature (neutral) oak barrels (no new oak), on the lees, and blended-in 4.5% Early Muscat — both lending a smooth, fleshy mouthfeel to the wine. On the nose are suggestions of lemon/lime, lemon verbena, and sea spray; and on the palate, impressions of pear, tarragon, and green almond — all punctuated with notes of citrus zest and crushed stone over a mouthwatering finish. It is dry and medium-bodied with vibrant acidity, which makes for a versatile food wine. Serve it with salads, fresh cheeses (ricotta, goat, mozzarella), baked brie, seafood (calamari, steamed mussels, shrimp, fish tacos), any assortment and preparation of vegetables, and other light fare.
12.5% ABV | 200 Cases Produced
2014 Sangiovese | Rogue Valley Southern Oregon
Sangiovese is the great — and ubiquitous — red variety of Italy — most famously Tuscany, where it serves as the core (alone or in blends) in wines ranging from cheap and abundant table Chiantis to expensive and exclusive Super Tuscans. There are roughly 2,000 acres of Sangiovese planted in the United States; most in California and Washington, but it is appearing elsewhere, as well — including Oregon. Troon co-ferments its Sangiovese with 7.7% Syrah, deepening color and flavor, and ages it for 14 months in mature (neutral) oak barrels (no new oak), enhancing texture. It offers gorgeous aromas of ripe red cherry, cranberry, and potpourri that lead to layered flavors of tart cherry, cinnamon, and dried oregano — all interwoven with hints of red grapefruit zest and dried mushroom over a savory finish. It is dry and medium-bodied, with easy-going tannins and fresh acidity, and like the Vermentino will perform with versatility at the table. Serve it, slightly chilled, with mild cheeses, prosciutto and other charcuterie, roasted meats (Thanksgiving turkey), eggplant parmesan, tomato-based pasta dishes, and other savory fare.
13% ABV | 160 Cases Produced
Availability: Troon wines are small production with limited distribution. For more information on the availability of their 2014 Vermentino and Sangiovese or to purchase them, visit Troon Vineyard virtually at www.troonvineyard.com; at the winery, located at 1475 Kubli Road, Grants Pass, Oregon; or at their Carlton, Oregon, tasting room at 250 N. Kutch St.