Oregon, as you may or may not know, is home to many wine-growing regions that are actually quite different from one another. We, of course, have the Willamette Valley AVA, where your Oregon Pinot Noir hails from, but we also have the Southern Oregon AVA, the Columbia Valley AVA, and the Snake River AVA, all producing award-winning grapes and wines year after year.
While the Willamette Valley has surely made a name for itself as a cool-climate, Pinot-producing region, the Columbia Valley, Southern Oregon, and Snake River AVAs produce quite a number of warm-weather grape varieties like Zinfandel, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and more. These warm-weather varieties thrive where the summers are longer, warmer and drier. Despite the fact that Laurel Ridge is situated in the heart of Willamette Valley “Pinot Country,” we hold a special place in our hearts for these warmer varieties.
Our philosophy has always been to highlight the best that Oregon has to offer which has led to our tradition of producing red blends. Now, you might be of the ilk that hears the words “red blend” and cringes a little bit. And I don’t blame you. Red blend has become an umbrella term for a lot of terrible red wines (can I even call them that?) you’d find on the bottom shelf of the grocery store aisles. But blend doesn’t have to mean that. Red blend is also an umbrella term for a lot of well-rounded, unique, and delicious red wines.
The beauty of a red blend is that you can highlight the best characteristics of each grape you use in your wine. Take the black fruits, plum, and raisin notes from a Zinfandel, the blueberry and fresh fruit characteristics from Syrah, and the ripe red fruits from a Merlot, blend them well and you have some pretty spectacular wine.
For our 2014 current red blends available, both have been aged 18 months in French Oak and the results are soft, elegant, and approachable while offering a serious amount of spunk. Interested in getting to know them a bit more? Read on…
Our 2014 Oregon Roan is a Syrah-Based blend, lower acid and tannins than Pinot Noir, but bigger rounder richer mouthfeel. The Roan is juicy and succulent, and is the perfect wine to stand up to the meal of the same like a lamb ragout. This vintage is 60% Syrah, 25% Zinfandel and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from the Columbia Valley AVA. It is soft, big, fruity, well-balanced because it has smoky, spicy, and leathery notes.
2014 David’s Tableau Vivant is big, bigger, biggest. This red wine blend has Cabernet Sauvignon from McDuffee Vineyard and Merlot from Reed Ranch Vineyard, both from the Columbia Valley AVA. This wine is about as big as it gets for “big, bold reds” and is not for the faint of heart. This wine isn’t for strictly Pinot people and we understand that, but for the red wine lover looking for something unique, different, and exclusively Oregon, this is the wine for them; this is Oregon’s answer to anything Napa Valley can provide.
These red blends aren’t just spectacular, but they’re exceptional in highlighting the best of Oregon (that’s not Pinot Noir). We hope you love them as much as we do!
Interested in learning more? Read Our Guide to Oregon Pinot Noir to delve into the world of Pinot.