The fruit Terry Brandborg sourced for this Pinot came from several vineyards, all located along the Umpqua River bench. Over centuries, snow and water runoff from three surrounding mountain ranges have filled the river and nearby land with many types of well-draining soils. Since grapevines hate wet feet (i.e. roots), they thrive in loamy, sandy soil where their roots can really spread out as they like with relative ease.
2017 started off cold and wet, finally bringing a warm summer to the area– with very hot days in August. Fall brought cooler temperatures and an ideal window for harvest. Each lot was picked, sorted, fermented and aged separately in French oak barrels. Terry then blended them into a final Bench Lands cuvée that represents the terroir of the Umpqua River.
Bouquet and Palate:
If you prefer earthy, spicy Pinots, you’ve struck gold with this wine! Notes of earthy forest floor, mushrooms and cedar evolved into cinnamon and nutmeg spices. Light and bright, oxygen teased out cherries, black raspberries, red and black plums, and cola from the Pinot. Nice, grippy tannins and good acidity contributed to a textured mouthfeel and long finish.
Food pairing suggestions:
Traditionalists would pair this wine with salmon and mushrooms but I also recommend drinking it with roasted veggie tacos! And the Brandborgs suggest popping it open next time you eat carne asada.
Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.