2013 Jackalope Wine Cellars Cabernet franc

Applegate Valley,
Rogue Valley,
Southern Oregon,
Oregon

Less than 70 cases produced

Jackalope Wine Cellars is a one man show run by easy-going Corey Schuster. In many ways, naming the winery Jackalope was a tribute to Ray, his older Nebraskan cousin who used to try to convince him that the elusive animal was real. Sadly, Corey’s cousin died young but left an indelible mark on Corey’s heart…and his skin too– Corey sports a jackalope tattoo as a forever reminder.

A “graduate” of Portland’s SE Wine Collective, Jackalope Wine Cellars is now made at Day Camp, a shared winery space in Willamette Valley’s Dundee. The new digs are roomier, allowing Corey to increase his total production as well as the number of varietals he can produce. This year he made Viognier, two Pinot noirs, Cabernet sauvignon and Cabernet franc.

Ok, now on to the Jackalope Cabernet franc, which by the way, is a seriously lovely wine! Corey chose to ferment ⅓ of the grapes whole cluster, stems and all, while destemming the other two-thirds. Fermenting some or all of the grapes as whole cluster generally imparts more tannins into the finished wine and is one of the many tools at a winemaker’s disposal.

The remarkable purple color of this wine might steal your heart so be forewarned. On the nose we found an wonderful array of scents– everything from violets and blueberries to baking spices and bacon fat. We even got a whiff of freshly cooked tortilla chips (of all things!) Once we tasted this wine, we found so many wonderful flavors, including black cherries, blackberries and rhubarb. Tart, bright acidity with tannins that make your taste buds stand up to attention, this Cabernet franc finishes with a big cinnamon kiss.

Pair this wine with al pastor enchiladas smothered in molé sauce, butternut squash ravioli cooked in brown butter and sage or kobé beef sliders.

SRP $27.

www.jackalopewinecellars.com

Read more about Corey in my Why Wine interview series

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About the Author: Michele Francisco