2017 Plaisance Ranch Malbec

2017 Plaisance Ranch Malbec

Applegate Valley,
Rogue Valley,
Southern Oregon,
Oregon

12.8% alcohol

Cork closure

After visiting the Applegate Valley recently, I was decidedly impressed with the Malbec wines found there. On our way north, during our final stop in the valley, we tasted this one, made by Plaisance owner, grower and winemaker Joe Ginet. From my first sip, it became one of my favorite wines of the road trip.

I must say that I have an affinity for the grape after enjoying quite a few bottles brought home from Argentina by a wine friend of mine. She was raised there and returned from family visits with suitcases full of bottles of Malbec made by her favorite small producers. Happily, those wine memories are forever-imprinted on my palate. (PS, the Malbec wines she bought back to the states were far superior to the mass-produced Argentine exports you find in the $10-20 range at your local chain grocery store.)

Plaisance Ranch, located in the Applegate Valley hamlet of Williams, is 210 acres with just 15 planted in grapevines. Grass-fed cattle roam much of the rest of the property.

Plaisance Ranch open-air barn

A giant barn with open sides offers a unique wine wine tasting experience and, if you visit, be sure give Tonka, their elderly pony, some love while you’re there.

Tonka, Plaisance Ranch's pony

The winery has tasting notes in the form of poems on each bottle. I really love the poem about this Malbec and found that it really did accurately describe the wine:

In his timeless epic, The Odyssey, Homer sent his hero sailing across the “wine-dark sea.” The deep color of this Malbec could inspire such a descriptor. It’s a grape that can take the heat of sirens and Cyclops, that can brave the tides and sky. And though this bottle may be the hue of storied seas, its earthiness calls all travelers home.

Bouquet and Palate:

This wine is dynamic and somewhat brooding, with luscious fruit notes of blueberries and blackberries. It’s got a unique weightiness, balanced out by lower alcohol and high acidity. In some ways, I found it to be quite like a blueberry tart– with flavors not too sweet yet dense and textured. That weight and mouthfeel makes it perfect for bigger, meater dishes, and the higher acid means it pairs with many types of foods.

Food pairing suggestions:

Beef tenderloin, grilled kielbasa tacos, spaghetti with mushroom marinara, roasted duck.

SRP $30

www.plaisanceranch.com

Check out our other articles on Plaisance Ranch:

Don’t miss our Why Wine? interview with owner/winemaker Joe Ginet

2019 Plaisance Ranch Ginet rosé

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About the Author: Michele Francisco

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 michele@winerabble.com & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.