LaBrasseur Vineyard 2012 Ethan Cole

Over the river and through the woods

I’m thrilled to be able to include a wine from LaBrasseur Vineyard. Because in many ways, it’s where I found the inspiration for Cellar 503.

You see, after my first visit to their beautiful property – literally over the river and through the woods (and up a long, gravel road) outside of Medford – one idea stuck with me: “This place is in the middle of nowhere, but everyone needs to know about this wine!”

Fred and Candy LaBrasseur started the winery in 2011 as their ‘retirement project’. Fred had just finished a 34-year career in the Medford Fire Department and they wanted to grow something on their property in White City, Oregon. After consulting with a few folks in the area, they decided that grapes were the perfect crop. But they didn’t just want to grow grapes, they decided to take on the winemaking as well.

With a lot of hard work, a little luck and some great advice from fellow winemakers in Southern Oregon, they planted their vines and built their winery by hand. And today, they harvest their grapes and bottle their wines all by themselves.

This passion and ingenuity – and the extraordinary wine that comes from it – truly is an inspiration!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

LaBrasseur Vineyard, Eagle Point, Oregon
2012 Ethan Cole

This 2012 Ethan Cole blend features two unusual grapes – Primitivo and Petite Sirah.

Grown extensively in Italy, Primitivo is hard-to-find but increasingly popular in Oregon. It produces inky, tannic wines, high in alcohol, intensely flavored and deeply colored. Most experts agree that Primitivo has some genetic relation to Zinfandel but the exact relationship is up for serious debate.

Petite Sirah provides a nice counterpoint to the intensity of the Primitivo. Popular in California, this equally dark grape has started to move north over the border. As a blending grape, it adds body and spice, while toning down tannins. And no, it has nothing to do with traditional Syrah grapes!

This unusual, deep-colored blend has lovely aromas of currant and black cherry, earthy sweet tobacco, and spicy anise. You can taste these aromas in the wine, along with oak and vanilla, and a full mouthfeel and moderate tannins that lead to a long, spicy finish.

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2015, Back to School: Unusual Varietals Rogue Valley | Petit Sirah, Primitivo

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