Jan-Marc Wine Cellars 2012 Merlot

Garage wine? Not exactly.

Jan-Marc Baker is literally making wine in his garage. In fact, he’s making quite a lot of wine in his 350 sq. ft. garage – 1000 cases! And it’s not all Merlot: he’s making eight different varietals, all in small batches. Drive by his house on a sunny weekend and you can tell immediately where the winery is. His house is surrounded by friends and neighbors who have stopped by to taste his new releases and catch up on local news.

This humble, unassuming winemaker has been making wine with his wife in Northeast Portland since 2009.

Will he consider moving out of the garage to a larger space? No! Jan-Marc does not plan to get bigger; he loves making his wine at home and feeling connected to his neighbors. Former caterers, he and his wife are opening a wine bar around the corner which will feature his wine on tap as well as delicious tastes to pair. We can’t wait!

This is why the urban winery movement has taken off: Winemakers’ connection to their communities, and the vibrant, urban environments where folks can easily taste their wines without driving significant distances.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Jan-Marc Wine Cellars, Portland, Oregon
2012 Merlot

I know what you’re thinking: Merlot! Merlot has gotten a bad rap in recent years as sweet, fruity, insipid wine without character. But done well, it can be gorgeous! The right amount of big, bold fruit balanced with the right amount of acid makes this Merlot amazing.

A few miles from downtown The Dalles, up Mill Creek, you’ll find the Kortge Vineyard planted with Merlot. Just o& the valley floor, the site faces due south and heats up with the first rays of sun. Surrounded by cherry orchards and Oregon oak trees, this valley is about as beautiful as it gets, and the wines show o& the complex character of the land that surrounds them.

This merlot features soft flavors of dark currant, cedar, desert brush, and a chocolate mocha depth while fine tannins frame plush, ripe fruit. Slow down and savor this expressive wine with roasted meat and grilled root vegetables. This is a big, beautiful wine that is even better the day after you’ve opened it and it’s had a chance to breathe! Only 73 cases produced.

A Cellar 503 selection in March 2015, Urban Winemakers and Collectives Columbia Gorge | Merlot

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