We have been talking with Leah Jørgensen of Leah Jørgensen Cellars about her inspirations as well as Southern Oregon. We’ve discussed how her love of the wines from the Loire Valley in France influences her wines as well as the depth of history in the soils of Southern Oregon. Now we are finally putting glass to lips and tasting some of her wines. We begin with her 2017 Sauvignon Blanc.
Leah Jørgensen Cellars 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
“This is our Sauvignon Blanc from Rogue Valley. It comes from the Crater View Vineyard that I was mentioning. Hence we gave her a little makeover (she is a mermaid on the bottle) to inspire the fish and I think she has an oyster shell right there. So actually, I wanted to make white wines that go with shellfish. We are here in Oregon right, we have incredible oyster beds, crab. My cousins own the fisherman’s market in Eugene. They are fishermen have fishing boats that go up to Alaska, that’s my Nordic heritage coming through. This wine has got all kinds of bright acidity and gooseberry. It’s not anything like a California Sauvignon Blanc and it’s nothing like a New Zealand, it’s much more along the lines of…sometimes it even gets a “gunflintiness”, so similar to a Pouilly-Fumé. Definitely the Loire inspired Sauvignon Blancs. We use stainless steel and Acacia barrels.”
“So a lot of the young guns in the Loire Valley have been moving to Acacia barrels for their whites; Chenin blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc. And the reason for that is that if you were to smell an oak barrel versus an acacia barrel, we know what oak is right, it gives that vanilla and caramel and all those wonderful notes coconut too, but if you smell an acacia barrel it’s much more herbal and floral, elderberry flower, gardenia, resin like from a fir tree, so it’s just much more interesting. The grapes like Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc really lifts those herbal-floral notes and it makes a quite pretty difference than using oak. “
This wine was so different from other Sauvignon Blancs from California or New Zealand. It’s softer on the nose, but with great acidity. It’s clean and you get minerals off of it.
“It’s that wonderful thing about putting your nose in a wine glass and getting all these amazing things and then it’s all subjective, because it all depends on things that I have smelled or that I can imagine smelling.”
“And your biochemistry! We are biochemically individual people, so we will experience wine all so differently. That’s why I never really take reviews, you kind of take it as a grain of salt that it should be something experienced Individually.”
This wine retails at $24. It comes from the Crater View Vineyard in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley AVA, just outside of Jackson Oregon. This vineyard has some major elevation sitting between 1,500 and 1,675 feet. This site has all the feel good attributes of Salmon-Safe, Oregon Certified Sustainable and L.I.V.E. Certified and… in 2015 they found 250 MILLION year old blue schist rocks and other marine rock as they were getting a new block ready for planting.
We are going to continue our chat with Leah Jørgensen. Next up is her Blanc de Cabernet Franc! And check out our previous episodes with her Leah Jørgensen – Pirate Princess & Winemaker, Grapes of Southern Oregon with Leah Jørgensen.
Check out Leah’s updated website at https://leahjorgensencellars.com/