Fossil and Fawn 2017 White Wine Blend
Fossil & Fawn 2017 Oregon White WIne (photo courtesy of Fossil & Fawn)
The first wine was their 2017 White Wine Blend. As Jenny mentioned above, it is a field blend of 6 different grapes from 3 different vineyards. Jim calls it their nod to a style of wine from Austria, specifically Vienna called Germischter Satz.
Jim: So this is predominantly from one vineyard here where they have what I would call a bunch of kooky varieties, very uncommon white wine varieties, for example…
Jenny: A very technical term…(Kooky)
Jim: For example, in the Willamette Valley to my knowledge there are 14 plants of Kerner, which is a German grape and that makes up 3% of that wine. All 14 plants of Kerner are in there. And so there is a collection of unusual things, Also a collection of not so unusual things. 50% is Riesling which is fermented in an egg shape vessel. And the next is 20% Savagnin Rose, which is a relative to Gewürztraminer.
Jenny: Which is also in there
Jim: Which, Gewürztraminer is in there at 15%. It is 6% Fruilano, 6% Melon de Bourgogne and 3% Kerner, those 14 plants. So the Riesling as I mentioned is fermented in egg the other 50% was fermented on it’s skins for about 4 days and we pressed off and then it went into a mix of Acacia wood barrels and French oak barrels, totally unfiltered native yeast fermented, we use that yeast that exists naturally on the skins of the grapes to carry out the fermentation. We wanted to make something that was dry but rich and textural but aromatic, something kind of fun, food friendly, very summery.
This wine on their website, they give they name “aka Gewürvigtocloninger”. It comes from 3 vineyards, from 3 different areas of the Willamette Valley. This was the first wine that they sourced from outside their home vineyard at Silvershot. On a map these three vineyards form a triangle of sorts with 30 to 40 mile drives between them, so they span a pretty large area. Beckenridge Vineyard is located just outside Dallas, Hanson is east of Gervais and Omero is outside Newburg in the Ribbon Ridge AVA. Beckenridge is probably best known for Weddings. In fact when you visit their site, that is all that you find. But…that beautiful venue is surrounded by vines and they do actually produce grapes, which would be the Gewürztraminer in this blend. At Hanson they are cultivating an eccentric bunch of grapes. In addition to Pinots Noir, Gris and Blanc, they have Gamay, Auxerrois, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, yeah, yeah you say, so exotic, but wait there’s more, they are also cultivating Marechal Foch, Leon Millot and Golubok! 10 points for any of those varieties you are familiar with! They provide the Riesling for the blend. The Omero vineyard in Ribbon Ridge provides the remaining oddities, the Savagnin Rose, Fruilano, Melon de Bourgogne and Kerner.
They produced 110 cases of the White Blend and the suggested retail price is $20. Yep, you read that right…$20. I happily own a bottle. Some day later this year you will get a pairing note. I will say that his description is on the nose, summery is the perfect description.
2017 Pinot Noir
2016 Silvershot Vineyards Pinot Noir (photo courtesy of Fossil & Fawn)
This is their flagship wine. In 2011 they produced just 2 barrels and now 8 years in they make 191 cases. The wine comes from Silvershot Vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, the vineyard that Jim grew up on. This is own-rooted Pommard, Dijon 114 & 115, Espiguette 374 as well as some mystery clones. This is a mix of their Pinot parcels. 70% of the fruit is destemmed and then fermented in open top fermenters. The rest is whole cluster fermented. They ferment with the pied-du-cuve of wild yeast from the vineyard. Since they do not yet have their own winery, they make their wine at a shared facility in a tricked out 100 year old barn. This wine does contain a little Chardonnay from 30 plants that were mistakenly planted in with the Pinot. They co-ferment, and did some foot stomping until fermentation was complete. They barreled in neutral French Oak for 9 months. It is unfiltered and unfined.
This wine was made to honor the work that Jim’s dad does in the vineyard. This was the start.
They made 191 cases their Pinot Noir this year and it will set you back $30 a bottle.
They also do a Pinot Gris that is from Silvershot. Sadly they were not tasting it on this day. That wine is an orange wine, (a white wine made in the style of a red wine). Follow the link and read about it. I would be tempted to order a bottle, but…they do not, as yet, sell online. But you can find them locally in Oregon! And there are a few distributors carrying them in their portfolios. If you are going to get some, I suggest you do it fast. I expect that they will be selling out quickly.
You can also read our piece on the Uncommon Wine Festival, with our interview with Dave Pettersen the Winemaker and CEO of Vista Hills who founded the event, and check out other interviews we did at the festival with Ryan Pickens of Esther Glen Farm and Winery and Ariel Eberle of A Cheerful Note Cellars. We look forward to bringing you interviews and discussions with all of the winemakers from this event, as well as details and visits with wineries in each of the Willamette Valley AVAs. So check back here at Crushed Grape Chronicles and don’t forget, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
And if you want to dive into details on the Willamette Valley, you can read our recent post Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVAs – a Primer