Other Reds

Image: Kate Madden

 1. Division Winemaking Company | 2011 Gamay Noir
 94 Points • Best Buy

Willamette Valley, $20

Forget what you know about gamay: this beauty is no cheap Beaujolais nouveau! Thomas and Kate Monroe (members of the new Southeast Wine Collective) are leading a gamay brigade, aiming to bring this delicious varietal to more of Oregon’s vineyard slopes. Aged five months in neutral French oak, this well-balanced, tannic, and sophisticated cherry-red wine carries both the fresh berry and spicy white-pepper notes that characterize the upper echelon of the varietal.

 

  

2. Teutonic Wine Company | 2010 Pinot Meunier
 94 Points • Best Buy

Borgo Pass Vineyard
Willamette Valley, $22

One of the traditional components of Champagne blends, pinot meunier enjoys a solo performance in this pale red wine, showing off its ripe cherry and pomegranate flavors and a smoky, earthy edge. Though the grape is rarely grown outside of Europe, Teutonic’s Barnaby and Olga Tuttle make the most of Oregon’s few plots of pinot meunier to create this easy-drinking, one-of-a-kind wine.

3. God King Slave Wines | 2009 Syrah-Tempranillo
 93 Points • Best Buy

Rogue Valley, $26

God King Slave’s young owners, Chris Jiron and Christine Collier, are tireless champions of Southern Oregon wine, believing that the region’s diversity and climate will broaden the state’s international wine reputation. (Their motto: “Create like a God. Command like a King. Work like a Slave.”) With their first vintage of this herbaceous, meaty, and compelling syrah-tempranillo blend, they’re on their way.

4. Tesóaria Vineyards | 2010 Barbera
 91 Points

Southern Oregon, $35

Bursting with the lush flavors of red and dark blue fruit, a food-friendly acidity, and a savory backbone through the palate, this easy-drinking, hand-harvested wine hails from the Olson family’s sustainably farmed winery on the banks of the Umpqua River.

5. Bryn Mawr | 2009 Tempranillo 
 91 Points

Image: Kate Madden

 Eola-Amity Hills, $35

The Bryn Mawr estate—one of the few in the Willamette Valley to successfully grow tempranillo—is perched high above the valley floor, where cool afternoon breezes preserve the acidity and freshness of the fruit. The result: a bold wine that balances the classic tempranillo characteristics of plum and dark cherry with smoky coffee notes and vivacious acidity.

 

 

6. Glaser Estate Winery | 2011 Malbec
 90 Points • Best Buy

Southern Oregon, $28

Recalling the bright, floral malbecs of France’s Loire Valley, this fresh and richly colored wine sparkles with flavors of tart cherry and grapefruit zest, plus a touch of stony minerality.

7. Folin Cellars | 2008 Estate Tempranillo
 90 Points • Best Buy

Folin Vineyards
Rogue Valley, $30

Southern Oregon’s hot summer days and cool nights provide ideal conditions for warm-climate varietals like tempranillo, as this wine gracefully proves. Dark and full-bodied, Folin’s rich wine boasts deep, spicy black-fruit flavors and well-integrated tannins lightened by fresh acidity and a delicate floral overtone.

8. Styring Vineyards | 2008 Petit Verdot-Cabernet Sauvignon
 90 Points

Reckless Red Blend
Columbia Valley, $35

The only wine on our list sourced from Columbia Valley vineyards, this well-balanced blend of warm-climate varietals offers a unique flavor profile studded with Indian spices, lush blackberries, dark plums, and fresh grape skins.

 

Image: Kate Madden

 9. TeSóSria Vineyards | 2010 Syrah
 89 Points

Southern Oregon, $35

Medium-bodied and lively, TeSóAria’s ruby red holds flavors of savory spice, black pepper, and roasted meats, with a lingering note of barbecue smoke on the finish. Notes of ripe raspberry and chocolate balance the wine’s intriguing savory characteristics.

 

10. J. Scott Cellars | 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
 89 Points • Best Buy

Rogue Valley, $28

Southern Oregon’s sunny Rogue Valley averages 10 inches of rainfall annually—an ideal climate for big, juicy wines like this, that serve up generous fruit flavors of black currant with a base of pleasing spice and fresh violets.