Monday, October 28, 2013

Brandborg Vineyard & Winery Offers Cool Taste of the Umpqua Valley

Terry Brandborg and wife Sue searched high and low for the perfect spot to produce Pinot Noir. They ended up in Elkton, in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. Their vineyard in the coastal mountains has proved ideal for crafting award-winning wines.

We were fortunate to sample three of their current offerings: the 2009 Ferris Wheel Vineyard Pinot Noir, the 2012 Oregon Riesling from the new Elkton AVA, and the 2006 Syrah.

Brandborg’s location is unique in the Umpqua Valley, which is in Southern Oregon and known for being hotter and drier than the areas to the north. Elkton, however, is unique. The vineyard is only 25 miles from the ocean and this allows for marine breezes and fog to penetrate into the valley. The climate is a main reason why Elkton was designated as its own AVA in February of this year (it is a sub-region of Umpqua Valley which itself is part of the Southern Oregon AVA).

Brandborg 2012 Oregon Riesling, Elkton AVA – This is the first wine ever bottled from the new Elkton AVA.Wines with Elkton on the label will certainly be worth checking out. The wine is light gold in the glass with medium body. Grapes come from the Bradley Vineyard and offer rich fruit with the taste of apples. There is a pleasant acidity and the finish is off-dry and long-lasting.

Brandborg 2006 Umpqua Valley Syrah – This is a full-bodied wine with tart berry flavors. We decanted this wine to soften the tannins. The wine features Syrah grapes from the warmer areas of the Umpqua Valley and there is a peppery finish. This is a robust wine.

Brandborg 2009 Ferris Wheel Vineyard Pinot Noir, Umpqua Valley – This is a wine to treasure. In the glass it is a translucent red brick color. It features complex flavors of luscious cherry with smoke, some earthiness and a pinch of tea leaf. The finish is nice and long. This is an elegant wine that we savored in our Oregon Pinot Noir glasses, all the better to sniff and swirl. It is one of our top rated Pinots this year.

Some say Willamette Valley is the benchmark for Pinot. During the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference we had a chance to taste bountiful wines from there and they are indeed good. The distinctive wines from Umpqua Valley caught my attention during that meeting, simply because they were making wines uncommon to Oregon.

This trio of Brandborg wines has allowed us to further explore the wines of Umpqua. After this tasting we say, don’t overlook the undiscovered gems of Umpqua Valley, the new Elkton AVA and very specifically, the great wines of Brandborg.

These wines were received as a marketing sample.
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