Rhône and Loire-style Whites
Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier take the stage
While the category of Rhône and Loire whites is relatively broad, these grapes are not a large part of the production in Oregon. Therefore, we offer you a small but delightful list of selections to diversify your cellar.
Sauvignon Blanc can present so differently around the world. We think you’ll find these Oregon representations showcase some of the signature grapefruit and grass flavors while taking on their own personality, which sometimes includes tropical melon or floral notes.
Viognier is known for its perfumed aromas, rich palate and tendency to fall short on acidity. The following wines offer a balanced taste experience with a whiff of Viognier’s perfume plus a refreshing palate and finish.
Andrew Rich 2014 Croft Vineyard Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Petrol, pine, juniper, spring flowers, plus a hint of the grapefruit and peach flavors to come, tickle the nose. The palate reveals flavors of cantaloupe surrounded by a slightly creamy texture, brightened by a lime infused acidity and ending with a long, sea salt finish. The most robust Sauvignon Blanc of the bunch. $22; 620 cases
Reustle-Prayer Rock 2014 Umpqua Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Aromas of crisp green apple, fresh grass clippings, pink grapefruit and a surprising trace of jasmine begin the taste experience and continue on the palate with additional lush notes of tropical fruits, pineapple and orange blossoms. $23; 313 cases
Capitello 2015 Croft Vineyard Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Scents of citrus, jasmine tea, yellow bell pepper and tomato plant combine for a complex nose. In the mouth, a grassy, savory, even slightly peppery presentation blends with hints of lime and fresh herbs, all leading to a tart finish. $20; 200 cases
TeSóAria 2015 Southern Oregon Sauvignon Blanc
Closest to a Sancerre-style, this summer-ready selection offers mineral-driven flint, chalk and limestone on the nose, softened with floral aromas of clover and honeysuckle. Flavors remain light on the palate with tart fruits, including green apple, lemon-lime, honeydew and a suggestion of cantaloupe. A long, clean finish wraps it up. $35; 225 cases
Reustle-Prayer Rock 2014 Umpqua Valley Viognier
A little shy at first, the nose, on second sniff, opens to a medley of jasmine, lime, mineral, lemon and macadamia. Fruitier on the palate; expect tropical fruits, pear, lemon, floral notes, and bit of tart grapefruit on the finish. $27; 279 cases
Dobbes Family Estate 2014 Sundown Vineyard Rogue Valley Viognier
Put down that posy and take a whiff of this instead with aromas of rose, lemon verbena and a kiss of sweet honey. The palate continues the floral theme; as one taster noted it “reminiscent of walking down a lane lined with blooming cherry blossoms and plum trees.” In addition, harmonious flavors of lemon-lime and pink grapefruit add the perfect punch, giving it a languid, refreshing finish. $26; 368 cases
About The selection process: OWP tasting panel has selected the following wines based on overall quality and value within their respective categories. To the best of our knowledge, they are currently available in the marketplace. Wine must be: 1) produced by an Oregon winery; 2) currently available to consumers. Recommended wines were selected using a double-blind method and a 20-point ranking system for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and finish.