Le Sommelier presents the new wave Oregon wines of Craft Wine Co.
I was first introduced to Chad Stock’s wines two years ago, when I was in Oregon for Pinot Camp. Throughout the countless pinot noirs tasted, and numerous winemakers met, these fresh, pure, idiosyncratic and artfully labeled wines stood out. There is a wealth of wine riches in the Willamette, but I hadn’t experienced wines that were pushing the envelope like Chad’s. Schioppettino, Petit Arvine, Tempranillo, Furmint, Savagnin Rose, Grüner Veltliner, Mondeuse, Dolcetto… these were not grapes in my Willamette lexicon. In the years since, I’ve kept an eye out for these wines, and now I’m proud that we represent them at Le Sommelier in Ontario.
Chad’s wines were made under Craft Wine Co., encompassing three individual brands united in one winemaking facility in Carlton. All in the family, the three lines embrace authenticity and transparency in viticulture and vinification.
Omero Cellars was the impetus of the project, begun in 2008 to highlight the purity of the Willamette. These wines are meant to be benchmarks of grape and place.
Minimus was created in 2011 as a series of one-off experiments, and continues to be an incubator and innovator of wine, pushing the previously known boundaries of what Oregon could grow, and show. Through low-intervention winemaking, native ferments, various fermentation vessels, and numerous grapes and clones (many unique to this project), this exciting range charts a brave new future for Oregon wine.
We’re bringing in a selection of wines from these two ranges to showcase the exciting diversity of the Willamette Valley, and the new wave of Oregon wine making. I hope you’ll enjoy exploring the region, and these wines, as much as I have.
Minimus Pétillant Naturel (PetNat) Rosé Dolcetto Jubilee vineyard 2018, $54.95 (6/cs)
Bright, lively, grippy and fresh Dolcetto pét-nat, from grapes planted in 2011. Disgorged February 2019.
Minimus Chardonnay Calera Clone Chehalem Mountain vineyard 2017, $44.95 (6/cs)
Imported from Burgundy, this Calera fruit comes from Dick Erath’s original planting at Chehalem Mountain. Its structure was matched by 16 months aging in a combination of neutral and new oak, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Minimus Gruner Veltliner Vitae Springs vineyard 2017, $59.95 (6/cs)
Planted in 1977, these old vines yield depth and focus, emphasized by fermentation and aging for 9 months on lees in stainless. This simple treatment allows the purity of fruit, texture of time, and poise of age to come to the fore.
Minimus Pinot Noir Johan vineyard 2016, $59.95 (6/cs)
This special vineyard is uniquely positioned in the ocean breezy Van Duzer corridor, and you can feel the marine freshness and salinity in this wine. Clones Mariafeld and 943 lend themselves to this windy environment, offering dark fruit and wild spice to complement delicate aromatics.
Minimus Pinot Noir Dijon Free 2017, $59.95 (6/cs)
No Dijon clones were harmed in the making of this wine! Though Dijon clones are prevalent throughout the Willamette, Chad wanted to create a wine using only heirloom clones. 2017 was a blend of Pommard, Swan, Mariafeld, and 943, yielding a uniquely multi-layered wine with structure and depth.
Omero Pinot Noir 2017, $43.95 (6/cs)
A blend of various clones and vineyards across the Willamette to embody the vintage and characteristic of the valley. 20% whole cluster, this was aged between large concrete, stainless, oak tanks and neutral oak puncheons to create a harmonized and expressive take on the 2017 vintage in Willamette.
Quantities are limited. Don’t hesitate to ask me if you’d like more information on these characterful wines. Most of all, don’t miss out; these wines are that good.
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