Last month I participated in #winestudio‘s focus on Troon Vineyard in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon. The Troon Vineyards are located on the Kubli Bench surrounded by the Siskiyou mountains. The soil is granitic, producing fresher acidity and lower alcohol wines compared to the wines produced just south in California. Craig Camp, General Manager at Troon Vineyard shared his wisdom on wine and the Applegate Valley. Quite simply put, Troon Vineyard believes in letting the vineyards and the Applegate Valley define their wines. That includes which wine varietals they grow, (currently: Vermentino, Marsanne, Roussanne, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tannat, and Malbec), how they farm – sustainably, using natural yeasts for fermentation, harvesting grapes by hand, pressing the fruit by foot, and using minimal new oak barrels and sulfur. The results are wines that express their true varietal character and not a homogenized version.
After recently visiting Burgundy, the Troon winemaking philosophy sounded more Old World than New World. Learning about the Troon Vineyard philosophy, it was easy for me to embrace Troon wines, tasting the wines convinced me of their quality and natural compatibility with food.
My Tasting Notes~
2014 Troon Vineyard Vermentino, Applegate Valley, 95.5% Vermentino 4.5% Early Muscat, 12% abv, retail $29.00
Pale yellow in color, light body but rich on the palate with nice acidity and hints of wild cherry and almond. I paired this with a pasta with zucchini, mint, and goat cheese.
2014 Troon Vineyard Sangiovese, Rogue Valley, 92% Sangiovese 8% Syrah, 13% abv, retail $29
Pale ruby in color, lean wine with nice acidity and red berry fruit. As noted in our Twitter conversation, …”made in the style of a big Cabernet but elegant and delicate like a Pinot Noir….”
2014 Troon Vineyard M*T Reserve, Southern Oregon, 60.1% Tannat 39.9% Malbec, 14.4% abv, retail $50
Dark ruby in color with a magenta hue around the outer rim, medium body, a herbal floral nose with slight Iris, raspberry and a hint of cocoa, noted tannin and nice acidity. I paired this with a beef stew reminiscent of a Beef Bourguignon.
Conclusion – I enjoyed all of these wines. I felt like the true varietal characteristics came through. I appreciate Troon Vineyard’s vineyard and wine making philosophy and their respect for the environment. Finally, because I believe wine and food are meant to be enjoyed together, these wines with nice acidity and lower alcohol make them food friendly. Cheers!
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons butter - ( 2 tablespoons for sautéing onions and bacon and 2 tablespoons for mushrooms)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 4 strips of applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 4 medium carrots, sliced into coin pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped + more for garnish to serve
- 1½ tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 lbs. beef chunk, cut into 1½ inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup cognac
- 1 bottle of a decent red wine
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 lbs. small red potatoes or a French baguette
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
- In a large dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions, bacon and carrots sauté until vegetables are slightly golden and soft. Add the garlic, parsley, and thyme, cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well with the vegetables. Remove vegetables to a bowl.
- Increase heat to medium high and add about 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Completely dry the beef cubes, season with salt and pepper and brown the beef cubes in batches, adding more olive oil as needed. Reserve browned beef in a bowl. Deglaze the pot with cognac, simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
- Return the vegetables and beef to the dutch oven and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of flour. Set the dutch oven in the preheated oven uncovered for about 5 minutes to brown the flour. Stir gently. Add red wine to barely cover the vegetables and beef. Add the celery stalk and bay leaves. Cover the dutch oven and place in lower third of oven. Adjust oven if needed so that the liquid simmers very slowly for about 3 hours or until beef is tender.
- Before serving sauté mushrooms in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, season with salt and pepper. Boil small red potatoes if using.
- To serve, remove bay leaves and celery stalk, mix in mushrooms and potatoes and garnish with chopped parsley.