2017 Illahe Tempranillo Rose
Lowell Ford began his career as a grape farmer on his father-in-law's farm when he planted an acre of the very popular Muller-Thurgau grape in 1983. He quickly demonstrated that he had no sense of the consumer market. He was lucky enough to sell the grapes to other wineries. His fruit was excellent and he continued to experiment with varietals. By 1995 he owned more property and had the commercial world figured out when he planted Ehrenfeltzer, Gruner Veltliner and eventually Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in West Salem, Oregon.
Having an understanding of grape farming and a wide variety of grapes, he spearheaded the development of the Northwest Wine Studies Center at Chemeketa where he was Dean of Students. He remains dedicated to wine education. In 1999 he bought the 80 acre Illahe Vineyard which was just a pasture. Stepping out from his desire to plant obscure grapes, he focused this property on Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. He does not irrigate mature vines and uses horses to work the rows. He prefers more old world standards.
Brad, Lowell's son has taken over winemaking after a good education in winemaking and training under Joe Dobbes, Russ Raney and a few Burgundy pro's. He believes in the benefits of gentle grape handling, meticulous sorting, small-lot fermentation, pigeage, careful pressing, and a balanced barrel regime to create clean, aromatic, and expressive wines.
This fresh 2017 Illahe tempranillo rose’ is reminiscent of a summer mountain scene. Aromas of wild strawberries and wildflowers come to the front of the glass. The tempranillo rose is picked young and whole cluster pressed to preserve its light color and delicate dragon fruit and lemon zest aromas. A pleasant round mouth feel integrates nicely with notes of ripening peaches, rhubarb and bright acidity.
USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
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