Produced & Bottled by: Laurel Ridge Winery (as their secondary label)
Purchased: Albany, OR GO 1-29-2015
I found no information about this blend online, so I called the Laurel Ridge Winery; spoke briefly with the winemaker (I believe he said his name was Matt) who told me that the wine was a 50/50 blend of Umpqua Valley Merlot and Umpqua Valley Syrah. Then he excused himself for a meeting and handed me over to the owner, Susan Teppola. She was very helpful and I think I will be visiting that winery on our next photo-blog tour.
In talking with Susan about their labels, she remarked that the Laurel Ridge label is offering the more traditional styles of wine while the Twin Forks label seeks to be trendier and edgy.
In the case of the 2011 Creekside Blend, Susan said “It is not a heavy wine. It’s very light, in the Beaujolais style.” She recommended pairing it with Pasta or Pizza.
Color: Transparent ruby red.
Nose: Berry with plum overtones
Taste: Salmonberries, fresh greens and a hint of earth. It reminds me of salmonberries because it’s a bit tart and dry (not-unpleasantly so) and the greens taste reminds of me when the grapes are allowed to spend some time with the stems.
Body: Definitely on the light side. I wouldn’t have guessed it was either Merlot or Syrah. This wine would be perfect chilled (and I never chill Syrah) on a hot summer day. The lower ABV% and crisp dryness would also lend itself to a hot day.
I appreciate the resilience of the Laurel Ridge Winery. They had a 240 acre farm that unfortunately had to be razed because of the Phylloxera , so right now they are making wines from grapes sourced elsewhere. They are in the process of re-planting though and hope to have 17 acres (14 producing) soon.
They do $5 tastings (your choice of 5 wines) and their tasting room is open every day of the year except for major holidays. Living here in the Willamette Valley, I can tell you that may be the most reasonable wine tasting fee I’ve ever come across. While this particular wine isn’t a style favorite of mine (I prefer heavier, more tannic, spicier wines, so I’m rating it a drinkable+ that others may find a thumbs up), it is a decent buy from GO if you prefer the Beaujolais style. I fully intend to further explore their options when I get a chance to get back up to Newberg.
Currently, the Albany GO has several cases of this particular wine. Thus far, I haven’t seen it elsewhere.