From: Oregon, USA
Varietal: 50% Cabernet Franc, 32% Malbec, 18% Merlot
Tasting Notes: This well-structured complex blend opens with aromas of rosehips, tamarind, and quince, with a black-fruited core graced with notes of tobacco flower and earth. In the glass, the wine expresses a bouquet of flavors that follow the nose and include pomegranate, blackberry jam on toasted brioche, and, a savory, mouth-watering finish.
Pairing: Here it’s not about the protein, it’s about the sauce. You could enjoy it with anything from tofu to wild game, but because this wine bursts with such sweet and savory notes, you can, and should, indulge in bold flavors. Think eggplant in garlic sauce where the pungent and fragrant seasonings will highlight those fruity and savory notes in the wine. To expand on this, we’re sharing a recipe for “Sweet and Sour Eggplant with Garlic Chips” by Sue Li. It’ll serve 2-4, and it’ll only take 20 minutes!
About. Iris is nestled on an 870-acre estate in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Mountain Range at the south end of the Willamette Valley. They produce world class, award winning Willamette Valley wines from their own grapes and from those they source from some of Oregon’s finest vineyards. Iris is built on the ancient Greek philosophy of Areté. This value exemplifies the idea of realizing one’s fullest potential and the continuous endeavor toward excellence. The principle of Areté is applied in all their processes, from vine to wine.
The 2019 vintage had warmer than average growing conditions following a warmer than average 2018 and slightly cooler than average 2017. Budbreak occurred in April which is typical for the Rogue Valley. Bloom occurred with favorable weather in the last part of June. From there on the season was fairly average in terms of precipitation and temperature until September. The fall ripening period was reminiscent of conditions which were more commonly faced by growers and winemakers in the 1980s and 90s with a relatively early start to the rainy season. In light of this challenge, they made some necessary adjustments to their picking decisions and fermentation techniques to make the best of the grapes they were given. We think the wine is a delightful result of showcasing the potential for red blends when planted in the proper place and in the hands of dedicated growers and winemakers.
“My inspiration for this blend started with a conversation I had with our Director of Sales about the red blend market. I have enjoyed working with the Bordelaise varietals since my time at Owen Roe and our sales director thought a blend like this would be a fun, unique (from Oregon) wine to sell. Each vineyard parcel was harvested at peak maturity. For me, peak maturity means that a wine like this will have ripe fruit flavors with little to no vegetal aroma while also having alcohol/tannin/acid balance. The fruit was brought to the winery and destemmed into 1.25 ton fermenters. Once fermentation in each lot was complete, we pressed to tank for a one or two-day settling period before racking to barrels. The wine lots were kept separate in barrel until July of 2020 when they were blended together and returned to barrel for further aging.” —Aaron Lieberman, winemaker
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