Minimus, Natural? No7, 2013
Region: Applegate Valley, Oregon, USA
When you say Oregon wine you think Pinot Noir, and so do I. I mean, I spent a long weekend sampling Pinot Noir after Pinot Noir and enjoying myself immensely. That’s why I was surprised when a waiter recommended an Oregon Syrah to go with our dinner. Syrah? Really? The Rhone Valley staple variety grows in the middle of Pinot Noir country? Apparently so, the Southern part of the state, especially away from the ocean, tends to be dryer and more suited to Syrah. Ok then, Syrah from Oregon it is.
Interesting fact, the Minimus winery wines are labelled as “experiments”. For instance, the No1 is called “43 days” and was an attempt at extend the length of time for skin contact when producing a Sauvignon Blanc. No2 is called “Copigmentation” and uses white grape skins during the fermentation of red grapes (Tempranillo). The Number 7 experiment that I tasted is called “Natural?” and is of course a natural wine.
Eye: Deep purple
Nose: Clean, medium intensity. Blackberry, olives and bit of spice
Palate: Dry, medium acidity, medium-plus body, long velvety finish. Lots of fruit (blackberry) with some underlying pepper and herbs (rosemary)
OK, you can make tasty Syrah in Oregon. It was really good, smooth, balanced with a lot of fruit. I definitely enjoyed it beyond the simple novelty of trying a Syrah from Oregon.
Food pairings: It’s a fairly straight up Syrah, so the traditional pairings will work well, bold foods, meats, anything cooked with herbs…
Overall opinion: Hard to find, only 48 cases were produced but if you can find it, go for it. It’s not too expensive and the quality is great