2015 Bow & Arrow, Melon, Johan Vineyard, Willamette Valley.
Inspired by the Loire Valley’s Muscadet Sevre et Maine the natural and stylish biodynamic Melon de Bourgogne by Bow & Arrow delivers brisk and bright salty flavors with a touch of new world richness, but remains faithful to the French version with driving acidity and steeliness making for a vibrant example of this varietal. Scott Frank’s Portland based micro winery has gained a great reputation for unique and interesting wines taking Bow & Arrow in it’s own direction, away from the only Burgundy influenced path that most of the Willamette Valley follows and is enjoying success with most of the wines paying homage to France’s Loire Valley and especially the Touraine and Muscadet regions with some stellar Gamay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc wines as well as this pretty, very dry and slightly raw Melon de Bourgeonne. Bow & Arrow’s Johan Melon starts with an austere nose of saline, ether, crushed earthy stones, straw bale and zesty citrus leading to a pithy palate of lemon/lime, unripe melon and a core of stone fruit, making it a superb seafood companion. Frank’s touch is brilliant here, as with Johan’s fruit giving loads of energy and character, it opens to fleshy peach and kiwi along with some bitter herb and spice offering a fruity vs savory balance along with a hint of brioche/lees that allows for mouth feel and substance, this white impresses for it’s zip and restraint while still giving texture and layers. The vintage shines through in all of the Bow & Arrow wines, these are wonderful efforts, don’t miss them, in particular the Gamay/Pinot Rhinestones blend, the Gamay and the straight Pinot Noirs, all of which are standouts. Bow & Arrow’s Melon is a fun and refreshing white that will compliment oysters, claims, mussels as well as raw milk cheeses and is a great alternative to the sea of less exciting whites out there.
($24 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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