2020 Troon Vineyard, Vermentino, Kubli Bench, Estate Vineyard, Applegate Valley AVA, Oregon.
Much credit and attention needs to be directed at Craig Camp and his team at Troon Vineyard for the quality of their wine and equally for their work in organic and holistic wine growing, turning this little known winery in Grant’s Pass, in Southern Oregon, into a new world leader in biodiversity. I am a huge fan of their wines, especially this bright and crisp Vermentino and their Rhone style wines and I was thrilled with the new releases I recently tasted at the Slow Wine 2022 Tour in San Francisco. The Troon Vineyard winery is a Demeter Biodynamic Certified and Regenerative Organic Certified farm in Oregon’s Applegate Valley, making small batch natural style wines. The Vermentino shows racy acidity and vitality and has energetic layers of lemon/lime, peach and honeydew melon fruits, along with a hint of spice, wet stones, verbena, orange blossom and a fine salty note that excites the saliva glands, making for a vividly fresh and almost tangy white wine that will go beautifully with briny seafoods as well as lighter cuisine. Vermentino, also known as Rollé, is a Mediterranean varietal mainly, found mostly along the coasts of France and Italy, along with the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. It is also one of the classic Chateauneuf du Pape grapes and does well in a range of climates, from Piedmonte to Paso Robles. In California, Vermentino has really taken off with wineries like Ryme Cellars, Tablas Creek, who brought over Vermentino cuttings over in the late1990s, Chesbro in Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco, Unti Vineyards and Filomena Wine Co, all doing exceptional versions in a variety of styles. The delicious Troon Vermentino is a wine that delivers plenty of tang and zest, but with it being aged on the lees for five months also gives it a pleasing vinous quality, which adds to the enjoyment in this 2020 edition.
Troon, owned by visionaries Denise and Bryan White, is located on the Kubli Bench, high above the Applegate River in the Siskiyou Mountains, as mention, in the wilds of Southern Oregon. It is a biodiverse farm of almost 100 acres, with a mission to make special wines from what they believe is a special vineyard, a unique and largely undiscovered terroir, with what they hope has exceptional potential, and they wines I’ve tried so far certain are good indicators that Troon is on to something here. The life on the farm, here at Troon, includes cider apples, a vegetable garden, re-wilded honeybees, sheep, chickens, wildlife, dogs, humans and, of course, grapevines, all of which are treat with the same care and respect, they all pieces of the circle of life, with each’s energy ending its way into the bottle. The goal, as expressed by the winery, is to express our vineyards rather than winemaking techniques in our wines. All Troon Vineyard wines are fermented only with native yeasts and no commercial yeasts, acids, sugar, enzymes or additives are added to any of the wines, in a traditional fashion adopted by passionate natural producers. Troon’s white wines, like this Vermentino, are whole-cluster pressed then barrel fermented in mature French Oak barrels, and for their “Orange Wines” they, like in parts of Italy and the Public of Georgia, are now using clay amphorae to allow extended skin contact after fermentation. Troon also makes a range of fun Pétillant Natural sparkling wines, naturally fermented in bottle, including a Tannat based bubbly, which I hope to get soon. For their red wines, Troon focuses on lots of whole-cluster and whole berry fermentation, which gives these wines some nice savory elements, they use only mature French Oak barrels for aging so, as they put it, that they can capture every nuance of our unique Applegate Valley fruit, and lets each wine express itself in Troon’s wines. I was lucky enough to taste through some of Troon’s latest and upcoming bottlings, including this Vermentino, with winemaker Nate Wall, who is full of insight and obviously very talented, these new Troon wines are exciting and serious, I highly recommend checking them out.
($30 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive