2016 Bow & Arrow, Melon, Johan Vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
This is a wine I’m always drawn to, it’s a brilliant and fresh white that delivers the varietal characteristics of a dusty dry Muscadet Sevre et Maine, but with it’s own unique added dimension, and this 2016 vintage even rises above expectations with heightened energy and mineral depth. Scott Frank is making some America’s best Loire Valley inspired wines, he naturally crafts expressive wines of great definition and distinction using primally all organic grapes and with no additions or employing anything but tiny amounts of sulfur, these are fun and pure wines that are easy to love with a certain old world and rustic charm, but deliver serious details and are exceptional values, especially his Gamay based wines and Cabernet Francs, though you not want to miss this Melon or his Sauvignon Blanc either. These 2016’s by Bow & Arrow have reached a new level of quality, easily exceeding the outstanding 2014 and 2015 wines with this Bow & Arrow Johan Vineyard Melon de Bourgogne, from biodynamic grown grapes, these vines are situated on the southern edge of the Van Duzer corridor, west of Salem, it gets cool sea breezes and wonderful exposure, set on marine sedimentary soils which help give this wine it’s freshness, nervy verve and stony character, this striking white starts with crisp brightness with a touch of straw, oyster shell, citrus flowers leading to a light to medium bodied palate of brisk green apple, mixed citrus and steely morning melon fruits as well as chalky wet rock, a hint of citron/herb, mouth watering saline and quinine tanginess. This wine gains a certain roundness with air, it possesses an intriguing impact, it’s somewhat Chablis like in it’s form and performance, it highlights Oregon’s potential for alternative white wines with Melon really coming of age, the finish here leans on lemony tones, kiwi and a hint of lees along with a white peach element that adds a bit more complexity to this savvy and fine white, it is an alluring wine that will make a lot of people happy, in particular with seafood and or goat cheeses. This is a crunchy vibrant Melon that should be enjoyed young in it’s refreshing brilliance and racy prime, even though it’s structure and acidity should allow graceful aging for at least 3 to 5 years, if you’ve not had Bow & Arrow, you should search out this Portland based winery!
($18-22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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