Remember the Name: Golden Cluster is One of America's Great Wines
Posted by Connor Smith on
Of all the things one could list that define a great wine, with the notable exception of a high price tag, Golden Cluster aces all categories.
It begins with extraordinary material, grapes from own-rooted old-vine specimens of rare and fascinating varieties. It moves through the distinctive and careful methodology of well-traveled and well-connected winemaking veteran Jeff Vejr. The production of most of their cuvées is measured in the hundreds of bottles. It is reflective of its exceptional terroir in the northern Willamette Valley. It is defined to its core by a wondrous yet largely forgotten history that is handled with reverence and love.
The Le Dû's team was struck immediately on first tasting of these wines. They are plainly on-their-face remarkable beverages that are certain to entrance without any exposition of their story. But these wines also prove to be a seemingly bottomless well of intrigue, which peel back the layers of history and viticulture and human stories with each sip.
The vines, planted in 1965 and 1966 by the little-known but indisputably prophetic Charles Coury, represent a lineup of exceedingly rare grapes in Oregon, and indeed the entire western hemisphere. The story begins with Semillon, but also features Flora, Savagnin Rose, Pinot Gouges, Pearl of Csaba, and even a variety that genetic testing has not been able to identify. Vejr's signature handling of the grapes features skin contact, oxygen exposure, and bottling with lees, yielding lush results that are perfect for cold-weather drinking.
Today, tomorrow, doesn't matter. This is one of America's great wines. Make sure you keep tabs on Golden Cluster.
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- Tags: Flora, Golden Cluster, Jeff Vejr, Oregon, Pantheon, Semillon, USA, Willamette Valley, Wine