We had a different Pinot selected for the club but that changed when winemaker Mike Hinds poured his 2014 Zena Springs for us. We loved it and since there were only 48 cases made, we had to jump! Filled with delicious dark berries and a super attractive sweet/savory note that we fell for with the first sip. At just 12.6% alcohol, it shows freshness and bright acidity, despite the warm vintage.
From Franchere: “The nose is complex and savory, with kelp, umami, and saline characteristics. On the palate, a fresh and linear attack of currant, greengage plum, and warm stone becomes framed by structuring tannins at the mid-palate. With air, the texture becomes supple and red raspberry fruit emerges. It's pretty tight in its youth, so decant or cellar to let this rose bloom. Aged 15 months in used oak, bottled January 2016.
Zena Springs Vineyard is a gorgeous, southeast-facing slope in the heart of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, planted in 2000. It is a cool, late-flowering vineyard, which I farmed strictly following organic protocols, and without irrigation to ensure the vines root deep for water and nutrients. Tucked beside the sustainably managed Zena Forest and a conservation easement owned by Willamette University, it's a pastoral place populated by blue heron, turkey vultures, coyotes, and even bobcat.
Franchere’s winemaker and owner, Mike Hinds, was born and raised in Oregon but didn’t begin his wine journey until he was living in Chicago. There, he tasted a Vouvray that would launch an obsession and change his life. After four years of working in wine shops, Mike returned to Oregon and in short order began viticulture classes, grape farming, and winemaking. Mike was also a cellar rat at Illahe Vineyards, which is where he makes the Franchere wines.