Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The High Quality and Low Quantity Olson Ogden Wines from California

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller and John Ogden from Olson and Ogden Wines, California

John Ogden from Olson and Ogden led a tasting at the Curious Grape Wine Store in Sherlington, Viginia earlier this year.

Olson and Ogden Wines

Founded by Tim Olson and one-time Northern Virginia resident John Ogden, the winery produces a quirky but quality-minded range of wines with a focus on Pinot Noir and Rhone grapes like Syrah and white Marsanne. Olson and Ogden is one of those estateless wineries that have no permanent physical presence.

John Ogden worked in the high tech corporate world for most of his life, before becoming a winemaker. He met Tim Olson who was just finishing up a stint as the winemaker for Tarius vineyards. Together they started Olson and Ogden a few years ago.

Tim does the wine making, and through previous connections has brought with him several contracts for fruit from Unti Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley among others, while John does the business management, marketing, and sales. Both work on the wine part time. The wines are made at a custom crush facility in Sonoma and both Ogden and Olson work out of their homes when they're not in the vineyard or cellar.

Vineyard Profiles

Alder Springs Vineyard, Mendocino

Located in the heart of Mendocino County, two hours north of Santa Rosa, the vineyard is planted with a broad variety of grapes with a focus on Rhone and Burgundy varietals. The soil is well drained and consists mostly of decomposing sandstone.

Manchester Ridge Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge

Located just four miles from the Pacific Ocean, Manchester Ridge Vineyard sits above the Anderson Valley in Mendocino. It resides in a recently created American Viticulture Area (AVA) called Mendocino Ridge. The Mendocino Ridge AVA is a series of ridge top vineyards with a minimum elevation of 1200’ as a requirement for inclusion in the AVA.

The vineyard sits on Adams Ridge, at the edge of a bluff 2000’ above sea level. The soil consists primarily of decomposing sandstone on gentle slopes, thereby providing excellent drainage. The temperatures are moderated by ocean breezes and rarely get past 90°F, thus allowing for slow ripening and optimal hang times. The first harvest with Mendocino Ridge Vineyard was in 2008, a few tons of Pinot Noir.

Russian River Valley

The Russian River Valley is renowned for producing superb Pinot Noirs and is widely regarded as one of the premier locations in California for this fickle grape. Olseon and Odgen source Russian River Valley grapes from two very different vineyards.

The Eastside Road vineyard is planted on rolling hills. The soil is alluvial clay loam that drains well, allowing moderate stress to make the vines work a little harder to ripen their fruit. The vineyard is farmed sustainably and yields are low, in the 2.0 to 2.5 tons per acre range.

The Willowside vineyard is relatively flat and sits on the valley floor. The soils are clay loam with a mix of Goldridge loam. Soils here don’t drain as well as hillside vineyards so water management is key to managing vine stress. The vineyard produces dark, well structured wines that form the backbone of our Russian River Pinot Noir. This vineyard is farmed sustainably and yields are in the 2.5 to 3.0 tons per acre range.

Stagecoach Vineyard, Napa Valley

The Stagecoach Vineyard is one of the most exciting vineyards to be developed in the last 50 years in California. It is situated at the end of Soda Canyon Road at elevations ranging from 900 to 1700 feet above sea level. The neighborhood is home to many special vineyards including Bryant Family, Colgin, David Arthur and Dalla Valle.

Jan Krupp and his team are passionate about farming this amazing vineyard. Carved out of a volcanic flow from Mount St. Helena, the soil is red, orange and brown and littered with stones and boulders. Jan and his crew have carved out over 500,000 tons of boulders to create this vineyard.

Unti Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

Unti Vineyards is a small, family owned and operated winery and vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. The alluvial clay loam soils are well drained and the dry Mediterranean climate is ideal for growing fruit driven red varietals like Zinfandel, Italian and Rhone varieties.

George Unti and his team, led by Vineyard Manager Levi Glen, are committed to growing great wine grapes and their dedication shows in the quality of wines coming out of this great vineyard. After years of farming sustainably, the Untis began using biodynamic vineyard practices in 2004 in order to make the vines self-sustaining and adaptive to their natural environment.

The Olson and Ogden Wines Portfolio

Here is what Olson and Ogden currently offer, with their notes.

2007 Olson Ogden Wines Sonoma Napa County Syrah

This Syrah with 24% Grenache has a peppery-spicy aromato the full-bodied mouthfeel and the lush, blackberry, blueberryand cassis flavors. With accents of tobacco, sweet leather, coffeeand smoky sandalwood, itÂ’s a soft, complex wine perfect fordrinking now with a grilled steak. 229 cases produced. $28.00

Vintage 2007
Varietal Syrah
Appellation Sonoma
Sugar 23.7 - 26.7 Brix at harvest
Acid 0.62
Aging 17 Months
Fermentation French Oak, 28% New French Oak
Bottling Date 3/1/09
Alcohol % 14.8

2007 Olson Ogden Wines Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah

A deep and well-defined Syrah that is a big, optimally ripened wine with a broad backbone of firmtannin but also slightly supple and fleshy in feel with no hint of heaviness. Its very long, massive flavors of grilled blackberries, blueberries, currants, dark chocolate, leather, black pepper and spice are in harmony with sweet oak, andits fine sense of proportion is maintained throughout. Excellent now but sturdy enough to warrant a few years of patient cellaring. 140 cases produced. $52.00

Vintage 2007
Varietal Syrah
Appellation Napa Valley
Sugar 23.7 - 26.7 Brix at harvest
Acid 0.66
Aging 17 Months
Fermentation French Oak, 83% New French Oak
Bottling Date 3/1/09
Alcohol % 14.7

2007 Olson Ogden Wines Unti Vineyard Syrah

A complex and intense Syrah, the most intriguing off our 2007 vintage Syrahs. ItÂ’s intense andconcentrated showing great complexity with varietal aromas like blackberry and black cherry fruit, withpepper, bacon, earth and smoky sweet oak. The wine is jammy yet vibrantly balanced with acidity and firm tannins that could benefit from cellar time to soften. 238 cases produced. $ 38.00

Vintage 2007
Varietal Syrah
Appellation Dry Creek Valley
Sugar 25.1 - 26.6 Brix at harvest
Acid 0.66
Aging 17 Months
Fermentation French Oak, 70% New French Oak
Bottling Date 3/1/09
Alcohol % 14.5

2008 Olson Ogden Wines Manchester Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir

This lively Pinot Noir shows red bing cherry and wild boysenberry fruits with hints of spice and a touch of forest floor reminiscent of neighboring Andersen Valley. A medium bodied wine cherry red in color, it is nicely balanced showing rich complexity and a wonderful finish that stays for an eternity. This wine has the structure for aging and patient cellaring over the next three to seven years will be rewarded. 115 cases produced. $38.00

Vintage 2008
Varietal Pinot Noir
Appellation Mendocino
Sugar 26.1 Brix at Harvest
Acid 0.62
Aging 17 Months
Fermentation French Oak, 44% New French Oak
Bottling Date 4/1/10
Alcohol % 14.2

2008 Olson Ogden Wines Margaret's Mandate - Stagecoach Vineyard Marsanne

A beautiful looking wine light pale straw in color with a nose that gives off engaging aromas of honeysuckle, peaches, and stone fruits. A medium bodied wine with lush texture but racy acidity to keep the wine nicely balanced. It is wonderfully fragrant, refreshing and full of flavor in the mouth followed by a long and lingering finish. 145 cases produced. $35.00

Vintage 2008
Varietal Marsanne
Appellation Napa Valley
Sugar 25.8 Brix at harvest
Acid 0.56
Aging 17 Months
Fermentation Stainless steel and French oak, 28% New French Oak
Bottling Date 4/1/10
Alcohol % 14.7

2008 Persuasion Red Wine

An inviting focused blend showing black and red fruits with hints of leather, mocha and a whisper of vanilla and violets. A medium to full bodied wine showing layered complexity, excellent balance and supple tannins followed by a lingering finish. This wine is ready to uncork and drink now with family and friends but could be cellared for many years for future enjoyment. 1400 cases produced.
$19.00

A blend of Syrah (69%), Grenache (13%), Pinot Noir (12%), and Marsanne (6%).
Vintage 2008
Varietal Red Blend
Appellation California
Sugar 23.4 Brix at harvest
Acid 0.59
Aging 17 Months
Fermentation French Oak, 44% New French Oak
Bottling Date 4/1/10
Alcohol % 14.5

Olson Ogden Wines
Sebastopol, California
www.olsonogdenwines.com

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