Saturday, January 16, 2010

Olson Ogden Wines - it starts with the grapes

Olson Ogden Wines, founded by winemaker Tim Olson and business manager John Ogden, is a small boutique winery located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Their specialty is Pinot Noir and Syrah, particularly vineyard designated Syrahs. They believe strongly that the best wines start in the vineyard and they have developed strong relationships with managers of some of the finest vineyards in the area.

Tim Olson has been a winemaker in Northern California for over 21 years working for such wineries as Tarius in Santa Rosa, Acacia Winery, Caymus Vineyards and Rosenblum Cellars. He also spent time at the French cooperage Tonnellerie Nadalie in Calistoga where he learned a great deal about barrel selection and production and its effect on wine. John Ogden, who manages the marketing, sales and business operation, was an early employee at America OnLine as it grew from 300,000 members to over 30 million in five years.

These special vineyards are located in Mendocino, Sonoma and Napa counties. The 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir has grapes mostly from a vineyard in Petaluma in an area known as “The Petaluma Gap” where the land receives the cooling fog influences from the Pacific Coast. This dark cherry red wine has a dusty aroma of black fruits followed by raspberry and blackberry flavors with hints of spice, vanilla and spice.

The 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir has grapes sourced from two Russian River vineyards. The Eastside Road vineyard, with its rolling hills with alluvial clay loam soils, produces grapes ripe in red fruits and aromatics. The Willowside vineyard, flat on the valley floor with clay loam soils, produces grapes that result in dark, structured wines, typical of Russian River Pinot Noirs. This wine has an intense aromatic nose and flavors of red fruits and hints of cola and spice.

Olson Ogden 2007 Syrah is a blend of fruit from the Unti Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County and the famous Stagecoach Vineyards high above the Napa Valley in Napa County. The Unti Vineyards fruit tends to produce wines with more minerality and depth than many others. The Stagecoach Vineyards grapes are famous for producing intense and complex wines. This wine has 76% Syrah and 24% Grenache. On the nose is the distinctive earthy aromas plus black cherries and plum. The same dark fruit comes through on the palate with a spicy long finish.

The 2007 Unti Vineyard Syrah is 100% Syrah from the Unti Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. This wine has a very intense nose full of dark fruit, spice, floral, pepper and smoke. The full bodied texture makes this wine a joy to drink as you taste the flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry with the pepper and spice to make this an interesting complex wine.

Finally, the 2007 Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah completes this tour of the best vineyards in Sonoma and Napa. It has a dark black cherry color with a nose of sophistication with a blend of dark fruit, leather, violets and white pepper. The strong structure leads on to a wonderfully balanced wine with a long finish.

These wines were recently served at a special tasting at UNWINED Wine Shop in San Jose.

For more info: Olson Ogden WInes

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