September 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Honest Wine

Omero Cellars and Minimus Wines

Natural wines are honest. They can’t help but tell you the truth about who they are, what they’re made of, and where they come from. Creating a wine that can only speak the truth about its variety, vineyard and vintage takes a person who is willing to listen carefully to these elements and never make assumptions about what they will hear.

Chad Stock, of Omero Cellars and Minimus Wines, is that kind of winemaker. He is intensely curious about what the true voices of Oregon wines are now and seeks those yet undiscovered. This inquisitiveness has led in many directions, one of which challenges the initial decision of Oregon winemakers to plant Burgundian clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the region. What he has found is that the difference in soil types between where the vines were produced, nurseries in Burgundy, and where they were planted, vineyards in the Willamette Valley, doomed Oregon to producing low acid counterpoints of their Euro cousins. This discovery set Chad on a hunt for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines that would perform well on the soils in Oregon and in turn would make a naturally balanced wine. He is now experimenting with 10 Chardonnay and 18 Pinot Noir clones that are specifically not from the Dijon Clone of Burgundy. That said he hasn’t settled on just those two grapes. He has planted 27 small plots, each with a different variety, in hopes of fine-tuning which grapes work best and where. At this point he feels a sense of promise that a handful of his selections will be better suited for the Willamette Valley than Pinot Noir.

As if studying over 50 grape varieties doesn’t give a person enough to do, Chad stretches his skill as a wine maker by producing numerous small batch cuvées each year. In this arena he experiments with various fermentation styles and vessels. This could mean leaving a white wine on its skins for half a year, or ageing in wine barrels made of chestnut to see how they impact the final wine. The experiments that work best are bottled for our intellectual and drinking pleasure.

Chad has three separate labels that represent three very individual notions he wants to convey. They are Omero Cellars, Minimus Wines and Origin. In the Natural Wine Club this month we present selections from Omero Cellars and Minimus. To highlight the difference between the projects we offer you these two brief quotes;

“Omero asks how do we deliver delicious, approachable wines without hiding behind chemicals and additives.”

“Minimus challenges convention. It asks why? Why not? What’s possible?”

Chad Stock is an honest, open and curious individual. He is careful not to stamp out the natural voices of the wines he makes so we can enjoy a pure representation of Oregon. We encourage you to taste these with open ears.

Everyday Club
2015 Omero Willamette Valley Pinot Gris $21

2015 Omero Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $19

Focus Club

2016 Minimus Pet Nat $28

2016 Minimus Vermentino Layne Vineyard $25

2016 Omero Willamette Valley Gamay Noir $25