Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.
People are going to start to worry about us at this rate. Last week's Friday Find was a nod to the ancient practices of Alchemy and the red blend Script & Seal, and here we are this week talking about Druids. Here's the weird thing about the Druids, we don't really know anything about them. I mean, at least Wikipedia doesn't and if Wikipedia doesn't well then, that knowledge doesn't exist. What we do know about the Druids is that they were fairly frightening and mysterious. They were a priestly group in the British Isles and they killed people.
I think the most bizarre part of this whole Druid mystery is that there's no debating their existence and on a very clear level their importance within Gaelic society, but what's lost is any clarity on what they did, believed and why they burned so many people alive. We do know that the believed in the immortality of the soul and perhaps in some form of reincarnation. There is a definite Druid connection to Stonehenge and it's use to celebrate the summer solstice, in lieu of naked cycling. That is where the definitive information seems to run cold, what has been pieced together about the Druid culture is that it was a priestly one, with descriptions ranging from sacrificial crazies to intellectual and theological pillars of the community. What's clear is that they wore hooded robes and had beards, probably.
The Druid's Fluid from Troon Vineyard is a nod to Dick Troon's Scottish roots and is the name for the vineyard's "mistake wine." A blend of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet and Zinfandel with a touch of sweetness (1.55 Residual Sugar) and ample acidity the wine is a lot of fun to drink. It strikes me as a great summer BBQ wine, and reminds me with it's acidity and touch of sweetness of the German red the Dornfelder. The aromatics are slightly funky at first, but give way to loads of fruit with cherries and strawberries. The palate has that touch of sweet berry and a fruit forward character that's backed with ample acidity.
That touch of sweetness was that first mistake, in 2000 some Syrah with insufficient nitrogen resulted in a stuck fermentation. The wine therefore retained some of it's sugar and the result was a sweet red wine. Friends of Dick Troon found it to be an enjoyable easier drinker and so they've recreated the wine by stopping fermentation before all of the sugar is broken down. The result is a fruit forward red wine with great acidity and a kiss of sweetness, don't think tacky California sweet wine, think Old World German Dornfelder and for $18 it's a nice change of pace. You can find the wine fairly readily throughout Oregon, in Fred Meyer and Safeway or check out the dope wine locator beacon on the Troon website to track it down. Suspend your disbelief about sweet red wines, and maybe do a side by side tasting with a Dornfelder you'll see for yourself. I'd recommend drinking it after chilling slightly next to your favorite home grilled burger. Stay away from any Druids though.