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» In Celebration of Alan

» Wine Advocate Reviews

» Viognier 2nd Highest Rating

» Sunset's Best of the West #9

» Wine Enthusiast Reviews

» My Wines of the Year

» One More 90+ Rating

» Co-op cork drop

Calendar of Events Not to Miss

Jan 22 - EcoFarm Conference (Pacific Grove, CA)
Jan 28 - Wine Business Monthly Symposium (Sacramento, CA)
Mar 8 - Savor Cannon Beach (OR)
Mar 8 - Steamboat Inn Winemaker Dinner (OR)
May 17 - Spring Release Party (club invitation only)
May 18 - Applegate Valley Spring Uncorked
Nov 22 - Fall Release Party (invitation only)
Nov 23 - Applegate Valley Fall Uncorked

We send an email announcement before each event with more information. If you are a Club member and would like to RSVP, call or email us at contact@cowhornwine.com.

Alternatively, if you are interested in becoming a Club member, see the Club Page on our website. We look forward to having you as our guest!
Bill & Barbara Steele
Alan York, Nature's Own

By Thom Elkjer

Alan York was a sage of nature.
      His expertise with biodynamic agriculture came from decades working with plants and soil, and from study with past masters such as Alan Chadwick. The rest was pure Alan.
      I first heard his name during a visit to the McNab Ranch vineyard in Sonoma County that gave rise to Bonterra winery. It was the last day of Thanksgiving in 2000. After driving for an hour past leafless, bare-dirt vineyards exhausted from the year's cycle of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, it was stunning to see that McNab Ranch was a flower-filled, golden-leafed, bee- and bird-blessed paradise.
      What accounted for this astonishing difference? "Biodynamics", said winemaker Bob Blue. "And Alan York."
      At Cowhorn, we were immensely fortunate to have both - and to learn the difference between them. Biodynamic agriculture is a sublime way to farm, and Alan had his own sublime relationship with it, one that he took into the farm and our lives.
      It began on his first visit to the property, just weeks after escrow closed. It was a torrid summer day, and a hot wind coursed down the narrow valley. Standing under a shaky canopy in the middle of the future vineyard, we presented our timeline for planting, harvesting and selling wine. It was all worked out in comprehensive spreadsheets, year by year. All we had to do was follow the schedule.
      Alan smiled, as he often did before speaking, and said, "The fast way is the slow way."
      He meant that nature was going to tell us how long things would take, and we had better listen or we would have to do things twice - which would really blow up the spreadsheet.
      With his guidance we learned to slow down, read the signals from the land, and act accordingly. It took a little longer to realize that Alan himself wasn't just waiting around for signals. He was signaling nature right back.
      One of his communication channels was the biodynamic preparations, which are nature-based liquids that get sprayed onto plants or soil, or added to the compost pile. Most biodynamic farmers apply the preparations according to a schedule or the lunar calendar. For Alan, the preparations seemed more like a private telegraph system between him and the vines.
      This is one of the reasons our grape quality has increased every year despite a short growing window, a scary number of frost hours during the growing season, and more than 10 different clones in the vineyard. The vines know what they need to do. We know what they need from us. It's still a vibrant conversation.
      The only thing that has changed is that Alan is not physically a part of it now.
      He bravely gave up the fight to preserve his body from cancer early in 2014, knowing that a lot of great conversations he started are going to continue for generations. From Oregon to Chile to Italy, millions of meals and glasses of wine are going to enrich countless lives in ways no statistics or spreadsheets will ever explain, and Alan's inimitable wisdom will be in every mouthful.
      He will certainly live on in the Cowhorn vineyard and gardens.
      That first day, he looked up and down the property as the blasting wind shook the canopy and bent the sparse stalks of wild grass flat over baking sand and river rocks.
      "Well," he said, "this sure is someplace else, but now it's where we're all from. We've just got to learn the language."
      In truth, I think he already knew it, even before the vines went into the ground. Nature held Alan close, and he returned the embrace. May it ever be thus.
Wine Advocate Reviews

Friday | 11/1/2013
Wine Advocate scores are in!

In the current issue of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Cowhorn is compared with the wines of Alban, Cayuse, Hermitage and St. Joseph, and we are delighted to be referred to as "Southern Oregon's viticultural star."

David Schildknecht says, "It's clear to me from the recent releases tasted with them in July - not to mention from re-tasting their 2010 Syrah 58 - that their renditions of Rhone varieties need no longer shy from comparison with any in the world..."

2010 Syrah 58 - 94 Points
"Ripe plum... game...allspice...head turning aromatic intensity..."
600 Cases Produced

2011 Grenache 42 - 93 Points
"Fascinatingly complex...incisive and invigorating...compellingly delicious..."
130 Cases Produced

2012 Viognier - 93 Points
"I have seldom if ever tasted a lovelier or better-balanced Viognier..."
250 Cases Produced

2012 Marsanne Roussanne - 93 Points
"Capable of standing comparison with the best such blends from St. Joseph or Hermitage..."
120 Cases Produced

2012 Spiral 36 - 92 Points
"Scents of fresh lime and white peach...luscious...downright luxuriant..."
650 Cases Produced

For the full text of this review, please see our Accolades page story. Click Here
Wine Spectator Awards 2012 Viognier 2nd Highest Rating

Friday | 1 /10/2014

Our 2012 Viognier was awarded the second highest rating by Wine Spectator for a domestic Viognier in their latest review (available web-only

"2012 Cowhorn Vignier 92 points: Sleek, supple, inviting and distinctive, balancing richness with an open texture. Offers ginger- and lychee-accented pear and lemon flavors, lingering with the expansive finish. Drink now through 2017. 250 cases made. - Harvey Steiman"

Sunset's Best of the West #9

Friday, September 28, 2013

October 2013 issue
OREGON'S UNDISCOVERED WINE COUNTRY

Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden

(Applegate Valley)

In a mini valley, this spot feels delightfully remote and as wild as its biodynamically grown wines. Try the 2009 Syrah 80 ($35), with an intriguing savage side; you?ll find pepper, meat, leather, and spice under its juicy core of minted plum and berry fruit. $5 tasting fee; 1665 Eastside Rd., Jacksonville; cowhornwine.com

Cowhorn Viognier is Editor's Choice, Syrah is Cellar Selection

You can find the latest Wine Enthusiast ratings either online or in the June magazine, Buying Guide section.







92 Points, Editor's Choice
Cowhorn 2012 Viognier, Applegate Valley, $30

Sean Sullivan: Coming from a single block of the winery's estate vineyard, this 100% varietal wine provides a magic trick. The sweet, full-bodied white peach, honeysuckle and vanilla aromas and flavors do not show any of the oiliness or excess alcohol that might be expected at this level of ripeness. Instead, it's all flavor, showing remarkable depth and concentration that persists through the last sip. - (6/1/2014)

92 Points, Cellar Selection
Cowhorn 2010 Syrah 58, Applegate Valley, $45

Sean Sullivan: A vibrantly expressive wine, with notes of pomegranate, ground cranberries, freshly blossomed wild flowers and incense. It's puckering, rich and concentrated, with youthful tart cherry flavors. Near overwhelming in its intensity, it needs time in the cellar to fully stitch together but has all the stuffing to go the distance; best after 2017. -(6/1/2014)

My Wines of the Year

Each year, Wine Spectator columnist Matt Kramer selects his favorite wines of the year. In the year end issue for 2012, Matt selected our 2011 Spiral 36 as one of his top three wines! Cowhorn is the only domestic producer selected and is noted for the excellence of all of our wines. As always, thank you for your support of Cowhorn, without which we would not be here to receive this honor.

Matt Kramer:
"Cowhorn Applegate Valley Spiral 36 2011 ($28). This small, biodynamic wine producer is located in a far-off spot in southern Oregon near the California border. Specializing in Rhone varieties, Cowhorn is, in my opinion, creating some of Oregon's finest wines - and yes, that includes the state's much applauded Pinot Noirs.

Spiral 36 is the proprietary name for a seamless dry white wine blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. More than most such blends, this one emerges as a classic sum-greater than its parts acheivement. Everyone to whom I've served this wine has been astonished at its zingy, refreshing, subtle flavor and texture. It shows, as does Cowhorn's supberb Syrah and excellent Grenache, a true vocation of place for these grapes in southern Oregon." December 31st, 2012

- Matt Kramer

One More 90+ Rating

Our 2009 Reserve Syrah was rated 91 Points by the Wine Spectator team!

Smooth, rich and focused, with juicy blackberry, plum and earthy spice flavors, hinting at licorice as the finish lingers easily. Has intensity and finesse, showing a sense of completeness. Drink now through 2017. 100 cases made. - Harvey Steiman






In a complementary program, the Ashland Food Co-op, Southern Oregon’s first and only Certified Organic retailer, has partnered with COWHORN, the Rogue Wine Region’s first and only Certified Biodynamic® estate winery, to convert used corks into reusable, compostable wine packs guaranteed to contain a minimum of 99% recycled content.

» Read DailyTidings article



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