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Failla’s Ehren Jordan Establishes a Foothold in the Willamette Valley

Winemaker Ehren Jordan of Failla (Fay-la) Wines in California’s Napa Valley has become Zenith Vineyard’s winemaker for the 2018 vintage. Jordan launched Failla in 1998, taking the winery’s name from the husband-and- wife team of Ehren and fellow debtor Anne-Marie Failla. The winery originally incorporated Jordan in the name but legal issues over the use of the word Jordan forced them to continue the label as simply “Failla.” Failla is well known for cool climate vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from Keefer Ranch, Occidental Ridge, Pearlessence Vineyard, Failla’s estate vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and others. Failla Chardonnays are recommendable as well.

Jordan first stepped his toes into Oregon five vintages ago with grapes sourced from Seven Springs Vineyard. Gradually, Failla has increased production to 5,000 cases of Oregon Pinot Noir. In May, 2018, Failla Wines moved its Oregon operations to Zenith Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills.

In December 2017 Zenith Vineyard acquired the winery and tasting room that was established in 2008 by a partnership between Zenith Vineyard and St. Innocent Winery. St. Innocent’s Mark Vlossak has been the Zenith Vineyard winemaker since the first vintage in 2006.

The 83-acre Zenith Vineyard was first planted in 1989 by Pat and Patti O’Connor but was owned most recently by Tim and Kari Ramey. The vineyard has been the source of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wine grapes for 20 winery clients and in 2017 16 wineries produced a Zenith Vineyard designated wine. The vineyard is LIVE certified and sustainably farmed.

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2015 Failla Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $59. This wine was produced and bottled at Ehren Jordan Wine Cellars in St. Helena. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Fresh aromas of dark red cherry, rose petal, earthbound flora and brioche. Striking vibrancy and length in a mid weight styled wine with flavors of cherry, raspberry, spice and subtle oak. Rather delicate with gentle tannins. Impressively, the wine builds in intensity over time and was more demonstrative when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 93

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