Winery to Watch 2013

Oregon: Chapter 24

Joshua Greene recently talked to Mark Tarlov about his newest venture, the Oregon winery Chapter 24—one of the ventures we earmarked as a winery to watch in our Annual Buying Guide. Chapter 24 is about Fire (volcanic terroirs) and Flood (sediments deposited at the end of the last ice age). Mark Tarlov named his latest Oregon project after the ending of the Odyssey, which some scholars claim was appended long after the original text was completed. It may be his attempt to write a better ending to his short, successful and abruptly terminated wine career at Evening Land Vineyards, the company he founded in 2005. Tarlov, a film producer turned wine entrepreneur, has teamed up Louis-Michel Liger-Belair of Burgundy’s Vosne-Romanée and Mike Etzel, winemaking son of Beaux Frères. Riffing on the “infusion” style of pinot noir Liger-Belair first used to handle the 2003 heat in Burgundy—whole berries, no added yeast and no punch downs—the team presses the wine before fermentation ends, allowing it to finish off the skins. The 2012 Chapter 24, primarily from the Shea Vineyard, has the kind of elegant fruit expression and seamless tannins more often found in Chambolle or Vosne than in Willamette. “I used to get sent home from kindergarten for being disruptive,” Tarlov says. His latest disruption is an exciting new direction for Oregon wine.