2019 Maloof Wax On, Wax Soif
Region: Applegate Valley < Oregon
Grapes: 85% Syrah, 15% ViognierVineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming (certification in process);
co-fermented on the skins for 7 days with daily punchdowns before
being pressed off and moved to stainless steel to finish fermentation.
After primary fermentation, the wine is moved to neutral oak barrels.
Bottled unfined, unfiltered with minimal So2; 12.5% ABV; 95 cases
Winemakers: Ross & Bee MaloofThe partnership of Ross and Bee is a case study in opposites
attracting. She's a former aerospace materials engineer grounded in
hard science, he's a restaurant pro who worked for over a decade in
the Philly dining scene, most notably as the beverage director and GM
for Vedge Restaurant group. Ross broke into the production side by
interning for good friend and winemaker Brianne Day in Oregon. For a
few years he kept his day job, but was spending a little more time
each vintage in the Willamette Valley, finally producing his first
wine in 2015. Bee turned her scientific eye from rotorcraft to
vinification helping Ross with the 2016 harvest.
Together, in 2017 the couple left their careers on the East coast
behind to embark on a westward journey for no particular opportunity,
just to be closer to the magic. The gamble paid off, and now they
make tiny lots of esoteric Oregon wines at Day Camp, the natural wine
co-op started by Brianne Day. But while the labels (and cuveé names)
are whimsical and trendy, the Maloofs are not trying to ride the natty
wine wave while calling it in on quality. They are committed to
sourcing only organic or better fruit, working closely with their
farmers, and making very clean, precise wines (Bee's a scientist,
after all) with no manipulation but lots of experimentation.
They are big on the white wines - this is the sole red wine they make
(and it still has 15% white fruit in it). Inspired by the Syrah-based
wines of Côte-Rôtie, they were going for a softer side of Syrah, less
hardcore meaty, more lifted and bright, a style they say " intended
for happily gulping on sidewalk cafés". It smells like Oregon
terroir -- blueberry on the rocks, volcanic soil -- and you do get a
faint earthy, meaty thing on the palate which gets lightened up with
by the Viognier, bringing out the baking spice, boysenberry and
potpourri. Syrah that is fresh, bright, low ABV-chuggable, and
excellent with a slight chill? Oh yeah, we're onboard!