Bob Denman is a true representative of wine, thinking of it at every turn. He purchased his land in the Applegate Valley in 1980 and immediately thought of a vineyard. So much so
that he planted his vineyard before he built his house.
His 5 acres are nestled in the heart of the Applegate Valley. His first vintage in 2001 produced just 200 cases of Merlot. Since then his production has grown to ten times that! The wines produced are predominately of the Bordeaux variety, but also a Chardonnay and a lil ol' Syrah that I can't wait to get my hands on. His wines can be found typically at Ray's Food Place, Market of Choice, Fred Meyer and the Ashland Food Co-op. Bob was gracious enough to share his 2006 Claret with us, which happened to win a bronze medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition this year.
The Slagle Creek 2006 Claret is a force of nature. When that cork is released it rushes out of the bottle gasping for air like a 10 year-old in a public pool. The wine opens up nicely once the alcohol odor blows off to produce a wonderfully complex nose. Between Christine and I, we detected deep cocoa, bold coffee and caramel, slight cinnamon, faint anise, a slight draw of baked cherries, and some polished leather aromas. The wine has great texture and mouthfeel as it glides smoothly across the palate with very little astringency which is surprising considering the grapes involved: 45% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Cabernet Franc. The only drawback was the high alcohol content. There was a slight burn on the way down, which may not sit well with some, as it makes it a harder wine to just have a glass of. I however, appreciate a heavy duty wine with a slight kick to it.