With over 20 years of experience making wines in both Argentina and Oregon, Juan Pablo Valot and Doris Cancel’s Valcan (a portmanteau of their surnames) brand offers quite a variety from which to choose at their Corvallis base of operations, including a “bare” Malbec which I hope to try in the near future. But for now, we settle in with their Syrah, Pinot Noir, and the first side of Bill Evans’ classic Undercurrent LP for a quiet late autumn session.
2017 Valcan Cellars Syrah – Heavy on earthy notes at first, with pepper and flint leading the charge and dark fruit and licorice eventually arriving at the party. It takes some time in the glass for things to settle, but the reward is worth the invested patience. Restrained acidity and tannins, with thyme and dried bay leaf delivering complexity to a lengthy finish. B+ / $40
2016 Valcan Cellars Pinot Noir – Slightly heavy with cherry and chocolate notes and a wisp of smoke on the nose. Touches of dried herbs and rhubarb pique interest, but never so much that it prohibits space for the cherry and ripe raspberry influence to expand. Never overwhelming or unctuous, and quite intriguing. A- / $26