Cotes du Rogue - from the Banks or Hillsides of the Rogue

It's a familiar wine name, but what does it mean?
30 years ago, as a young(er) man,  I discovered the wines of the Rhone Valley of Southern France.  The names like Cote Rotie, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage, Condrieu, Gigondas, and of course Chateau Neuf du Pape, were legend to drink, and unique to France.  Each one a rose garden in a bottle. 
After years of visiting the Southern Oregon Vineyards, I found occasional gems of Rhone style wines. Our goal is to polish those gems, and make these precious wines.
Now, we want to share our passion with the world.

Southern Oregon grows fantastic Rhone Varietals like Syrah, Viognier, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Marsanne, and Rousanne. These Rhone varietals have increased in quality and acceptance with the winegrowers, winemakers, and now even the wine tourist and residents of Southern Oregon.

Merrill Cellars 2008 Syrah, and 2008 Cotes du Rogue, a Red Wine Blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Petite Sirah. are both full-bodied varietal wines, that will cellar for years, but are very drinkable now. I mean extremely drinkable. Our 2010 Viognier is a stupendous full body, full flavor classic.

At Merrill Cellars our "Cotes du Rogue" wines are named with a tongue in cheek to the "Cotes du Rhone" of France, yet we are serious about creating a following of great Rhone style varietals from our own Rogue Valley. The US Trademark and Patent Office granted us a Trademark for "Cotes du Rogue".
Our goal is to bring out the best of all three varietals. The full forward flavor of our Syrah with the flowery Grenache nose, and great tannins and longevity of Mourvedre or Petite Sirah. This is my "Vintners Favorite" for 2008.

Our 2008 Syrah, is a classic "Cotes du Rogue" in the Northern Rhone style. 100% Syrah, and full bodied, great balance. It has blueberry-raspberry jammy flavors with uncommonly smooth finish.

In 2012 we released our 2010 "Cotes du Rogue" and 2010 Syrah with my Reserve Viognier a co-fermented blend. This style is blended in Northern Rhone. The Viognier really brings out the wonderful aromas of the white Viognier and red Syrah (noir) when blended together. Merrill Cellars will release these 2010 "Cotes du Rogue" red blends early summer 2012. This blend comes from the experience of some great Northern Rhones. Limited amounts available. Advance orders will be taken.

Our newest creation a 2012 "Cotes du Rogue" Red, a blend of 50%Grenache, 45% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre.. It is a particularly great "food wine" but let it breathe a little an hour and you have a great wine to drink by itself.  

When we released our 2010 Reserve Viognier, to great acceptance, reviews, and sales have been overwelming. This brings a higher standard to Viognier from Oregon. Our 2011 and 2013 "Reserve" Viognier have added to our claim as the Viognier experts.

While the Willamette Valley has the great reputation for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, we believe the Southern Oregon Umpqua and Rogue Valleys should make a similar identity in Rhone Style "Cotes du Rogue" wines. We hope you and Southern Oregon Winemakers will join Merrill Cellars in making their own "Cotes du Rogue" wines, from this region. Perhaps someday, everyone will identify "Cotes du Rogue" wines as the regions trademark wines. Our goal is to share the love of these Rhone Style wines. We trademarked the name in hopes of establishing a "Cotes du Rogue" group of independent wineries.
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Cotes du Rogue
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