Ovum Big Salt White 2017
Founded by husband-and-wife duo John House and Ksenija Kostic in 2011, Ovum is a celebration of the diverse expressions of Oregon Riesling. After years of learning the intricacies of the Willamette Valley while working together at Chehalem, John and Ksenija set off to further investigate the myriad terroirs of Oregon through the lens of Riesling, and now source fruit from through the state. They have found sites with blustery Pacific winds, extreme diurnal shifts, and rocky, well-draining soils.
To emphasize the idiosyncrasies of these vineyards, all of Ovum’s wines see the same practices in the cellar: natural fermentations, no additions or subtractions except for SO2, extended lees contact of 8-9 months – all in neutral barrels of acacia and oak, as well as Nomblot concrete eggs. The resulting wines are textured and concentrated, driven by minerality, and framed by unwavering acidity. Ovum’s work is among the most compelling white winemaking in the Pacific Northwest.
Big Salt is made from vineyards in the Elkton AVA, planted on Windygap soils (deep, well-drained residuum and colluvium from sandstone and siltstone) . The grapes blended here are 90% Gewurztraminer (planted in 1980) & Riesling (planted in 1983, native yeast co-fermented in stainless steel. Plus 8% Early Muscat (planted in 1978), native fermented in neutral barrel, 2% Melon, Savignin Rose (planted in 1980), and Pinot Noir (all de-stemmed and added to the press). Made with no additives except low quantities of SO2, crossflow filtered and bottled after 6 months on lees.
Look for sea spray, spices, rich citrus and stone fruits in the nose and on the palate. In spite of the relatively low alcohol, the flavors are fully ripe, densely packed, intense and compelling. This is a terrific Oregon white at this price and full of personality. Serve with seafood, especially Thai and Japanese dishes, or with fresh, crunchy green veggies and salads, goat and sheep's milk cheeses, gingery accents, salumi dipped in orange ginger mustard and more....