Wine Enthusiast 95
"This new take on Ovum's Memorista cuvée—the winery's flagship—is its ripest Riesling. It was fermented in a thousand-liter Austrian cask, with a small percentage of botrytized fruit. It's almost liquorous, with botanical elements that accents its lime, candied citrus and dried papaya flavors. It's potent and packed with flavor yet impeccably balanced."
Only 168 cases produced!
The longest hang-time of any vineyard we worked with in 2016, this fruit also had 8% botrytis. Early in 2016, we had an oval cask commissioned by Pauscha, one of the greatest coppers in Austria, and we saved Memorista for the cask (named Ferdinand). Our work with the egg taught us to expect a swift fermentation (lasting four weeks), meanwhile additional 228L barrels finished fermentation 6 months later. This Riesling has extraordinary texture, that is also strapped down by is salty, mineral core that can only come from our basalt soil. The texture is only heightened by the cask, which is notorious for the complex structure it imbues onto Riesling. We expect this wine to age for a very long time.
Established in 2011 by Ksenija and John House, Ovum was founded in hopes of producing Oregon white wines that are honest reflections of time and place. Our low intervention production method is a commitment to letting the vintage and vineyard shine, not the vintner. Fruit comes first - our top priority is finding farmers that share our beliefs, and then getting out of the way so their hard work can be tasted.
Native ferments, no subtractions or additions, except for SO2 - extended lees contact 8-9 months, for textural complexity. All of this is done in neutral barrels of acacia and oak, as well as cement egg and Austrian cask. Ovum is solely committed to the production of white wines, mainly Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Muscat.
At Ovum, each wine is produced the same way - if the wine smells and tastes different, it has everything to do with terroir, and little to do with the winemaker. Our hope is that through our attention to detail and honest technique, we can produce old fashioned wines in the modern world.
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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 we have encountered in our search throughout the Pacific Northwest.