2018 San Francisco International Wine Competition
2014 TERO Estates Petit Verdot~ Best in Show!
Wine Press Northwest Platinum Competition: Double Platinum!
TERO Estates 2013 Petit Verdot, Walla Walla Valley • $38
Doug Roskelley’s two-barrels of prized Petit Verdot from his Windrow Vineyard, the Walla Walla Valley’s oldest commercial planting, reveal this lesser-known Bordeaux variety’s character that’s often blended into Meritage-style wines. Richly concentrated from the expressive aroma, it transitions through the lush blackberry and dark plum fruit that melds with toasty oak nuances on the midpalate. Complex and full-bodied with chalky tannins, its firm structure persists alongside the savory finish of black olive. (47 cases, 14.1% alc.) Awards: Seattle Wine Awards (double gold), Oregon Wine Awards (double gold).
TERO Estates Winery: Bold Reds in the Valley
Walla Walla-based TERO Estates has grown to include three sister wineries that complement each other with a diverse collection of rich red wines. When Doug and Jan Roskelley, along with partner, Mike Tembreull, literally put down roots on the first commercial vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley—Windrow Vineyard—and launched TERO Estates in 2007, they couldn’t have predicted their trajectory would conjure part of Newton’s first law of motion: “An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity.”
Doug Roskelley working in the vineyard
Doug and Mike quickly built a solid brand, garnering accolades early on for their Bordeaux blends, while bringing the historic vineyard back to life. But rather than rest at these accomplishments, Doug and Mike expanded their roots, planting in new varietals including Nebbiolo, Petite Syrah, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and Charbono. With the release of the 2014 S.T. (TERO’s version of a super-Tuscan) the brand will have hit its goal of being 100% estate grown.
Real Food Traveler Washington – The State of Merlot
Doug Roskelley, who retired from a career in construction in 2007, says he “moved to where the grapes grow” to join the Washington winemaking throng. It was a good call. From his rambling front porch where wicker chairs share space with pots brimming with flowers and herbs and endless views of vineyards, we sampled 2009 Herb’s Block Merlot. Smoke and spice exuded from beneath rich, elegant fruit. The venue, Roskelley’s easy-going hospitality, and the delicious wine made leaving our seats rather difficult. - May 23, 2016 Julie Pegg, Wine & Spirits Editor, Canada
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East Oregonian: Oldest vineyard in Milton-Freewater part of new movement
Walla Walla may be known for its wines, but few know that reputation is in large part due to Oregon grapes.
According to the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, about half of the wines from the valley’s certified American Viticultural Area come from grapes across the Oregon border. It’s ever so slightly less chilly this time of year in Milton-Freewater, and for the delicate vines in hibernation, that can make all the difference....
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Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points: 2008 ST
2008 ST (Super Tuscan Blend)
The initials stand for Super Tuscan, after which this almost 50-50 blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon models itself. It’s an elegant wine with subtle power, a mélange of baked plum, fig, raisins, chocolate and black tea. Good balance and persistence, with plenty of alcohol-driven power.
— P.G. (11/1/2011)
Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points: 2009 Windrow
2009 Windrow Field Blend
This is a field blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 6% Malbec. Some overt stemmy notes are present, lending a bitterness to the finish that may not be for all palates. But the wine carries a thread of sweet berry as well, suggesting that not all of the grapes were equally ripe. An interesting wine, and it should improve with further…
— P.G. (3/1/2013)
Wine Enthusiast, 91 Points: 2007 Walla Walla Cabernet
2007 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon
This blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot includes fruit from five Walla Walla Valley vineyards. It shows plenty of muscle and bigger, rounder fruit than the single-vineyard Cabernet from TERO. Loaded with lush cherry and plum flavor, with a milk chocolate accent, it’s very appealing, nicely balanced and lingering.
— P.G. (2/1/2011)
Wine Enthusiast, 91 Points: 2007 Herb's Block Merlot
2007 Windrow Vineyard Herb's Block Merlot
This is 100% estate Merlot from the original 1981 planting. It’s very tight, and immediately showing a lot of barrel flavor, including some spicy pickle accents. The wine has excellent balance, with a firmness that is almost Cabernet like. Smooth, polished, cranberry and cherry fruit is threaded with black olive and red licorice.
— P.G. (2/1/2011)
Wine Enthusiast, 91 Points: 2008 Windrow
2008 Windrow Field Blend
This is a field blend wine that co-ferments the grapes planted in the estate vineyard in exact proportion—Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Malbec. In this challenging vintage it succeeds admirably, with ripe black fruits, baking spices, an acid underpinning and barrel notes of clove and coffee. Other highlights seep in—tobacco and…
— P.G. (12/1/2011)
Wine Enthusiast, 91 Points: 2008 Old Block Cab
2008 Windrow Vineyard Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a jammy wine, with an aroma and flavor that verge on being pruny. It offers good minerality, with a compact, focused flavor that suggests intensely concentrated berry compote, plus grace notes of plum and apricot.
— P.G. (3/1/2013)
Wine Enthusiast, 92 Points: 2007 Windrow Cabernet
Wine Enthusiast, 92 Points: 2007 Cab Franc
2007 Windrow Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Fragrant and showing lots of toasty oak, this has a lifted, lightly volatile nose with pretty cherry fruit underlying it. There is a little bit of a green character to the oak, and the wine is still resolving itself. Good varietal focus and character; it opens up nicely in the glass, with pretty, ripe, round cherry/berry fruit and streaks of earth, pepper and…
— P.G. (2/1/2011)
Wine Enthusiast, 92 Points: 2010 DC3
2010 DC3 Blend
This is a Right Bank-style blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc. It shows impressive structure and clear varietal components from both grapes. Tannins are fine-grained and lead into a lingering streak of smooth, coffee-coated flavors.
— P.G. (8/1/2014)
Wine Enthusiast, 93 Points: 2007 Windrow
2007 Windrow Field Blend
This is the signature wine, a field blend wine that is a precise representation of the grapes planted in the estate vineyard, in exact proportion: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 6% Malbec. Muscular and rich with dark fruits, cocoa, coffee, chocolate, fresh herbs and a streak of mineral, this is detailed, dense and compelling. Should age…
— P.G. (2/1/2011)
Wine Enthusiast, 93 Points: 2010 Windrow
2010 Windrow Field Blend
This is a field blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Malbec, all co-fermented and estate-grown. It’s nicely evolved, ripe and fruity—a flavor cavalcade of pastry fruits and spices, fig, twig, cacao and coffee. Yes you may cellar this wine, but why wait? It’s drinking beautifully.
— P.G. (8/1/2014)
Wine Enthusiast, 94 Points: 2009 Herb's Block Merlot
2009 Herb's Block Merlot
Youthful and compelling, this 100% estate Merlot comes with a seductive smoky note. The juicy berry flavor is rich and racy, while the barrel aging—50% new—hits exactly the right toasty note.
— P.G. (3/1/2013)
Wine Enthusiast, 95 Points: 2007 Reserve Cabernet
This is superstrong Cabernet Sauvignon, with precise, concentrated flavors of brambly old-vine fruit taking center stage. The wine spent 33 months in barrel and has the density and power to prove it.— P.G. (3/1/2013)
Seattle Met: Best WA Wines of 2012
Ranked 44th of 100 Best Wines for 2012
TERO Estates Windrow Red Wine Walla Walla Valley 2008
TERO Estates Windrow Red wine is a field blend, an extreme rarity for Washington: All four grape varieties—cabernet, merlot, cabernet franc, and malbec—are picked at the same time in proportion to their plantings at Windrow Vineyard and subsequently cofermented. No wimpy wines here, this is bold and brawny with exceptionally well-integrated tannins. $45
Wine Trails NW
When visiting with Doug and Jan Roskelley at their winery/vineyard outside Milton-Freewater, one gets the sense that they have always lived there. But such is not the case. In 2007, they made the big leap from their home in Woodinville, Washington, trading a successful home-modeling business for a farm. However, if you’re imagining a ramshackle farmhouse on a dusty plot of land, think again. No, their new life began with the purchase of the renowned 25-acre Windrow Vineyards, which had plenty of space to build a production facility and a new home. Needless to say, Doug’s background as a remodeler has came in handy.
Of course, you have to come up with a memorable name when you launch a winery, and Doug worked and reworked various names, but came to a dead end. He was nearly ready to give it up, but then the idea hit him to combine the first two letters from his last name, Roskelley, with the first two letters of the last name of his winery partner and friend, Mike Tembreull. A little shuffling of letters and he came up with TERO Estates. The fact that “TERO” plays on the word terroir is a bonus.
At the TERO Estates tasting room, located at street level inside the Marcus Whitman Hotel, you can sample the wines of TERO Estates and Flying Trout. While Doug and Jan were getting started with their winery, they developed a strong friendship with Ashley Trout (winemaker for Flying Trout). Wanting to focus on winemaking and not be shackled with the business side of owning a winery, she’s partnered with Doug and Jan.
WineTrail tip: Don’t miss TERO Estates’ S.T. (Super Tuscan), a blend of cabernet with a sangiovese backbone. Bet you can’t sample just one. It’s pure Walla Walla heaven.
WA Wine Report: A World Apart
TERO Estates is set apart from its peers in the Walla Walla Valley. The drive out to the winery, which goes deep into the heart of the ‘occupied area’ of the Walla Walla Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) south of the Washington border, is somewhat long but incredibly scenic. The twists and turns take one past some of the valley’s most prestigious vineyards – many of them marked, many of them not. With each passing mile the views get more expansive and impressive, and one seems to be transported to another, more peaceful world.
Stepping out of the car, I am struck by two things: the breathtaking beauty of the site and the awesome silence. There is barely a sound to be heard, and I am reminded of being out in the mountains instead of deep in the heart of wheat and wine country. This is exactly what one wants a trip to wine country to be – relaxing and transformative.
Jan Roskelly of TERO comes to greet me followed by numerous cats and dogs, which patrol the grounds. Jan, her husband Doug, and their partner Mike Tembreull, purchased Windrow Vineyards, TERO’s estate vineyard, in June of 2007. The winery’s name is a combination of the names TEmbreull and ROskelly.
Windrow Vineyards’ first plantings date back to the early days of Walla Walla Valley’s modern wine history. Dr. Herbert Hendricks put in the first vines at what was then Seven Hills Vineyard in 1980 and 1981. Fellow physician James McClellan (Casey McClellan's father) partnered with Hendricks in 1983, and additional acreage was planted in the ensuing years. Seven Hills Vineyard was subsequently split and sold in the mid nineties with Scott Hendricks retaining a portion of the vineyard that he renamed Windrow. This included a small amount of the 1980 plantings and substantial plantings from 1986. The vineyard was later expanded, including the addition of the colorfully named ‘Varsity Block,’ a Cabernet Sauvignon block planted by the Mac-Hi basketball team in 1998.
The list of wineries that purchased fruit from the original Seven Hills Vineyard – some of whom have subsequently purchased fruit from Windrow – is a who’s who of the valley’s history, includingLeonetti Cellar (which used Windrow Cabernet up until 2000), L’Ecole (which made a Windrow Vineyard designate in 1995), and Walla Walla Vintners. More recently, wineries such asGlencorrie, Bunchgrass, and Cooper Wine Company in addition to numerous others have also purchased fruit from Windrow.
Before moving to the Walla Walla Valley, the Roskellys lived for twenty-eight years in Woodinville, where Doug worked in the construction industry. Roskelly, a burly man with a thick, bushy beard, jokingly refers to the winery and vineyard as a "retirement project."
While many often think of owning a vineyard and a winery as romantic, the reality is often far from it. The Roskellys have been living in a trailer at the vineyard for the last fifteen-plus months while the winery buildings are finished.
TERO’s building plans include a winery facility and office (mostly finished), domicile (somewhat finished), and tasting room (not yet started). Roskelly designed the iconic winery building, which features a spiral staircase leading up to a patio with commanding views of the surrounding vineyard. Part of the original structure was an equipment shed where the first discussions about the Walla Walla Valley AVA were said to have taken place. Roskelly incorporated this shed into the new structure to preserve its historical significance.
In terms of the vineyard, the new owners have tried to keep some things the same and improve on others. They have maintained the same vineyard team, including the vineyard manager, Esteban Albarran, who has worked at the property for sixteen years. They put in drip irrigation and planted additional acres of vines. The plantings include Charbono, which the Roskellys believe is among the first in the Walla Walla Valley. Overall, Windrow now has 25 acres under cultivation.
Doug Roskelly is the winemaker for TERO with Ashley Trout of Flying Trout Wines working as his assistant as of late 2009 (look for a subsequent post on the Flying Trout Wines). Roskelly started out making garage wine in Woodinville. He says, “When I got to two barrels I said, time to make a serious decision here.” Roskelly heard that Windrow Vineyard was for sale and made a serious decision.
Stylistically, Roskelly likes big, but balanced, wines, saying, “I don’t like wimpy wines personally.” TERO Estates’ initial wines – which are not wimpy but are also far from colossal - will be released in October. The wines sampled below are an impressive debut. They include a Windrow Vineyard Cabernet Franc; a Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; and a wine called simply Windrow.
The Windrow is a particularly compelling wine whose percentage of Bordeaux grapes is based on the plantings at the vineyard - 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Malbec. The wine is a field blend with all of the grapes picked on the same day and subsequently fermented together. Roskelly says, “This is the truest representation of Windrow terroir that I can produce.”
While much work remains to be done at the winery and vineyard - on the day I visited Jan Roskelly gleefully pointed out the recently arrived but not yet installed bathroom fixtures for the house - TERO Estates promises to continue and expand upon Windrow's long history.
TERO Estates made 600 cases in its first vintage. The winery plans to grow to 3,200 cases over a ten-year period.
TERO Estates Cabernet Franc Windrow Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2007 $38
Rating: * (Excellent) Tea leaves, chocolate, pepper, and herbal notes on a pleasing, moderately aromatic nose. A round, plush, silky palate, beautifully stitched together with rich fruit accented by chocolate flavors. 100% Cabernet Franc. 14.5% alcohol. 68 cases produced.
TERO Estates Windrow Windrow Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2007 $45
Rating: * (Excellent) An aromatic wine with rich black cherry aromas, milk chocolate, tobacco leaf, and pepper. The palate is marked by rich, tightly wound up fruit wrapped in a silky layer of oak. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Malbec. 14.1% alcohol. 108 cases produced.
TERO Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2007 $42
Rating: * (Excellent) Very pretty, compelling aromatics of herbal notes, black cherry, and light chocolate. Deliciously rich, chewy fruit on the palate. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Windrow, Dwelley, LaTour, Les Collines, and Spofford Station vineyards. 14.2% alcohol. 240 cases produced.
Tasting Room Getaway Profile
4PM: TERO Estates & Flying Trout
Take the elevator to the ground floor lobby for more wine tasting. That’s right, three local wineries have opened tasting rooms inside the hotel. They are Don Carlo Vineyard, Locati Cellars, and lastly, TERO Estates and Flying Trout Wines. The latter is actually one winery but has two different winemakers making two distinct styles of wine.
TERO Estates winemaker Doug Roskelley and his wife Jan are a dynamic duo. Along with partner Mike Tembreull, they are responsible for reviving Windrow Vineyard, one of the oldest commercially planted vineyards in the Walla Walla AVA. Be sure to sample their esteemed Cabernet Sauvignon this summer, including the 2007 Estate Cabernet.
Ashley Trout is the winemaker for Flying Trout and divides her time between Walla Walla and Argentina, where she makes her Torrontes, which is a refreshing white grape varietal laced with soft flower aromas and light tropical fruits. Trout has developed a cult following for her Malbec.