Don and Wendy Lange

An expression of time and place

The Origins of Trouvère

In the early 2000s, veteran wine producers Don and Wendy Lange began to explore varieties and wine growing regions beyond their doorstep. Trips to Southern Oregon, through semi-arid groves of ponderosa pine and rolling oak savannah convinced Don that tempranillo was perfectly suited for the region. His hunch would prove true—with the help of a few forward thinking and dedicated growers, the variety is now in its heyday.

Initial bottlings of Trouvère included a syrah and tempranillo from the Umpqua Valley and Viognier from the Rogue Valley.  A mutation of pinot gris that Don discovered in a colleague’s vineyard was propagated and cultivated on the Estate. This unique wine was also part of the original  portfolio. Christened Indigene, from the French word for “Indigenous,” it is still a customer favorite today.

The original packaging featured a wandering minstrel, a nod to Don’s background as a singer, songwriter, and poet. In the spirit of collaboration, our new Trouvère collection is also focused on the arts and showcases the paintings of Santa Barbara artist, Mary Heebner. Her captivating images are deeply connected to nature, inspired by her travels and the landscapes she’s explored. 

From the warm, dry hillsides of Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley to the red volcanic soils of the Dundee HIlls, the wines from the Trouvère series exhibit composure, energy, and depth. They are a reflection of the great winegrowing regions of Oregon. 

 

Dundee Hills

2019 Indigene

Pale lemon yellow in the glass, the 2019 Trouvère Indigene displays a fragrant nose of pear, yellow apple, chamomile, mint, and white flowers. The sensory arc of this wine is lovely—it unfurls slowly, with a burst of juicy orchard and pit fruit flavors buoyed by racy acidity that expands across the palate. The finish is tart and lively with lingering notes of pear skin, lime zest, and grapefruit pith.  

The painting we chose for Indigene titled Basaltic Caves is a nod to the complex soils found in the Willamette Valley, including the basalt-based, highly weathered volcanic soils that define the Dundee Hills.

VARIETAL: 100% white grape mutation of pinot gris

FERMENTATION & AGING: neutral French oak puncheons and stainless steel

ALCOHOL: 12.9%

PRODUCTION: 73 cases 

ACCOLADES: 93 Points — Owen Bargreen 

PRICE: $30 retail | $24 club

Umpqua valley

2017 Syrah

Presents a layered, complex bouquet of blackberry, black cherry, charred earth, game, sweet tobacco, and lavender. The tannins are firm, yet well integrated, wrapping around a firm acid backbone. Savory details of pink peppercorn, dried herbs, and cedar emerge at the close. The expression is reminiscent of syrah from the northern Rhône. 

For this wine, we chose a figurative collage titled First Moon Passage 8. This luminous image is a reflection of the body and and personality of syrah sourced from Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley.

VARIETAL: 100% syrah

FERMENTATION & AGING: 11 months in French oak

ALCOHOL: 13.4%

PRODUCTION: 48 cases 

ACCOLADES: 90 Points — Owen Bargreen 

PRICE: $45 retail | $36 club

Trouvere Syrah 2017
Trouvere Pinot Noir 2016

WILLAMETTE VALLEY

2016 Pinot Noir

The 2016 Trouvère Willamette Valley Pinot Noir expresses a deeply perfumed nose of black raspberry, cherry, underbrush, dry leaves, clove, and smoky minerality. Deftly balanced, velvety fine-grained tannins neatly hem in vibrant acidity at the core. The palate offers tart cherry, pomegranate, and compote flavors that lead into a finish of black tea and crushed stone. 

Mary’s painting titled Best Kept Secret, is ablaze in layers of  diaphanous color, lending rhythm and cadence to the piece that reminds us of the finely wrought, complex layers we find in Willamette Valley pinot noir.

VARIETAL: 100% pinot noir

FERMENTATION & AGING: new and neutral French barrels

ALCOHOL: 14.1%

PRODUCTION: 108 cases 

ACCOLADES: 92 Points — Owen Bargreen 

PRICE: $45 retail | $36 club

Umpqua valley

2015 Tempranillo Reserve

Lush and enveloping aromas of plum, boysenberry, baker’s cocoa, freshly turned soil, dried orange peel, and spice build in the glass. Plush, velvety tannins are initially a bit deceiving in terms of boxing in this wine’s impressive acidic thrust that amplify’s a dark mineral core. It’s polished and elegant, with an expansive finish.

The artwork selected for our tempranillo is from a diptych titled Tango at Segesta that reminds us of the dramatic climatic zones found in the Umpqua Valley. The warmer growing conditions at the Southern end of the AVA are perfectly suited for this noble Spanish grape. 

VARIETAL: 100% tempranillo

FERMENTATION & AGING: 11 months in French oak

ALCOHOL: 14.2%

PRODUCTION: 253 cases 

ACCOLADES: 91 Points — Owen Bargreen 

PRICE: $45 retail | $36 club

Trouvere Tempranillo 2018
Portrait of Mary Heebner in Rincon California Courtesy Macduff Everton
Photo Courtesy Macduff Evertson

MEET THE ARTIST

About Mary Heebner

Santa Barbara artist Mary Heebner believes that there is a story in everything.
 
Her intent has always been to form bridges between words and images while discovering  the essence of the story she’s set out to tell. She chooses different mediums  to convey her message while acknowledging the presences of memory and land. Her rich stories manifest themselves as  paintings, collages, handmade-paper, photography, and fine art books. Through the parsing out and weaving together of fragments—of histories, stories, objects—she fashions narratives that are personal, collective, cultural, and mythic. Her practice draws upon her travels throughout the world, and her work is deeply grounded in a sense of place, the distinct mythologies, geology, archaeology, languages and experiences therein. She is continuously seeking ways to connect and transpose the warmth and wonder of the earth and nature—through intimations of deep beauty, those initial sparks of Inspiration—into something physical, an object that can be seen, held, touched, shared with others. 
 
Heebner earned her BFA in 1973 from College of Creative Studies studying with Paul Wonner, Charles Garabedian, Gerald Haggerty, and her MFA in 1978 from UCSB; mentor artist William Dole. She has distinguished herself as a collage artist, and also pairs her writing and images into fine art books, founding Simplemente Maria press in 1995. 2020 marks the 25th year of Simplemente Press that to date has produced twenty-one fine art books.
 
Her work is held in numerous collections including the John Paul Getty Research Institute, The Library of Congress, The New York Public Library, The National Gallery of Art, The British Museum, San Francisco and Santa Barbara Museums of Art,  Wesleyan University, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Universities of California, The Gap.