It’s that time again when members of the #winePW team, lovers of all things food and wine, write about their favorite pairings with a particular theme in mind. Our topic this month fits perfectly with the vibe of June: complement our favorite grilled sensations with delicious libations (and by libations, I mean wine) or vice versa. It wasn’t difficult for me to decide upon the wines or the recipes because as you may guess, the wines are plentiful in my home and the grill is usually hot.

But what wines have I been pouring to bring out the best in those meats and skewered vegetables? Wines sent as samples from Troon Vineyard located in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon, of course.

troon vineyard
Join the Twitter conversation on Saturday, June 10 at 11:00am EST as our group shares recipes for grilled favorites paired with delicious wines. We’d love your suggestions for hot-off-the-grill food and wine pairings, too.

Troon Vineyards

I was introduced to the wines of Troon Vineyards when a wine industry colleague, Craig Camp, became its General Manager. Having known Craig for a few years during his stint as General Manager of another winery, I was well aware of his expertise in overseeing quality and excellence in vineyard management, wine production, and more.

Now, Craig Camp is at Troon Vineyards located in the historic Applegate Valley. The area stretches along the footprint of the Applegate River and presents a moderate climate that is drier and warmer than the Illinois Valley, its neighbor to the west, and is somewhat cooler than Bear Creek Valley to the east. Many warm weather varieties are planted in the Applegate Valley, although Troon has gone rogue and is producing a few that are usually found in cooler climes.  Currently, Troon produces Vermentino, Marsanne, Roussane, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tannat, Malbec, and their Heritage Zinfandel, first planted in 1972.


Troon winery

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Led by Steven Hall as its winemaker, one who boasts an impressive resume, everyone at Troon Vineyard believes that a commitment to sustainable agriculture is a prerogative. All estate vineyards are L.I.V.E. and Salmon Safe Certified. Their goal is for the terroir to define the wines rather than special winemaking strategies. That philosophy is precisely one reason why I appreciate every brilliant sip of Troon wines.

“In the cellar we also let nature take its course. Our hand-harvested grapes are handled delicately. We trod our fruit by foot to handle our fruit in the least aggressive way possible. Our goal with each lot is to ferment with the natural yeasts so abundant in our vineyards and to let malolactic fermentation also take its natural course. No commercial acids are added to our wines. Use of new oak barrels and sulfur is also minimized.” Troon Vineyards

Fired Up for Troon Vineyard Wines

Since the Chicago weather has finally cooperated for outside grilling, I’ve been trying a few new recipes and opening Troon Vineyard wines (sent to me as samples) for pairing. Because the selections reviewed below are distinctive, each has elements to pair with grilled vegetables, chicken favorites, and a variety of red meats. Generous but sophisticated tannic structure and bright, food friendly acidity in each wine cut through the fatty notes of the meat – both grilled dishes and wines are complemented in the best way. Light the grill and pour your favorite Troon wine!

Troon Vineyard Black Label G*S*M Reserve 2014 ($40) – Elegance and grace are just two words to describe this notable Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre blend. The wine was co-fermented, a technique that, as Craig Camp explains “shows the texture and flavors that only blends can achieve”, then aged for 16 months in mature French oak. I discovered refreshing aromas of red fruit, a veritable flower garden, and earth. On the structured palate, brilliant acidity and velvet like tannins supported notes of wildflowers, cherries, and plenty of spice on the finish. Craig Camp writes that the wine is “lifted and bright, this wine is what pinot noir would taste like with backbone.” Pair the G*S*M with grilled pork chops or Homemade Sweet Italian Sausage and find out for yourself. Each sip had that *wow* factor you’ll love.

troon vineyard
2014 Troon Vineyard Black Label Syrah Reserve, Applegate Valley ($40) – Place the prime rib on the grill and open this bottle of 100% Syrah. Intense yet carefree on the nose and palate, I was immediately transported to the Rhone Valley. Camp states that “our style is more Côte Rôtie than Hermitage and dramatically different from most California versions. This is classic Syrah for those used to French versions.”; the wine was aged for 20 months in Burgundian barrels that were at least four years old.  He’s right. Aromas of luscious red fruit, tingly spice, red meat, peppery spice, and a hint of eucalyptus were warm and intense, rich and ripe. Boasting mouthwatering acidity and a round, supple mouthfeel, notes of more red fruit, spice, and florals were exceptional…the finish lingered and I willingly poured another sip.

troon vineyard
Troon Vineyard Black Label M*T Reserve 2014 ($40) – Malbec and Tannat were co-fermented then aged for 18 months in mature French Oak barrels to produce a beautiful wine exuding mesmerizing aromas and flavors. On the nose, intense aromas of red fruit, cherries, baking spice, and purple flowers teased me into taking that first sip. And what a sip that was! Bright acidity and generous tannins were the foundation to a wine that burst with notes of chocolate covered cherries, overripe oranges, spice, rich, and luscious red fruit. Ever so balanced with a subtle element of power, the finish was savory, lasting, and quite special. Paired with Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce, the flavors of both the dish and the wine were memorable.

troon vineyard

 Cheers to the wines of Troon Vineyard! ~ Cindy

For more sizzlin’ hot grilled choices and wine pairings, check out the following links from my #winePW pals!

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  1. Michelle Williams


    I simply adore Troon wines and Craig Camp. The wines you featured are simply fantastic!

  2. Reply

    Groin wines are so delicious and I love the fun way they are presented, always elegant and approachable.

    I’d love to serve the lineup at a summer party! People love ’em!

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