Best known for chartering unknown territories (like Zinfandel in the Northwest), Angel Vine Wines has recently renovated and reopened as an urban winery in SE Portland. The Urban Crush Winery, the 14,000-square-foot production facility and tasting room that opened in July, houses partner wineries D’Anu Wines, Cinzia and Willful Wines. The latest addition to Urban Crush is the “wine lounge,” an loft-style living space that overlooks the production area with seating and vintage furniture, like the wooden buffet that co-proprietor Laureen O’Brien won on the “Price is Right” in 1978.

Sharing the urban wine limelight with the handful handpicked local producers at the winery, Angel Vine was O’Brien and husband Ed Fus’ original enterprise into wine. Coming to Oregon in 1997, the couple planted Three Angels Vineyard four years later in Eola-Amity Hills for Pinot Noir. As lovers of California wine, the pull toward Zinfandel was strong and in 2006, the winery purchased some  blocks of the juicy varietal in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley. An established vineyard of mostly Amavi Cellars fame, Les Collines Vineyard is one of the few growing Zinfandel (alleged only 62-acres are planted in Washington) and is featured in this 2012 bottling. The 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Zinfandel from Angel Vine is wrapped up in only 300 cases, from handpicked, hand-sorted fruit. Basket-pressed and fermented in tank, the wine is aged in both French and Hungarian oak, only 33 percent new. The result is an unctuous, juicy and heady concoction, filled to the brim with raspberry seed, sweet blackberry jam and savory herbs. Baking spices and ripe plums rush the palate with sharp acid and medium-grained tannin on the finish.

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