Bow & Arrow, “Rhinestones”
Bow & Arrow, “Rhinestones”

Bow & Arrow, “Rhinestones”

Oregon, United States 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$25.00
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Bow & Arrow, “Rhinestones”

Whatever you choose to call it—an endorsement, a hunch, insider info—we strongly believe that Bow & Arrow is shaping up to be Oregon’s next generation-defining producer. Furthermore, we’ve long since learned that SommSelect’s French-loving contingent adores these wines, especially today’s energizing, deeply delicious Pinot-Gamay “Rhinestones.”

You may recall that two years ago, a previous vintage of “Rhinestones” stunned our room silent during a marathon blind tasting of elite French and Italian reds. The evening’s most memorable highlight was the final wine in a 17-bottle, multi-vintage flight of “Cru” Beaujolais and Premier Cru Volnay and Chambolle. The first sip of this mystery red immediately transported me to the historic Pinot Noir vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin. As I searched the second sip for a specific producer and site, the wine ricocheted south into an explosion of rustic yet soft Gamay fruit and electrifying minerality. I concluded that it was either a young, nervy Gevrey or an especially impressive example of top-tier, top-dollar Morgon. Well, I ended up getting the grape(s) right, but the price and region? Not even remotely close to the stunning Willamette blend that emerged from the brown bag. So, here I am again, with the freshly minted 2019 vintage, challenging anyone to name a $29 domestic red that matches this wine’s vivid fruit, shocking purity, and downright deliciousness. Word to the wise: this is a truly handmade and extremely limited wine that never stays in the market long after release. Get it while it’s hot!

Scott and Dana Frank live in Portland, Oregon. By day, Scott is a wholesale wine distributor, and by night he is a stay-at-home father. Scott’s wife, Dana, trades off daytime parenting duties for a nighttime career as one of Portland’s most respected and visible sommeliers-cavistes. On top of all this, the young family still finds a way to oversee a treasure trove of organically farmed vineyards with which they hand-produce a few barrels of exceptional wine under the label Bow & Arrow. In our multi-vintage experience, their single-vineyard Pinot Noirs are reliably outstanding and their Gamay has been a frequenter of the “20-under $20” lists. Still, today’s Pinot Noir/Gamay blend, “Rhinestones” is my personal, perennial favorite. It’s a limited wine, and what little is bottled mostly stays in Oregon, but a fraction is shared with a few “outside” markets, like Northern California. 

What makes Bow & Arrow truly special is that the wines are in no way reminiscent of typical “mainstream” California or Oregon Pinot Noir. There is no excessive alcohol, no overbearing sweet new oak. Instead, Bow & Arrow works in homage to the fresh, angular, and mouthwatering reds of Loire Valley, but their finest red wines also give a convincing nod to classic elements of Burgundy and Cru Beaujolais. The end result is a collection of wines that are as delicious as they are thought-provoking. Bow & Arrow achieves this impressive balance and freshness by harvesting their Pinot and Gamay—from the Johan Vineyard no less, one of the state’s top biodynamic sites—almost a full month earlier than some of their neighbors! Next, they preserve terroir character by treating the wine very gently in the cellar with no excessive technology or addition of sulfites. At the winery, a portion of the fruit remained in whole clusters and the semi-carbonic vinification accentuated aromatics, minerality, and freshness. After maturation in a combination of concrete vessels and old French barriques, the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered. 

As a result, Bow & Arrow’s 2019 “Rhinestones” is notably poised and full of life. There’s just one catch: You must give the wine ample oxygen before consumption. I would suggest at least 90 minutes in a decanter (or pulling the cork in the morning and letting the bottle rest until dinner) and then slowly savoring the bottle over multiple days—if you can resist! In order to produce as pure and expressive a wine as humanly possible, Scott Frank bottles “Rhinestones” relatively early in its evolution. Consequently, there will be a small amount of CO2 when you first pull the cork, meaning the wine requires proper rest before truly finding itself. Rest assured these are not “flaws” or mistakes. Rather,  they are the results of a skilled winemaker who works without safety nets in the cellar. We’ve noticed day one brings high-toned violet and rose florals and a dense, intense, mouth-filling palate full of plump black cherries, wild strawberry, juicy raspberry, blue plum, alpine herbs, and crushed stones. Day two, however, reveals a super classic, old-school savory edge (forest floor, spice, Burgundian “funk”). We can promise you this bottle, like many similarly styled wines from southern Burgundy, will blow minds for years to come. There are very few domestic reds that possess this remarkable staying power, and I can name zero that so faithfully channel my favorite cutting-edge reds from Beaujolais and Burgundy. Enjoy!

Bow & Arrow, “Rhinestones”

United States


Columbia Valley

Like many Washington wines, the “Columbia Valley” indication only tells part of the story: Columbia Valley covers a huge swath of Central
Washington, within which are a wide array of smaller AVAs (appellations).


Willamette Valley

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has become an elite winegrowing zone in record time. Pioneering vintner David Lett, of The Eyrie Vineyard, planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1965, soon to be followed by a cadre of forward-thinking growers who (correctly) saw their wines as America’s answer to French
Burgundies. Today, the Willamette
Valley is indeed compared favorably to Burgundy, Pinot Noir’s spiritual home. And while Pinot Noir accounts for 64% of Oregon’s vineyard plantings, there are cool-climate whites that must not be missed.


Santa Barbara

Among the unique features of Santa Barbara County appellations like Ballard Canyon (a sub-zone of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA), is that it has a cool, Pacific-influenced climate juxtaposed with the intense luminosity of a southerly
latitude (the 34th parallel). Ballard Canyon has a more north-south orientation compared to most Santa Barbara AVAs, with soils of sandy
clay/loam and limestone.


Paso Robles

Situated at an elevation of 1,600 feet, it is rooted in soils of sandy loam and falls within the Highlands District of the Paso Robles AVA.

New York

North Fork

Wine growers and producers on Long Island’s North Fork have traditionally compared their terroir to that of Bordeaux and have focused on French varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

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