Umpqua Valley’s Henry the V

Posted by Jan Beks, from the Netherlands: The Wining Dutchman!

In great contrast to the sweet Tokaji wine experience posted recently was my experience in 2007 in the south of Oregon. We were finally able to visit the winery Stacy recommended in the area around Roseburg. That was on one of our annual trips with Poppy, visiting his 60th and somewhat year school reunion. I am glad we followed your hint and visited Henry’s Estate Winery . We did the wine tasting and as a last we decided to try the Henry the V 2004.

This red wine is a blend of 5 different wines in for it seems the perfect mixture of grapes grown by the owner at this particular place in that particular year: 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, 7% Syrah and 1% Malbec. For just over $30 a bottle I was tempted to buy more than the one bottle we did buy to take with us back to the Netherlands. But we simply had no other choice since the airlines wouldn’t allow us even one bottle more. 

The bottle laid down for almost a year in our kitchen before we decided to open it up, a little before the summer of 2008. And wow! It tasted even better than the year before, and while drinking it empty over the time period of a couple of days, half way through those days we both wished we had bought 5 cases of this suburb wine. Don’t ask me about the fruits, coffees, chocolates, acidity or whatever in the taste. I am still a beginner, but believe me, Teresa and I really enjoyed the fond touch of our taste buds. Heaven was back again!

For me it was such a pity to notice that last summer (2008) when we went down for another trip to the Umpqua Valley, that this wine was not available anymore. This left us with the open question of whether it was named after the King of England, who reigned from 1413 to 1422, or named after Calvin Scott Henry V (the winery owner’s grandson, born in 1996), or was it just named for the blend of five wines used, and inspired by his royal taste?

All I was left with was envying the people who did buy more than just one bottle and still saver some of those in their wine cellars or kitchens.