wines of place, amplifying the voice of site
Marlen S. Porter and her husband Cameron Porter are making waves in the California Wine Industry. I first met Marlen as teenagers, growing up on the Central Coast, where the most rebellious things to do included: going to "hardcore" concerts at the local church, attending those few-and-far-between punk shows at Grange Hall, or the all too frequent 3 hour drive to LA or SF to catch a show. Like most teenagers, rock music was like the sun that we gravitated to and orbited our lives around. So, it is no surprise at all that she met a wonderful man from the music industry to pair with her passion: winemaking.
As the name Amplify Wines suggests, the inspiration from the name, and concept of the branding is inspired by music. The sound-wave looking logo was designed by our friend and local photographer Mark Velasquez. Lyrics can be found on each bottle, and each vintage is like an album of collected songs in harmony with each other. The Porters are letting vines do their thing, giving yeast a chance to be wild and free, each varietal shines brightly. Can't get any more rock and roll than that!
In 4 years their production has risen from 50 to 500 cases with aspirations to nearly triple that in the coming years. From one small region to 10 states and growing. Their wine is going on tour and selling out. These acid-driven, native varietals are resonating with drinkers, and stand out in a line-up of typical flavor profiles of this region.
I was luck enough to get a tasting of their current offerings, here are some of the highlights:
2014 Viognier, Zaca Mesa Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
Unfiltered 100% Viognier, 100% Stainless Steel, 20 yr old Vines
Floral notes, apricot, dry finish, mineral and saline notes
2015 Muscat, Wind Willow Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
15.7% Alcohol, Unfiltered 100% Muscat, Late Harvest in Los Alamos, CA
First impression on the nose of floral sweet honeysuckle, dry on the palate
Only 12 cases produced
2015 Carignane, Camp 4 Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley
13.5% Alcohol, Unfiltered 100% Carignane, 20% Foot Stomped
Surprising Ruby color, light nose, complex on the palate, mineral, light cherry
142 Cases Produced - Great with Mole!
2014 Merlot, Santa Ynez Valley
14.1% Alcohol, Unfiltered 100% Merlot, Neutral Oak, Organic
Scent of chocolate, dark berries, and pencil shavings, Deep bold merlot flavor light acid
For more info on the terroir of these vineyards, visit their website
Keep an eye out for their first vintage of blends!
Our wines seek to amplify the voice of site and enhance the most singular characteristics of a given vineyard, marrying a sense of place with a sense of style. While we are not fans of dogma, there are certain winemaking and farming principles we believe in: native yeast fermentations; neutral vessels for fermentation and aging; no additions of any kind beyond sulfur; embracing happy accidents and letting intuition be our guide; and farming that seeks to establish a healthy ecosystem, embracing the natural characteristics of a given place. Thank you for joining us on our winemaking journey.
- Cameron and Marlen Porter.