From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Critical Acclaim and Taste: 96 points James Suckling
Extremely aromatic and perfumed with floral, strawberry and hibiscus-water character. Lavender, too. Full-bodied with toned tannins that are tight and focused. Polished and lightly austere, in a serious and polished way. Pulls you in with an energetic finish. Drinkable now, but even better in three or four years. (4/2022)
A vibrant red-fruited Pinot noir with classic berry flavors laced with a mouth-watering kiss of sea salt and cedar. Ripe, juicy tannins round out a lengthy finish and make for an altogether exquisite experience. - Winery
Pairing: Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs are fantastic dinner companions, as they’re extremely versatile and food-friendly (not to mention, downright delicious). Some classic pairings include poultry, pork, mushrooms, and duck. Some examples for inspiration are roasted poultry, roasted pork with a cranberry glaze, pork chops, mushroom ragù with pasta, gnocchi and mushrooms, duck confit, or a duck and cherry combination, you get the idea (check out the recipe below). We’ve also loved BBQ alongside Oregon Pinot’s; the fruit and acidity of the wine complements and cuts through the richness of BBQ without weighing you down.
Sheet-Pan Gnocchi With Mushrooms and Spinach
By Ali Slagle
About. Tony Soter’s name is an iconic one within the context of North American Pinot Noir production. He probably made his name as the founder of Étude wines in California, but has also been involved in the winemaking of a whole host of wineries such as Viader (qv), Spottswoode, Araujo, Dalle Valle, and Shafer to mention but a few. California may be where he made his name but Soter Vineyards represents a kind of homecoming for him and his wife, Michelle: Oregonians both.
Soter Vineyards began in 1997 when Tony and Michelle Soter bought the Beacon Hill vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton district of the Willamette Valley. This was the source of their first Pinot Noir and sparkling wines. Since then, Soter Wines has become established at the Mineral Springs Ranch near Carlton, a 240 acre property of savanna-like woodland and grazing land that includes a 30 acre planting of vineyard: it is home to 500 sheep and 50,000 vines.
The wines are made in a refurbished barn that dates back to 1943. All tirage, riddling and dégorgement of the sparkling wines takes place here. There are underground caves in the hillside next to the barn which serve as the winery’s barrel room and a recently constructed fermentation room completes the winemaking facilities.
While in the Napa Valley Tony Soter was a leader in organic farming and instrumental in establishing vineyards for his clients that were based on those principles. This philosophy remains at the heart of his winemaking. All vineyards farmed for his wines are certified by LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe standards of vineyard practices. The winemaking facility is also certified carbon neutral. No insecticides or persistent herbicides are ever employed in the vineyards to protect local flora, fauna, and watersheds. Biodiversity is maintained by cataloguing all plant and animal species, augmented by planting wild flowers and diverse varieties of other plants. This nurtures populations of insects and fungi that compete biologically with vineyard pests.
James Cahill, winemaker at Soter is the veteran of fifteen harvests in Oregon including five years as assistant winemaker and operations manager at their “esteemed neighbour”, Beaux Frères (qv), as well as two years as vineyard manager and co-winemaker at Elk Cove Vineyards. Alongside what they describe as “respectful stewardship” of the land they own and maintain, the stated aim of Soter Vineyards is to produce Pinot Noir that is “thrilling, complex, balanced and age-worthy”.
There are three distinct labels produced by Soter: 1. SOTER VINEYARDS ... Illustrious estate-grown wines from Eola Amity, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill Carlton (where the Mineral Springs vineyard, farm, and winery are). 2. ORIGIN SERIES ... Limited single-appellation bottlings showcasing each AVA's unique microclimate, geographical features, and growing conditions. 3. PLANET OREGON ... affordable, delicious, organically-grown wines from the Willamette Valley, ready to drink tonight.
Mineral Springs Ranch (MSR) is a 240-acre Biodynamic farm and vineyard in the heart of Oregon wine country. Mineral Springs Vineyard consists of 40 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay situated along the ridge-line of the property. The combination of respectful farming, ancient marine soils, and temperate climate, result in wines that are layered, nuanced, and captivating while expressing their singular place of origin.
The vintage. In 20 years we will be talking about the 2019 vintage as one of the Oregon Classics. Not because of it’s power but because of it's grace. The growing season was one to two degrees cooler than 2018 with a balanced crop that was neither large nor small. A smattering of wet weather in September rolled in after the sparkling wine harvest which contributed to the perfumed and red-fruited core of these Pinot Noirs. These wines can best be described as having incredible finesse, with a bright burst of acidity, and profound phenolic ripeness. It was the last week of hang time in mid-late September which allowed the grapes to develop deeper flavors and more sophisticated tannins.
• Certified Biodynamic
• 100% Pinot Noir
• Mineral Springs Ranch (Yamhill-Carlton AVA)
• 40-acres of vines planted on a 240-acre Biodynamic farm
• 30 days maceration
• Aged 12 months in French oak (45% new)
• 13.8% abv
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