From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Taste: The Ribbon Ridge bottling shows terrific and typical expression of blue and black fruits plus brown spices. This is a robust and structured wine that will need some breathing if drunk young and best paired with richer foods. It has compelling complexity and depth of character. Full and fleshy on entry but counterbalanced with grippy tannins that will take some years to melt away. The 2021 vintage is a blend of fruit grown at their own Ribbon Ridge Estate Vineyard, and neighboring Roe and Roe Vineyard.
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. 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. And, last but not least, the winery has shared their own pairing for this wine, please check it out below!
Braised Rabbit with Fennel
We’re lucky enough to partner with local farm, Hutch N Such, to source our fresh rabbit. Rabbit is so light and versatile; we chose a very classically French preparation, and it pairs beautifully with the spice-forward Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir.
4 Ea. Rabbit hindlegs, bone-in
3 Tbsp. Butter
2 Qts. Rabbit stock, or chicken stock
1 Tbsp. Tomato paste
½ C. Pinot Noir
4 Sprigs thyme
1 Ea. Bay leaf
2 Ea. Carrots, peeled and oblique cut
2 Ea. Leeks, sliced
2 Ea. Fennel bulbs, julienne cut
Salt and pepper as needed
Preheat oven to 300°F. Season the rabbit legs evenly with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add three tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted and you see the first wisp of smoke, add the rabbit legs and sear on both sides until golden brown.
Once browned, add the tomato paste and stir to coat the pan, then deglaze with the wine. Add stock, fennel, leeks, and herbs to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and place in your oven. Check the rabbit in about 90 minutes.
Add the carrots, then cook an additional 30 minutes or until the rabbit is tender and falling off the bone.
Enjoy the rabbit and vegetables over pasta, rice, or your favorite grain. The braising liquid can be used as a thin sauce to accompany this dish or thickened with flour and butter.
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.
This wine, from the winery. Wines of the Origin Series are a reflection of the unique climates, geographical features, and growing conditions that embody each distinctive region where we source our grapes. Preservation of place is essential to our wine making philosophy, and in accordance with our environmental principles, all of the vineyards we work with are at a minimum certified sustainable.
Ribbon Ridge is defined by a serpentine backbone of ridge tops composed of fine-grained marine sedimentary soils. Pinot noirs from here consistently exhibit lush, dark fruit and noteworthy spice, while remaining structured with subtle acidity and fine tannins.
• Certified Organic/Sustainable
• 100% Pinot Noir
• Sourced from 75% Roe and Roe Vineyard & 25% Soter Ribbon Ridge Vineyard (Ribbon Ridge AVA)
• Marine sedimentary soils
• Traditional vinification in small, open-top fermenters
• 20% whole-cluster
• Aged 10 months in French oak (30% new)
• 448 cases produced
• 13.8% abv
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