From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Critical Acclaim and Taste: 94 points Wine Spectator
"A wine with dimension and grace, this Pinot has tiers of raspberry, mineral and dusky spice that build expression and tension toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2030. (TF)" (4/2022)
93 points Vinous
"Dark garnet. Intense red and blue fruit, potpourri and cola scents show fine definition and spicy lift. Palate-coating raspberry, boysenberry, spicecake and floral pastille flavors tighten up steadily through the back half. Finishes smooth and long, with sneaky tannins and lingering red fruit and spice notes. (JR)"
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!
Beef & Beet Meatballs
A unique twist on a classic. The addition of beets and Sichuan pepper into these meatballs makes for a delightful eating experience. Sichuan peppercorn creates that zingy sensation on the palate, and the beets adds an earthy and slightly sweet finish. Pair with our 2021 Estates Pinot Noir.
4# 80/20 Grass-fed ground beef
1# Red beets
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. Mild chili powder
1 tsp. Spicy chili powder
1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorn, ground
Olive oil, salt and black pepper, to season to taste
Optional Pan Sauce Ingredients:
1 C. Dry red wine
1/2 C. Soy sauce
1/2 C. Cornstarch, more as needed
1 C. Water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Season the beets with olive oil, salt and black pepper, and place them in a roasting pan covered in foil. Cook the beets until tender. Depending on size this will take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Once the beets are out of the oven, turn the heat up to 400°F. While the cooked beets are still warm, peel the skin off by rubbing them with paper towels. The steam will allow the skin to come right off.
Shred the cooked beet with a cheese grater on the smallest size. Mix the shredded beet with the ground beef, spices, and salt until well combined. Before you form your meatballs, test the seasoning by pan-frying a small tablespoon of your mixture. Season with more salt and spices if desired. Next, form all of your mixture into 1 ½ inch balls and place on a cookie sheet (close but not too crowded).
Serve as an appetizer with your favorite dip. Alternatively, you can make a tasty sauce with your pan drippings.
To do this, remove the meatballs from the sheet tray or pan. Deglaze the roasting pan or tray with one cup dry red wine, and ½ cup soy sauce. Reduce the liquid by half. Use a cornstarch slurry to thicken (to make the slurry, combine one part cornstarch with two parts water and whisk until smooth). Add one teaspoon at a time to your sauce, whisking to incorporate. Toss the meatballs in the sauce and enjoy!
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.
• 100% Pinot Noir
• 100% Estate fruit
• Tarren Vineyard (Eola-Amity Hills AVA), Ribbon Ridge Estate Vineyard, Mineral Springs Ranch (Yamhill-Carlton District AVA)
• 20% whole cluster
• Aged 10 months in barrel (30% new)
• 3,175 cases produced
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