domingo, 3 de marzo de 2013

Soter Vineyards North Valley Pinot Noir 2009


SOTER VINEYARDS NORTH VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2009

"In the 2009 vintage, Soter Vineyards handled the conditions as well as anyone. The entry-level bottling, the dark ruby-colored 2009 North Valley Pinot Noir was aged in only 10-20% new oak. Potpourri, incense, and bright red fruits inform the nose of a savory, round, nicely balanced wine that will deliver considerable pleasure over the next 6+ years." Robert Parker 91

"Vivid red. Sexy, floral-accented aromas of raspberry, blackberry, lavender and sassafras. Offers an array of berry and spice flavors that gain weight with air. Cola and bitter cherry qualities carry through on the long, sharply focused finish, which shows a subtle touch of bitter chocolate." Stephen Tanzer 91

"First and foremost, Tony and Michelle Soter are Pinot Noir lovers. And as a Pinot Noir lover, Tony has dedicated much of his career to producing versatile, seductively aromatic, and affordable Pinot Noir by blending fruit from numerous sites. His Etude Carneros Pinot Noir has become a beloved staple on restaurant lists across the country, and with the North Valley bottling, he intends to transcend that achievement in Oregon.

This is a strategy that has served Tony so well over the years: aim for excellence and value in a blended Pinot Noir. Blending from multiple sources helps ensure consistency and balance, and can often outshine many single-vineyard wines. In this regard, we feel the North Valley Pinot Noir is a truly compelling value.

We do not buy finished wine for the North Valley blend - rather, we secure contracts with growers and pay them by the acre, not the ton. This method allows the grower to prune for low yields - a practice that hastens the ripening process and enhances flavor concentration in the grapes - without losing money. Our viticulturalist Joel Myers and his team from Vinetenders ensure that our pruning and crop-thinning instructions are followed, and that these vineyards are farmed sustainably. Myers and his team pick the grapes on the date and time that we specify. From that moment on, the wine is made using similar methods as our estate wines.

North Valley Pinot Noir sees less new oak than the flagship wines. It is made in a more accessible and versatile format that will give pleasure early and over the medium term. The wine features notes of orange blossoms, cranberries, blackberries, sweet cream, cocoa, minerals, and has a markedly silky and supple mouthfeel. Long and lush, the wine leaves big, thick tears in the glass and its soft entry invites sip after sip. Pour this wine alongside its peers at the same price - you'll be taken in by its winsome charms and remarkable price/quality rapport. Better yet, pour it against your favorite single-vineyard Oregon Pinot, and understand why North Valley is already featured at some of the finest restaurants in the country. " ~ Winery notes

- Price: £28.99

THE WINERY AND VINEYARDS

- Mineral Spring Ranch: is a 240-acre savanna-like oak woodland and grazing land. It is the home of our Estate vineyard, planted to 15 acres of Pinot Noir in 2002 and 2003 as well as an additional 15 acres in 2006. Two acres of Chardonnay were included in the 2006 plantings and are devoted entirely to our sparkling wine production. Located just east of the town of Carlton, the ranch is perched on a mesa with gentle slopes and commanding views of the surrounding Yamhill-Carlton District. Our production facilities and hospitality buildings are here as well, allowing us complete control of all operations.

As a vineyard site, Mineral Springs has an extremely compelling confluence of prime exposure, and uniform, well-drained, pale sedimentary soils. The primary slope faces due south. It is here that the vines absorb the sun from an ideal aspect, from morning through twilight. Unlike many vineyards with small depressions and moist swales, this is a gentle, highly uniform slope. Mineral Springs Vineyard is planted between 380 and 440 feet in elevation.  Exposure ranges from southeast to west, with most acreage facing south and southwest.  Our soils are crumbly, loamy, pale marine Keasey series sediments (such as sandstone and fractured siltstone) mixed with clay.  The topsoil layer is rather shallow in many places, and drainage is excellent.

The clonal selections Tony has made for this vineyard are dwarfed by the inherent suitability of this land for viticulture. It is a very special vineyard site; not only does its prime exposure and drainage enable our grapes to ripen reliably in advance of the fall rains, these very old marine sediments imbue the wines with a subtle exoticism and spiciness that announces itself before the new wine comes near a barrel. The 2005 vintage represented the inaugural release from this vineyard and featured notes of blackberry, black cherries, white pepper, floral notes that recall freesias and roses, and a distinctively exotic personality.  Subsequent bottlings have consistently expressed this exotic flare with a solid core of pure, supple fruit and lovely acid balance.

- Soter Vineyards Winery: is partially housed in a refurbished Yamhill County Barn, originally dating from 1943. The barn is located off of Mineral Springs road just east of Carlton, high on a promontory lined with Douglas firs and centuries-old oak trees. Beginning in 2003, they undertook to completely clean out, refurbish, and rebuild the barn to make it suitable for making and raising the wines. They completely cleaned out many years worth of rather unsavory debris, laid a new floor, rebuilt new walls using winery-friendly materials, and installed a water-filtration system for their use.

The winery features state-of-the-art equipment that is uncommon for a winery of their size. They have their own mechanized bottling line, and they do all tirage, disgorgement, and bottling of their sparkling wines in-house, retaining meticulous control over their upbringing. Their modest barn even features a small lab for wine analysis.

In the hillside next to the barn, they dug two caves and lined them in cement for their barrel rooms. Naturally cool and temperature-controlled year-round, these two spaces are the perfect environment to raise world-class wines. Here they utilize the finest French oak casks from Burgundian coopers, plus stainless-steel barrels for rosé and sparkling wine production. These caves are also used for aging our Brut Rosé and Blanc des Blancs on their yeasts (sur lattes) before they are disgorged and released to you.

Summer 2005 marked the initial construction efforts for our now permanent winery facility adjacent to the caves. This facility, designed with the help of Tony Soter's father, serves multiple purposes from fermentation to bottling, depending on the season. Naturally illuminated most of the year by modified sky-lights and inherently temperate, this building helps us to conserve energy and limit carbon expenditure while providing a consistent environment in which to manage the élevage of our Estate and North Valley wines.

- Oregon´s Willamette Valley: Surrounding the Willamette River from Portland in the north to Eugene in the South, is the home to some of the world's greatest Pinot Noir vineyards. The wines of this region have gained international recognition for their quality, complexity, and charm. Soter Vineyards is located at the Northwestern end of the valley, just east of the town of Carlton. Here, near the 45th parallel, a latitude similar to Burgundy, the weather is temperate and our long growing season is ideal for developing the full flavor potential of Pinot Noir. Soter Vineyards is located in the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, a growing area quickly gaining acclaim as a "sweet spot" for Pinot Noir, home to luminaries like Penner-Ash, Willakenzie, and Ken Wright Cellars.

"Oregon has always been the home of the craftsman winemaker, vinifying grapes grown in small, personally managed, mainly estate vineyards." - Johnson and Robinson, The World Atlas of Wine, 5th Ed.

- Yamhill-Carlton AVA: Is located in Oregon’s Northern Willamette Valley just north of McMinnville, where the land slowly rises to the hamlets of Carlton and Yamhill. Low ridges surround the two communities in a horseshoe shape. The free-flowing North Yamhill River courses through the center of a lush patchwork quilt of nurseries, grain fields and orchards. The neatly combed benchlands and hillsides of the Yamhill-Carlton District, an AVA established in 2004, are home to some of the finest Pinot Noir vineyards in the world.

Historically nourished by forestry and farming, this area is rapidly emerging as a global center of Pinot Noir production. This pastoral corner of North Willamette Valley was the final destination for many of the early Oregon Trail pioneers. It is now being revitalized by a new wave of pioneers: committed, passionate winegrowers drawn to the area’s unique set of growing conditions. The Coast Range to the west soars to nearly 3500 feet (1200m), establishing a rain 'shadow' over the entire district. Additional protection is afforded by Chehalem Mountain to the north and the Dundee Hills to the east.

The coarse-grained, ancient marine sediments native to the area are among the oldest soils in the Willamette Valley. These soils drain quickly, making them ideal for viticulture. Thus, the vines stop growing shoots and leaves earlier here than elsewhere, leading to more complete ripening, even in cooler growing seasons. This allows Pinot Noir to develop deep ruby colors and broad, silky tannins. The mouth-filling wines exude powerful fruit aromas of raspberry, blackberry and black cherries, framed by minerality reminiscent of pipe tobacco, espresso, clove and dark chocolate and accented by scents of rose, violet, lavender and sweet wood smoke. These are alluring, complex, supple gems of Pinot Noir to sip and savor.

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