Another day in Oregon, more outstanding wine. My day started out with an appointment I'd made to taste at Soter Vineyards. I was met and greeted enthusiastically by Chris Poulos their Sales & Marketing Coordinator.
Starting in the office I was officially welcomed with a taste of their 2003 "Beacon Hill." Brut Rose. At four years old this wine is incredibly youthful. It seems to have a minimum of five years ahead of it, probably more. Brioche and biscuit characteristics dominate the mid palate and enhance a rich, round mouth-feel. The finish is a killer and lingers for a nice long while. A tremendous sparkler.
From the office we made our way up to Mineral Springs, the estate vineyard. We passed the spot at the top of a hill where their tasting room is under construction.
Once at the vineyard we dug in to some Pinots.
"Beacon Hill" came first. This was a 2005 and it seems to be coming into it's own quite nicely. Well balanced with cherry characteristics and proper acidity one can't help but compare it to a fine Burgundy. A few more years in bottle should help the already present earthiness develop further. I would expect this one to still drink well, perhaps even better, in eight or nine years.
The estate vineyard "Mineral Springs" is just being brought on-line. In fact the 2005 I sampled was the first bottling. Not nearly as resolved at this point in it's evolution as the "Beacon Hill" it promises to ultimately reward the patient with a potentially more complex experience. Tremendous spiciness and a big bouquet are already present in the "Mineral Springs" bottling. Time will serve to make this a stronger offering. Each subsequent vintage also holds a lot of promise as more mature vines will likely result in even nicer releases from this vineyard.
Soter Vineyards is clearly a name to keep in mind for top notch Pinot Noir & Sparkling Wine. If you're in the Willamette Valley area you'd do well to try for an appointment. In addition to the elegance of the wines, the property is beautiful and well worth touring. When you add in their friendliness, Soter Vineyards is my kind of Triple Threat.