2010 Soter Vineyards, Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir
We’ve featured several wines from Soter Vineyards over the years: the 2009 vintage of this wine in March 2012, as well as the 2010 North Valley Pinot back in April of this year. So by now you’re familiar with the man behind this Oregon winery. After over 25 years consulting for top California wineries such as Shafer, Spottswoode, Viader, and Niebaum-Coppola, Portland native Tony Soter returned to his home state to found his eponymous winery at Mineral Springs Ranch in Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton District. The estate vineyard has a south-facing slope of well-drained, sedimentary soil and the exposure, elevation, and drainage, combined with the cool northwestern Willamette Valley climate, make this a superb site for growing Pinot. The fruit ripens evenly, and the ancient marine soil imparts an enticing spiciness to the wine. Tony’s Mineral Springs Pinots are typically full of dark red fruit, with white pepper spice, and good acidity. The 2010 Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot has an excellent balance of rich density with fine purity, and just the right touch of earthiness. With its silky texture, fine tannins, and long finish, it’s a wine to savor with any favorite meal. Like the 2009, this one is $49.75 and while you could enjoy it now, it should continue to develop for up to ten years.
2009 Lumos, Temperance Hill Pinot Noir
Here’s another familiar face — we put the 2008 vintage of this wine in our August, 2012 club. This Pinot is sourced from Temperance Hill, one of a handful of Oregon vineyards that are highly coveted not only for their location and terroir, but also for their excellent vineyard management, without which the fruit would never reach its maximum potential. (As they say in the trade, “Good wine is made in the vineyard.”) Temperance Hill Vineyard has been managed by Dai Crisp and his team (the “grand crew”) since 1999. He farms naturally and organically, and over the years he has supplied fruit from this site to St. Innocent, Panther Creek, Evesham Wood, J.K. Carriere, and other distinguished wineries, most of whom appear in this club from time to time. In 2000 Dai founded the Lumos Wine Company and began making his own Pinots from his Temperance Hill fruit. The vineyard, located in the Eola Hills, is relatively high in elevation, and the cooler temperatures there allow the grapes to ripen slowly, gaining added depth and complexity. Dai’s 2009 Temperance Hill Pinot is dark, aromatic, savory, and very smooth and enticing. Lovely now, you could also lay it down for a few years to see how it evolves. It is $32.