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Soter Vineyards Pinot Noir North Valley 2012
Tanzer 91 Points: Dark red. Fresh cherry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by Indian spices, fresh lavender and cola. Fleshy and appealingly sweet on the palate, with cherry and dark berry flavors enlivened by slow-building florality. Finishes smooth and long, with lingering spiciness and very good breadth.
Wall Street Journal: Proprietor Tony Soter gave up the Napa Valley big time for the viticultural challange of Oregon Pinot Noir. He makes several different lines of wines, including the North Valley, which is produced in a partnership between Soter winemaker James Cahill and local growers. This is a lively, uncomplicated and delicious Pinot.
Top Five All-American Reds for July 4th Grilling - Houston Press
Soter's North Valley Pinot slides over the palate with a shot silk texture. Black raspberry, loganberry, and black currant fruit flavors are delicately layered in this medium-bodied Pinot. As the wine opens, subtle variations of fruit, spice, minerals, and a hint of toast fill the mouth. The wine resolves to a generous and subtle finish. -Avalon
Houston Press: "These entry-tier wines from one of Oregon's top growers are a great value and they retain the same finesse that I love in the winemaker's "estate" wines. I've included two bottlings of Pinot Noir from California in this list. But when it comes to homegrown, I'm always going to look first to Oregon, where the cooler climate delivers that elegance (read balanced acidity and alcohol) that I love in this grape variety."
2008 Vintage Tasting Notes
Wine Advocate 90 points!
Wine Advocate: Soter Vineyard's 2008 Pinot Noir North Valley is medium ruby red with an enticing bouquet of smoke, rose petal, spice box, and a mix of cherry, and black raspberry. Firm and concentrated on the palate, it is smooth-textured, ripe, and packed with savory red and black fruit flavors. Like most of the better wines of the vintage, it will benefit from 1-2 years of bottle age and offer pleasurable drinking from 2012 to 2020. - Jay Miller
Stephen Tanzer 91 points: "Full red. Pungent aromas of black raspberry and cherry complicated by wilted rose, violet and black pepper. Pliant, palate-staining red and dark berry flavors are enlivened by peppery spice and mineral notes, with silky tannins adding shape. Becomes chewier with air and finishes with solid, sweet punch and very good clarity. This benefits from aeration so decant it for an hour or so if you plan on opening one soon. I had an early look at the 2008 Mineral Springs Ranch pinot and it looks very promising, with a suave blend of richness and vivacity and densely packed cherry and dark berry flavors."
From the winery - Our first release from the 2008 vintage. Stunning deep garnet in color. A gloriously scented nose of black plum, red raspberry, sage and a hint of anise. Medium-bodied with a dense, supple texture and flavors of black cherry, currant, earth and spice. A spectacular value.
For North Valley Wines, Tony has partnered with some of the area’s most meticulous and talented growers to assemble wines that reflect the region. The goal is simple: world-class, sustainably produced Pinot Noir that faithfully represents the inherent purity and delicacy that typify the wines originating in this corner of the world we call North Valley.
2006 Vintage Tasting Notes
The Soter North Valley Pinot noir 06 has its trademark silky mouth feel. 2006's warm vintage helped to make this wine round, intense, and ready to drink. Flavors of red cherry, strawberries, rose petals, and guava are found. There's a delicacy and lilt, and a hints of faraway spices. - the winery
2005 Vintage Tasting Notes
Tanzer 90 Points: "Dark red. Ripe, deep aromas of dark berries and cherry, along with an exotic black cardamom note. Round and velvety, with sweet raspberry, cherry and plum flavors perked up by a hint of cinnamon. Finishes long and gently tannic, with striking delicacy and excellent palate coverage. This seduces with finesse rather than power."
Seductive, supple, delicious. A darker Pinot, with aromas of dark chocolate-covered black cherries and subtle earth. Opulent yet elegantly balanced, with layers of fruit that are revealed over time. Black cherry and fresh blackberry flavors give way to oak spice on the lingering finish. Not quite a Pinot fan? This one may change your mind.
The mouth-filling wines exude powerful fruit aromas of raspberry, blackberry and black cherries accented by a minerality reminiscent of pipe tobacco, notes of espresso, clove and dark chocolate, and completed by scents of rose, violet, lavender and sweet wood smoke. These are alluring, complex, supple gems of Pinot Noir to drink in and savor.
2004 Vintage Tasting Notes
Soter Vineyards Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir "North Valley"
2002 Vintage Tasting Notes
While some producers around the world "pull from the top" to create a 'reserve' wine, the philosophy of Soter Vineyards is that Beacon Hill and Mineral Springs are the reserve wines, and thus are made from only the best fruit in the finest vintages. For example, the entire crop at Beacon Hill was sold off in 2001; no wine was bottled. Soter prefers to "pull from the bottom," even if that means declassifying an entire harvest.
The Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir is made primarily from Soter's young vines, and sees less new oak than the flagship wines. It is made in a more accessible format that will give pleasure early and over the medium term. The wine often features notes of orange blossoms, cranberries, blackberries, sweet cream, cocoa, noble minerals, and has a very smooth 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.