Soter Vineyards Wine Tasting with Special Guest Winemaker James Cahill Thursday September 12th - One of Oregon's finest!

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"To make a great wine one needs a madman to grow the vine, a wise man to watch over it, a lucid poet to make the wine, and a lover to drink it." - Salvador Dali, Spanish Painter 1904 – 1989


 


 


Wine Watch is the ultimate wine shop for lovers and when one of the guests that had reservations for the Pahlmeyer event tonight called to inquire if we were still hosting the tasting with Hurricane Dorian closing in on the Florida peninsula.  I reminded them that it will be two more days until Dorian gets close enough to tell if it will affect Fort Lauderdale and then stated unequivocally yes. 


Hurricane Dorian Intensifies to Category 4


Furthermore, I mentioned that the tasting for tomorrow night is on and if the Hurricane appears to be closing in on us Sunday there will be a Hurricane party.  If on Monday, the storm appears to be on its way to destroy us we will start opening the best wines first and not stop until we are completely destroyed!  The last thing we want to happen is for Wine Watch’s most precious bottles to be destroyed by some hurricane, we will drink them first!! 


I joked about retiring this year after my 50th B-day party but what would I do if the Wine Watch was not here?  I will focus on my drinking career now that the dust is settled and everything is paid for.  So, expect a lot more pictures of my traveling on Instagram and a lot more “Once in a Lifetime” wine drinking events in 2020 and beyond. 


First, we have to finish up with 2019 and we have an incredible line-up of events coming up in September, October, November and a few to finish out the year in December one of which is already SOLD OUT! The Big Eight from Bordeaux on December 28th has 14 people already on the books and if you were thinking about this one you may want to get on the waiting list as a lot can happen between now and December 28th. 


Just like we were sold out for the vintage white Burgundy tasting back to 1955 until Dorian came on to the weather channel.  If you are thirsty and want to experience some of the greatest old vintage white Burgundy on Earth we have a few seats that have opened up. 



We just got back from a trip to Oregon and the only winery that I called directly to make sure we visited was Soter.  Tony Soter has been a good friend of the Wine Watch from day one.  The first time I met Tony Soter was in 1990 and I was just starting my career in the wine business working at Cafe Maxx as the sommelier.  Toni’s career was in full stride working as a consultant to some of the top wineries in the Napa Valley and developing his own label Etude Winery, which was quickly becoming known as one of the top boutique Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon producers of California.  We have never been disappointed with any wine that Tony has been involved with and over the years he has become a good friend making a tribute wine after the death of Wine Watch founder Jim Turner to benefit his foundation that rose over $50,000. 


We are excited to have the one of the key members of the winemaking team at Soter Vineyards James Cahill in town on September 12th for a tasting of the new releases including the brand-new appellations wines from the Willamette Valley.  The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $125 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.


 



Soter Winery Oregon Wine Tasting with Special Guest James Cahill

Thursday, September 12, 2019

7:30 PM


 


 


2014 Soter Brut Rose Beacon Hill Oregon image


2014 Soter Brut Rose Beacon Hill Oregon

Price: $75.00    Your Price: $66.00


The Brut Rose from Soter gets my vote for the best Sparkling wine in Oregon!  A bouquet filled with wild strawberries, blood orange, apples and fresh baked bread notes, this wine needs at least 20 minutes to open up and is better when it warms up a bit in the glass giving it more aromatics and better definition.  Creamy bubbles on the tongue and bright acidity leave you thirsting for another sip.   Finish 50+ Most Excellent


2017 Soter Chardonnay North Valley image


2017 Soter Chardonnay North Valley

Price: $30.00    Your Price: $25.50


A bouquet filled with golden apple, lemon citrus and white flowers with a touch of honey and light spice and minerality.  Not a big style but very well balanced, nice fruit in the midpalate with a clean finish, a bright and creamy wine on the tongue good balance and a fresh finish.  Finish 40+   Excellent


 


2017 Soter Pinot Noir Planet Oregon image


2017 Soter Pinot Noir Planet Oregon

Price: $21.00    Your Price: $18.48     Quantity in Stock: 8


Planet Oregon, a new project from one of Oregon's most celebrated winemakers, Tony Soter, aims to always produce a well-priced, delicious, regionally representative, and most importantly, environmentally sustainable Oregon Pinot Noir. For every bottle sold, Tony Soter pledges $1 to the Oregon Environmental Council.Planet Oregon is his chance to make wines for a broader audience and make a bigger positive impact on the planet. He wants Planet Oregon Wines to embody the conscious choice we all have to endorse and support sustainably produced wines.


Image result for 2017 Soter North Valley Pinot Noir Willamette Valley


2017 Soter North Valley Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Price: $30.00    Your Price: $26.40


This wine offers aromas of fresh raspberry, strawberry and white pepper. On the palate, it shows primary flavors of bing cherry and pomegranate, followed by secondary flavors of spice box and orange citrus. The finish is smooth, tart and polished.


Image result for 2015 Soter Pinot Noir North Valley Reserve Willamette


2015 Soter Pinot Noir North Valley Reserve Willamette

Price: $45.00    Your Price: $39.60


(90 points) The 2012 Pinot Noir North Valley comes mainly from the Yamhill-Carlton district, fermented in open-top fermenters with 30% whole-cluster, raised in 16% new oak. It has a generous bouquet with small red cherries and pomegranate scents that are just a little muffled at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin: brambly red berry fruit interlaced with white pepper and clove, maintaining good depth toward the slightly dusty finish. Fine. (NM) (3/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


Image result for 2016 Soter Pinot Noir Eola AmityImage result for 2016 Soter Pinot Noir Ribbon RidgeImage result for 2016 Soter Pinot Noir Dundee Hills


2016 Soter Pinot Noir Eola Amity

Price: $60.00    Your Price: $52.80


The Eola-Amity Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area) is located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, stretching from the city of Amity in the north to Salem in the south. There are over 100 vineyards and 30+ wineries & tasting rooms in this acclaimed winegrowing region.  The wines are a unique expression of the terroir here and tonight we will showcase this wine to show the difference between Eola Amity, Ribbon Ridge and the Dundee Hills.


 


2016 Soter Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge

Price: $60.00    Your Price: $52.80


The Ribbon Ridge AVA is located in Yamhill County, Oregon. It is the smallest AVA in Oregon and is entirely contained within the Chehalem Mountains.  Ribbon Ridge stretches between the towns of Newberg and Gaston.  Ribbon Ridge is considered to be among the top regions in the ever expanding Willamette Valley today.


 


2016 Soter Pinot Noir Dundee Hills

Price: $60.00    Your Price: $52.80


This bottling represents vineyard sources exclusively from within the Dundee Hills AVA. Made in very limited quantities, these “Origins” series wines are reflections of the personality-driven, regional characteristics from which they hail. Widely recognized, the “Red Hills of Dundee” have been planted since the late 1960’s. Centrally located in the Northern Willamette Valley, this area’s Jory series soils are red-hued, iron rich clay loam of volcanic origins.


Traditional vinification in small, open top fermenters with 20% whole cluster fruit Aged in French oak 33% new, 67% neutral barrels.


 


Image result for 2015 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Willamette Valley


2015 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Willamette Valley

Price: $105.00    Your Price: $92.40


(93 points) The 2015 Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Ranch is pale to medium ruby-purple with a nose of black berries and cherries with crushed rock, cardamom and forest floor nuances. Light to medium-bodied with a strong vein of rocky minerality and dried black tea leaf notes, it has very juicy, mouthwatering acidity and a strong frame of grainy tannins, finishing long with bitters/amaro accents. (EB) (8/2018) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


 


Menu


Sesame Seared Pacific King Salmon with a Cilantro Jalapeno Crema and Harpke Farms Greens


Foie Gras torchon Butter on Ciabatta Crostini with Raspberry Compote


Coffee Rubbed Kurobuto Pork Loin Chop with Maple Bourbon Syrup Cardamom Sweet Potato Mashed Potatoes


 


The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $125 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.


Please let us know when you make your reservation if you don’t eat pork and chef Toni will be happy to make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


 


 


 


 


 


A bit of info about Soter Vineyards:


 



 


Life is a highway, its many twists and turns lead you in different directions, but if you follow your heart down a certain path with determination and hard work anything is possible.  One of the modern day examples of this success in the California wine industry is the scholarly and mild mannered Tony Soter.  Soter came out of Pomona College with a degree in philosophy to take his first wine job as a cellar rat at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in 1974.  That was a six-month stint and from there were a couple of other short stints at Stonegate and Spring Mountain where he learned some tricks of the trade from Chuck Ortman. From there he went to Chappellet and worked with another one of the top minds in California winemaking Joe Cafaro.  When Cafaro decided to go on to something else, Tony had already handed in his resignation and was on his way to his first leading role as winemaker at Keenan Winery, but at the last minute Donn Chappellet talked him into staying, a statement to the desperation of the wine industry for warm bodies during that period. 


Soter remembers this time as a great learning experience, as he describes it; "I learned a tremendous amount about how to operate a decent-sized winery, so in 1981, I decided to hang out my shingle as a consultant."  Soter’s list of consulting clients is like a who’s who of the California wine industry including:  Araujo Estate, Dalla Valle, Moraga Vineyards (the only non-Napa winery), Niebaum-Coppola, Spottswoode and Viader, to name a few.  We respected him mostly for his motto of: "I work with people who are serious about making red wines from their own grapes."  Soter's associate in the consultancy at that time was Mia Klein, who also had her own small winery, Selene Cellars.  Soter is the kind of mentor that made it clear that Klein was not an assistant but a co-consultant. "I couldn't cover all the bases in that group without her," he said.  "The idea, too, is that we give the client more comfort, they know that as busy as everybody is, they'll have someone to talk to."  Only people with true confidence in their own ability can inspire others to perform at their peak and to do this you must put them on your own level.


The wine industry is full of horror stories about consultants whose approach is "my way or the highway" but Soter said it would be a "disservice to my client if I tried to impose a Soter style across all the properties.  Besides that, I wouldn't find it very interesting. On the contrary, I look at the property, taste the grapes and try to figure out how the wine should taste, based on what's there.  I also always like to be involved in the grape growing."  Following his philosophy that each estate should be treated distinctly and not given the "Tony Soter Stamp", basic winemaking techniques change from winery to winery.


Tony started his own label in 1982 focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.  The name he chose, Etude Winery, describes his learning process in the wine industry.  Tony explains, "It's built around the theme of the meaning of the word in French, which is 'study.'  In classical music, etudes are practice pieces for performers containing some sort of technical challenge. The better pieces are played for artistic merits as well. The analogy for me as a craftsman of the winegrowing art is that I should focus my attention on aspects of the craft."  Soter's focus at Etude has always been Pinot Noir because he considers it to be the most technically challenging grape varietal.  "Pinot noir is a great vehicle for studying the effects of winemaking.  It's transparent.  You can readily see what went into making the wine what it is. Also, Pinot Noir doesn't suffer fools.   Make a mistake with Pinot Noir and it shows.  You can make an ordinary Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot or Zinfandel or Syrah and it can still be fun to drink, even if it isn't a great wine. If Pinot Noir isn't really good, you'd rather be drinking another red wine,"


He sold Etude in 2001 to Beringer Wine Estates to pursue his true passion Pinot Noir, in a place where many consider the new world Mecca for this varietal, he literally bet the farm on Oregon Pinot Noir.  His Oregon quest began in 1997 when he and wife Michelle found a 45-acre parcel in Oregon's Willamette Valley.  The vineyard is located on the north fork of the Chehalem Valley, six miles east of the town of Yamhill and ten miles northwest of Dundee.  Planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the vineyard totals 22 acres.  His neighbors include some of the top names in the Oregon wine industry; Beaux Freres, Brick House and Willakenzie.  Soter drew upon the 25 years of winegrowing experience in his careful farming of this vineyard that was originally planted in 1988.  New vines were added in 1998 and 1999, cover crops have been planted to add enriching nutrients to the soils and to assist in erosion control.  Recently the Soter’s were given an Oregon "L.I.V.E." farming certificate, which acknowledges the sustainable farming practices that have been employed since the Soter’s purchase of the land.  The vineyard management is entrusted to Joel Myers, his associate winemaker and James Cahill oversees the daily operations at the winery.     


The vineyard is named "Beacon Hill" in reference to the lighthouse-like structure that sits atop the hill.  The wines are estate grown and hand-made. Production of the 1998 Pinot Noir was 500 cases and will eventually grow to about 1,500 cases.  Soter also produces 500-700 cases of a rose brut methode champenoise sparkling wine from 100% Pinot Noir.   Becoming stewards to this Oregon land is, in a sense, a return to early familial roots. Both Tony and Michelle spent much of their early lives in Oregon.  Tony was born in Portland and spent his first ten years there.  Michelle was raised in Portland and left when she was eighteen.  With two young children, the Soter’s had a desire to own vineyards and create a land-based winery to pass on to the next generation.  Update- the kids are now in college. 


 


They have a very cool farm to table thing happening at the Winery today and if you are in the upper Willamette Valley this is a must stop not only for the wine but the food was also most excellent!



 



Beets and fresh vegetables


 



 


Pacific Oysters


Quail and fresh garden salad


 

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