An expat from Napa, Soter makes some of the most elegant wines in the Willamette Valley. In particular, his Mineral Springs vineyard, located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, consistently produces some of my favourite Oregon Pinot Noir due to its persistence, purity and elegance vintage to vintage.
Soter is a great winemaker who knows how to coax the best qualities from his grapes, but the site here is important. Mineral Springs sits 400 feet above sea level atop a ridge comprised of sedimentary marine sandstone. The property is a sustainable farm with grazing sheep and biodiverse wildlife.
One oddity in Soter’s stable is this beautiful Champagne method wine made from 90% Pinot Noir grapes and 10% Chardonnay grapes planted in the Mineral Springs vineyard. In my view, this is one of the most compelling Champagne method wines made in the U.S. and exhibits a wonderful transparency alongside a luscious core of pure, ripe Pinot Noir that makes a wine with greater weight and fruit than Champagne but that retains vibrancy and juicyness.
The wine has about 5g/l of dosage and sees 3 years en tirage and 5 months post-disgorgement ageing. The wine has a small 2,000 case production.
$65 USD at Oregon Wines on Broadway in Portland. Marquis Wine Cellars also carries Soter wines each year.