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Scott Paul Wines

Proprietor/winemaker Scott Paul Wright had a thirty-year career in marketing and promotion for the radio and record industries He became the Managing Director of Domaine Drouhin, where he worked for several years before starting his own winery in Carlton, Scott Paul Wines. The tasting room is housed in a restored circa-1915 creamery (photo left), and the winery building across the street has been completely and tastefully retrofitted inside a former grainary. (photo right).

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Scott Paul Wines is a boutique winery dedicated to producing ultra-premium Oregon Pinot Noir. The co-winemaker, Kelley Fox, previously worked at Eyrie Vineyards, Hamacher Wines and Torri Mor. Scott’s wife, Martha, who operated her own business managing celebrity chefs, is the Brand Manager for Scott Paul. Kelly Karr, who worked in sales at Chehalem Winery for nearly a decade, is the Director of Sales and Marketing.

Last year, Scott Paul Wines started a new Burgundy import division under the name, Scott Paul Selections. Three of the producers from the portfolio attended this year’s International Pinot Noir Celebration: Romain Taupenot of Domaine Taupenot-Merme, Aleth Girardin of Domaine Aleth Girardin, and Thierry Violot of Domaine Thierry Violot-Guillemard. The timing for Scott is fortuitous, because the 2005 vintage of Burgundy is as Allen Meadows says, “The best top-to-bottom vintage of young Burgundy I have ever tasted, period, full-stop!”

Scott has had a life-long passion for Burgundy. His tasting room is quite unique and the only one I know of in the United States that gives the visitor the opportunity to taste both New World and Old World Pinot Noir side by side. Scott’s wines are crafted in the Burgundian tradition with low-yields in the vineyard, hands off vinification in the winery with no pumps, no inoculation, no enzymes, no additives, no fining and no filtering (what exactly does Kelley and Scott do all day?), and small amounts of new French oak (20% at most). He follows the dictum that “Pinot Noir makes itself,” and his wines are a pure expression of Pinot Noir. Each vintage, there are three cuvées sourced from several of Oregon’s finest vineyards including Maresh, Momtazi, Shea, Ribbon Ridge and Stoller. Production is about 3,000 cases a year.

Scott does not craft single vineyard Pinot Noirs (there is always an exception, see Audrey below) because “If we had vineyards that were reliably and demonstrably different and special in the New World, I fully believe the wines from those vineyards should be bottled and labeled separately. However, I think that we’re too early in the game to be making those calls yet. It’s rare to have a vineyard with vines over 30-years-old around here. Future generations will surely know which plots are indeed our Grand Cru vineyards, but we’ve truly only just begun.”

2008 Paul Lato Wines “Duende” Gold Coast Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

Martini clone which performs well at this site. · A real charmer showing tasty strawberry and Asian spice flavors. A delicate minerality roams the background.

2008 Paul Lato Wines “Sine Cera” Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

“Sine Cera” is a Latin idiom meaning “without wax.” Wax was used historically to cover imperfections in statues. One new barrel of clone 113. · Lovely aromas of dark cherries and berries with a touch of chocolate and violets. Smoothly textured with supple tannins and a soft and scented exit.

2008 Paul Lato Wines “Suerte” Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

From a block at the top of the vineyard planted to clones 115 and 667. Solomon Hills is the most westerly vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley and is clearly visible to travelers on Highway 101. “Suerte” means luck and Paul chose this name because he had suffered a string of accidents and survived without significant injury. This wine seemed to bring him luck. · Darker fruited, nicely spiced with plenty of structural power, noticeable oak, soft tannins and a tangy finish that lasts and lasts.

2008 Paul Lato Wines Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

15.1% alc.. Sourced from the original plantings that are 20 years old. · Full-bodied, intensely fruited, with an appealing earthiness and hints of anise and tar. Despite its heft, the wine retains a lively acidity, moderated tannins and complete integration of the alcohol.

2007 Paul Lato Wines “Duende” Gold Coast Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc.,100 cases, $63. · Really lovely nose touting Bing cherries, forest floor, sandalwood and baking spices. Delicious midweighted cherry fruit with oak playing a supportive role in the background. Silky, vibrant and perfectly harmonious.

2007 Paul Lato Wines “Suerte” Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 150 cases, $68. · Sensual perfume of fresh crushed raspberries and blackberries with the slightest hint of oak. Gorgeous fruit accented with musk and cola and framed harmoniously by soft tannins and a spark of acidity. Pinot my paramour.

2007 Paul Lato Wines “Sine Cera” Fiddlestix Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.7% alc.,125 cases, $73. · Deep, dark brooding nose showing aromas of black cherries, raspberries and white pepper. A distinctive wine with woodsy and earthy dark stone fruits that are both lush and mysterious. Deft touch of oak and admirable corralling of tannins. A hint of citrus shows up in the finish which is unbelievably persistent. This is a wine that comes at you, grabs hold and demands your attention. Screams for duck.

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Scott Paul Wines are sold in the tasting room which is open from 11- 4, Wednesdays through Sundays. Read Scott’s philosophy on Pinot Noir and the story of the rabbit logo on the website at 503-227-2107. Scott, Martha, and “Pirrie” pictured right.

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