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 “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.
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
www.scottpaul.com. 503-227-2107. Scott, Martha, and “Pirrie”