iOTA Cellars

Owner(s) Lynne Pelos, Perry Pelos, Don Sandberg, Johana Sandberg
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iOTA Cellars is a new name on the Oregon Pinot Noir scene. The name, iOTA, refers to small quantity, reflecting the winery’s commitment to small yields, small lots, and small case production. In 1999, Don and Johanna Sandberg moved to Oregon from Minnesota, purchased land in 2000, and began a commercial winery in 2006. The pair have been making wine on a non commercial basis since 2002, initially from purchased grapes and then from their own beginning in 2004. The 2007 wine is the second commercial vintage.

Like a number of Oregon winemakers, Johanna gained her basic winemaking knowledge at the NW Viticulture Center in Salem, Oregon along with well-known winemakers Tina Hammond (Privé) and Laura Volkman (Laura Volkman Wines). She interned with the Casteel family at Bethel Heights and Bryce Bagnall when he was the winemaker at Witness Tree. The estate Pelos Sandberg Vineyard (PSV) consists of 11.5 acres in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA planted to Dijon 667 and 777, Pommard and Wädenswil clones. The vines are farmed sustainably and non-irrigated. Grapes have been sold to Beaux Frères, Bergström Winery and EIEIO & Company, but most recently only Rex Hill and Big Table Farm.

Reviewed Wines

2012 IOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 577 cases, $42. Pommard, Wädenswil, 777 and 667 clones. Aged 10 months in 3-year-air-dried French oak barrels and an additional 12 months in bottle. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Amazingly fragrant with aromas of dark berry, cassis, plum, black cherry and espresso leaping from the glass upon opening. Mid weight + core of well ripened dark berry fruit with some smoky oak in the background. Soft tannins and a fruitfilled finish ramp up the pleasure. The wine has plenty of oak overlay, but an equal amount of luscious fruit. Score: 91. Reviewed December 11, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 IOTA Pelos-Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 767 cases, $38. 11.5-acre vineyard planted to Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon 667 and 777 clones. The vineyard, first planted in 2002, sits at 300 to 500 feet elevation, and is dry farmed. The family run winery was established in 2006. Johanna Sandberg is co-winemaker and owner. The wine contains all four planted clones. Aged 10 months in 3-year, airdried French oak barrels and an additional 10 months of bottle aging. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color and unfiltered appearance in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh black cherry pie glaze, Christmas spice, and earthy flora. Full, deep and plush on the palate with remarkable flavor intensity in this cool vintage. The flavors of black cherry and black raspberry are complimented by a touch of smoky oak. The tannins are nicely balanced and the finish is noticeably persistent and aristocratic, urging you to take another sip. Score: 93. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 iOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 402cases, $38. Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon 667, 777 from six estate vineyard blocks. Aged 10 months in 47% new French oak barrels and an additional year of bottle aging before release. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intense black cherry, plum and spice aromas with a hint of toasty, cedary oak. Discreetly concentrated flavors of smoky black cherry and dark raspberry fruit robed in balanced, dry tannins, finishing with an infusion of black raspberry jam on toast. There is a little more oak talking at present than I prefer, but this should integrate further with another year in bottle. Good. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 iOTA Pelos Sandberg Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 476 cases, $36. Clones are Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon 777 and 667. The wine was aged for 10 months in 45% new 3-year air-dried French oak barrels and aged an additional year before release. · Medium plum-garnet color in the glass. Enticing aromas of freshly picked dark berries with a hint of oak (cigar box and toast). Inviting mid palate richness offering flavors of blackberries, marionberries and plum with a subtle note of tar and brier. Admirable finesse with a refreshing cut of acidity on the moderately long finish. Very good. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 iOTA Cellars Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 345 cases, $42. Aged 10 months in 50% new third year air-dried French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black raspberries, cherries and strawberries with overtones of herbs and smoky oak. Medium-weighted core of darker stone fruits flanked by an oaky, herbal tone that persists on the long finish. Tasted twice. Decent. Reviewed November 29, 2009 ARTICLE »

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