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A small artisan producer of organic wines and spirits from Oregon grapes launched in 1997 by founder Tad Seestedt. Seestedt is a New York transplant who gained winemaking experience at Argyle and Amity. Still wine production began with the 1999 vintage. The producer found a home for its winery in McMinnville's granary district in 2004. In 2008, a 40-acre farm was acquired outside of Sheridan, Oregon, bringing the winery and distillery together for the first time. Vines were planted in the spring of 2010.
The name "Ransom" was chosen to represent the investment necessary to become self-employed. It has since come to represent the amount of debt owed to banks.
The majority of sourced fruit is farmed organically or biodynamically. The second label, "Jigsaw," is a blend of Pinot Noir from organically and conventionally farmed vineyards.
Ransom Pinot Noir is less than $30 and Jigsaw Pinot Noir is less than $20. An eau de vie of Pinot Noir is distilled from wine and aged in French oak. The website does not indicate where the wines may be purchased so call or e-mail Tad and say, "I want my ransom!"
The winery/distillery is not open to the public.
2013 Ransom Jigsaw Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.8% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.58, 3,136 cases, $19. Multiple clones from multiple vineyards in three AVAs. 100% de-stemmed, high percentage of whole berries sent to 1.5-ton open-top fermenters. 4-day cold soak, wild and inoculated yeast fermentation, hand punch downs two to three times a day. Aged 10 months, blended, filtered and bottled. · Moderately light red cherry color in the glass. Demure aromas of cherry, tea leaf and subtle oak. Light to mid weight flavors of cherry and raspberry with supportive oak. Juicy, with decent tension, a silky texture, and mild tannins. An easy drinking wine that lacks flash or finish, but will perform nicely at the dinner table. Score: 86. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Ransom Selection Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.6% alc., pH 3.32, TA 0.65, 781 cases, $29. Harvest Brix 23.2º (average). Sourced from JMD, Temperance Hill, Zielinski, and Johan vineyards. Dijon, Pommard and Wädenswil clones. 100% de-stemmed with a high percentage of whole berries sent to 1.5-ton fermenters. 6-day cold soak, wild and inoculated yeast fermentation. Aged 16 months in mixed French oak cooperage one to two-years-old. 100% free-run juice with no fining or filtration. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Scents of black cherry, forest floor, conifer and seasoned oak lead to mid weight flavors of bright cherry, raspberry and Damson plum fruits that coat the mouth and persist through a citrus and cranberry imbued finish that has some persistence. Silky smooth on the palate with the balance weighted toward vibrant acidity. Tasted twice with consistent findings. Score: 88-89. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »