2018 Violin, Pinot Noir, Sojeau Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Brand new to me is this exciting Oregon producer from Amity, Violin Wine, a Pinot Noir focused label by winemaker Will Hamilton that was established in 2013 and is making small lot single vineyard wines, like this beautiful Sojeau Vineyard Pinot Noir from vines in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley. The 2018 Sojeau Pinot shows clear red and blue fruits, lovely floral notes and fresh acidity with a beautiful texture and exceptional length, everything is crisply detailed and elegant from start to finish. Round layers of black cherry, vine picked wild berries, plum and tangy blueberry mingle with seeped rose petals, orange/hibiscus tea, delicate spices and a touch of shaved vanilla all come through on the vivid medium bodied palate. Before starting Violin Wine, Hamilton spent several years making wine at Walter Scott, one of the Willamette Valley’s elite producers and cut his teeth making some of the most sought after wines in Oregon, so it is no surprise that his Violin Sojeau Pinot is so good. This dark ruby/garnet hued 2018 Sojeau was blended from two fermentation lots, which Hamilton says, included one barrel of 100% de-stemmed grapes and three barrels that were done with about 20% whole cluster and blended together before bottling.
The Sojeau Vineyard is farmed by Dennis and Thelma Peseau, it is their personal vineyard that, Will explains, (it) is up at about 700 ft above sea level and crests a boulder strewn rocky outcropping set on Jory volcanic soils, adding that it is on the high Western flank of the Southern Eola-Hills with a view over the Van Duzer Corridor and is planted to three clones, Dijon 115, Pommard and Wadenswil. Planted in 2007 this vineyard is just coming into its and Hamilton says the wines from here give an elegance and tension not always found in the new world, he gets particular blocks of all three clones and co-ferments them, adding that the wines lean toward a red fruit profile, with an enticing aromatic quality with spicy red fruits, flowers, and an earth-driven edginess, which I can certainly see in this 2018. This vineyard is the main source of grapes for the Violin label and this site makes Hamilton very optimistic about the future of Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley, and he says it creates wines of extreme balance and intrigue, again I would find that hard to argue with considering how delicious this wine is. Looking for elegance and transparency in his wines Hamilton, who made only 95 cases of this Sojeau, aged this vintage on lees for 14 months in one new barrique and three previously filled used French Oak barrels. This Sojeau Pinot is massively appealing and impressive in the glass, I highly recommend this brilliant wine and exploring the Violin lineup as soon as possible.
($55 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive