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What We're Drinking

We ask local wine experts for the bottles they are bringing home.

ONE OF MY RECENT FAVORITES IS Tony Soter’s North Valley Pinot Noir. Many people know Tony Soter from the wineries he was involved with in California. But in 2002, Soter began planting vines in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and now produces pinot noir, rosé, Chardonnay and sparkling wine.

Soter produces three lines of wines, of which the North Valley wines are in the middle tier. These wines are wonderful examples of how cool-climate Oregonian pinot should be. The North Valley Pinot Noir (which ranges from about $25 to $35 a bottle at various retailers) uses only small amounts of new French oak barrels and the rest aged in two-to- three-year-old used barrels. All grapes are certified sustainable and some vineyard sites are also certified organic.

The North Valley Pinot Noir 2009 vintage delivers intense aromas of raspberry, blackberry and spices on the nose. This wine is long on the palate with dark cherry and cola notes.

—Colin Estrem is the owner of Avenue Wine Café on Fifth Avenue South.

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