This is precisely what we love about Sojeau: the electricity of high elevation Eola-Amity Hills Pinot noir with a succulent fruit-fueled engine. Shimmering with floral accented darker fruit aromas, a vibrant current lifts it from the glass. The crushed berries and cherries that drive the flavors are lush, even gulpable, yet there's an intricate structure underneath that you can feel as the wine glides around your palate. Right now this shows so much Pinot purity that it's hard to have only one glass. Go for it if you choose, but stash more for a year or five down the road. Only 1044 bottles (87 cases) waxed and labeled (see the unique label/package design to the right).
2019 is Kathy’s inaugural Pinot noir vintage for her Filigree & Stone label. Much like the Filigree & Stone name, which fuses contrasting elements of intricate elegance with earthen groundedness, Kathy’s life and personality has always been about balance. So naturally, her 2019 Sojeau Vineyard Pinot noir represents her eternal quest for balance–it is pretty and complex and elegant while holding to a latticework of structure and strength and power.
“Eight weeks after bottling I tasted it; it was quite closed and shy...like my personality. It was so structured early on but it has really opened up, bringing out a violet note and bringing back the elegance and prettiness.”
While Kathy and Walter Scott winemaker Ken Pahlow might be two peas in a pod, their 2019 Sojeau Pinots show fairly differently. It begins with the clonal selection: Kathy’s is Pommard-heavy, Ken’s is equal parts Pommard, Wadenswil, and Dijon 115.
Given our familiarity with Walter Scott Pinots through the years, we can pick out the distinct barrel influence in the Walter Scott cellar. “Ken uses a very specific barrel, so of course I use a different one,” adds Kathy.
We’re huge fans of both wines and highly, highly encourage you to get some Filigree & Stone Sojeau 2019.
More on Kathy's path to Filigree & Stone
Six years ago, seeking Northern Hemisphere winemaking experience, Kathy ended up working harvest at Bergstrom, “through pure luck,” as she describes it. It was a perfect fit with Kathy’s Pinot noir and Chardonnay obsession.
After harvest wrapped up, she decided to drive south along the coastal highway, all the way through California’s coastal Pinot noir regions; Josh Bergstrom had set her up with all the right people to see. Before she even got to the coast, her first tasting appointment was with Ken Pahlow at Walter Scott.
“We were two peas in a pod. I had to work with him. I spent the next year scheming how I’d get back to Oregon.”
Fast forward–2021 is Kathy’s fifth vintage at Walter Scott. Is she the assistant winemaker? Sure, as much as the Walter Scott team has titles but around the cellar, Kathy’s the “Australian Superstar.”
She spends seven months of the year in Oregon, busy with all manner of winemaking duties. And the other five months? Costa Rica! There’s a story, of course.
Kathy dreamed of making wine for a decade, long before she went to school for winemaking. Like so many in the production side of wine, she started in the food and beverage industry on the hospitality side, working for The Four Seasons in Costa Rica.
She was deeply curious with flavors, with how and why things were delicious when paired, and she became obsessed with dirt: why do Chards from different places taste so differently? The answers lied in a winemaking education.
Kathy’s first winemaking job was with Western Australia’s iconic Leeuwin Estate, where her sole focus was Leeuwin’s Art Series Chardonnay, one of the most famous Chards in the world. She said it before I could, “I know–I am spoiled!”
From Leeuwin to Bergstrom to Walter Scott...of course she’ll be making a Willamette Valley Chard: 2021 vintage from Witness Tree Vineyard. We're excited already!