Scott Paul Winery Closes Doors
They sold their house in LA, loaded up the cars and drove to Yountville and launched Scott Paul Wines in 1999 with a burning passion, much to learn, contracts for highly coveted fruit, small investments from a few folks who believed in them, and most importantly, the tutelage of Greg LaFollette, a dear friend and mentor. That fall they crushed 7 tons of fruit, and the following year bottled 350 cases of the first Scott Paul wines. Scott said that there were 3 restaurants in the entire US that he wanted to carry their wines…French Laundry in Yountville, CA, Rubicon in San Francisco, CA, and Vertitas in New York, NY. And darn if he didn’t get his ’99s on the list at ALL 3 restaurants!
As I see almost once per month like Tony Soter of Etude, all Pinot Noir Roads eventually hear the cooler climate and terroir of Oregon calling for them. Scott in 2000 took a position with Domaine Drouhin. In 2003-2005 like so so many winemakers he started making wine of his own in a shared facility called the Carlton Winemakers Studio in Carlton.
In The Chips!
In 2003, Cameron Healy, founder of Kettle Chips, friend & mentor, became a partner in Scott Paul Wines. They were ready to have control over their winemaking environment and to grow their small brand, so they devised plans to build a new winery facility and tasting room. Excited by the opportunity to participate in Carlton’s rejuvenation, they bought two historic buildings and began their renovation in 2005. Their actual winery was housed in a repurposed granary, the former Madsen Grain Company, built in 1900, while the brick tasting room (PICTURED ABOVE) was originally a creamery, built in 1915. Renovation was completed just in time to open their doors in June 2006, and to start making wine in their new facility that fall.
Sad to report in 2019 Scott Paul CLOSED their doors and quietly went out of business and no longer produces wines.
2014 Scott Paul “La Paulee” Pinot Noir, Oregon
La Paullee is a Burgundian celebration commemorating the end of grape harvest. Since Scott made Burgundian Style Pinots and also formed an Import Company of bringing in wines from Burgundy, this was a fitting name for this wine.
Since the winery and website is shutdown, I don’t have much tech info except that the grapes were sourced from lots of some of Willamette Valley’s best. Maresh and Nysa Vineyard in the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge and Azana in the Chehalem Mountains. I don’t smell any American Oak but I am assuming aged in French Oak some New and an ABV of 13.9%. Let’s review
Stelvin Closure WHICH I LOVE…Say No To Cork! .. Got 2 bottles of this normally $37 wine on a closeout from an online retailer for about $17 per bottle. The wine was tested in my Oregon Pinot Noir Glass and needed 45 minutes to 1 hour of aeration to assess.
Brilliant Ruby Red on the color. Pretty just to look at. Spices and tons of Rose Petals hints of smoked bacon , twizzlers hit the nose first with strong cherry and berry aromas. On the palate this is major league juicy with mouthwatering flavors of huckleberry, marionberry, wild strawberry, cherry, raspberry…and sailing on to the back end with a really perfect balance of acidity and tannins and baking spices. A solid long finish. This wine got better and better as I aggressively swirled and sipped and smelled and a solid 92 Point wine for me out of 100. At the closeout price of $17 I should have bought way more.
Yes it is sad to hear about buyouts or worse a winery closing it’s doors. It really breaks my heart to hear about this especially when the wines were made with passion and skill. As a consumer when this event happens wholesalers and then retailers will be offered that wine at drastically reduced pricing to dump inventory and this can be a win for the consumer. I hope Scott Paul Wines re appear somewhere again. Check online retailers for this 2014 La Paulee, and I suggest buying as many bottles as you can get. Cheers Scott Paul. The people of Carlton and Oregon Pinot Lovers like me will miss you.
Grape-fully yours, Larry
Miss These Glasses Miss This Winery