The winemaker’s pride and joy!
St JOSEF’S ‘Starling Hill’ Pinot Noir-
These gorgeous Estate Pinot Noirs come from a small section of our special southwest sloping , jory soiled hillside vineyard that has produced some really wonderful wines. We have tracked rows 2-11 over time to discover that this block has a unique terrior in our 40+ acres. The name comes from a family joke that Starling Hill is a very small production- since it’s what we’re left with when the #@&! birds are done with their harvest. Each Starling Hill vintage is a very small quantity- usually just a couple of barrels. We bring in ‘experts and friends’ to taste through our favorite barrels and then select just the best. It is then bottle aged for several years prior to release so that the complex flavors can mellow, mature and resonate.
2003 “Starling Hill” Pinot Noir
The 2003 ‘Starling Hill’ Pinot is intense & concentrated -brimming with layers of fruit, earth & oak. An outstanding year- this barrel select wine was made from blocks of our 20 year old hillside vineyard where we were lucky to harvest a little fruit before the birds ate everything. (Hence the name). This rich wine is great on its own or with a meal. Barrel aged 12 months on French Oak and bottle aged for 3 years prior to release. Enjoy – it’s one of only 90 cases produced.
2007 “Starling Hill” Pinot Noir
A medium bodied year much bally-hooed by the new world wine people as lacking in fruit but much raved about by wine experts in the know. Those who enjoy the real classic burgundian world of lighter, leaner and luminescent wines that show off the flavors of the soils versus the fruit bombs disguised as Pinot Noir. Bottled in the fall of 2009 for release sometime (year or two) in the future. Only 3 barrels produced.
2008 ’Starling Hill’ Pinot Noir
08 was a great fruit year- with one exception, we only harvested half of what we normally produce. The cool spring made the yields very low, but the resulting fruit is large, rip and full of black cherry. Consider it a blessing in disguise. Only 2 barrels produced. Bottled in Spring of 2010 look for it in a couple of years …
Everyone keeps asking- What does the KB stand for? Well we should say ‘Kirk’s Best’ for the man who runs the vineyard and selected only the best fruit for this limited bottling.
But it’s really ‘Kick Butt’ since they are BIG , BOLD, wonderful wines that stands up to any hearty meal or large wine glass.
These wines were crafted by selecting only the finest tasting barrels in a great year. (It’s a tough job to taste each barrel – but we’re up for it). Then it’s double-oaked to achieve an even bigger feel.
2003 KB Cabernet Sauvignon
-50% Layne Vineyard, 50% Estate
Made for serious cabernet lovers- this is a special wine. Very big, bold with pronounced plum & black cherry. Due to the intense flavors and amazing body it will last 10-20 years as it ages and mellows. This vintage can be enjoyed today decanted- or cellared & enjoyed in a few years.
2003 KB Merlot.
(244 cases- alcohol 13.8%)
A medal winner in every contest it has been entered in- included multiple international tastings. Rich, smooth & supple- everything you expect in Merlot & more.
This vintage has even more fruit, with a powerful finish.
2004 KB Merlot.
(244 cases- alcohol 13.8%)
Made with 50% estate fruit and 50% Layne Vineyard. This wine has deep burgundy color, cherry, pepper and blackberry nose and supported with strong structure and tannins.
This wine is BIG, is nice now after you let it breath for a bit since it is brawny it will continue to mature for 10-15 years in the bottle.
One of the most common queries we get is why are you selling someone else’s wine? Well, Kitara is actually our name for the special ‘barrel select’ reserve wines; named after the 2nd generation @ St Josefs (son Kirk and daughter Tara). French stylistically, we let these wines speak for themselves as they are leaner with supple fruit blended with tannins and oak. Kitara wines are special enough to carry the family name and we only make a few hundred cases of each vintage.
Each barrel is hand selected during the aging process to be placed in a special blend for aging an additional 6-12 months.
2007 Kitara Pinot Noir
This 2007 Pinot Noir is an elegant wine; with subtle red currant & cherry fruit plus light earth & tobacco characteristics. . While some decry ’07 as an off year- we love them because they are so Euro-styled. This is lush and full of earthy burgundian characteristics. It was made by hand selected just nine out of over two hundred barrels of this vintage. We then aged it a bit longer in neutral French Oak and one additional year in the bottle before releasing it. Enjoy – it’s one of only 188 cases produced.
2006 Kitara Pinot Noir
The 2006 Pinot is an elegant style Pinot; fruit forward with currant and light tobacco characteristics. The wine is drinking nicely and will hold up to aging several more years in the bottle. Made from our estate hillside vineyard and aged 11 months on French Oak.
Enjoy – it’s one of only 220 cases produced.
Signed- Kirk & Tara
2004 Kitara Syrah
(70 cases – 13%)
Syrah from Oregon? Syrah from Oregon? You betcha- our vineyard is on the same latitude as some of the great wine areas of France and we are making an excellent cool climate Syrah.
Made in the classic rustic Rhone style this is a lean, strong wine with deep color, light tannins, black cherry, pepper & oak .
It is the kind of old world (French) style Syrah we enjoy. This Syrah came from a single block of our Willamette Valley vineyard.
Enjoy – it’s one of only 68 cases produced.
2006 Kitara Syrah
Syrah from Oregon? You betcha! Made from a single block of our Estate Syrah vineyard , the original syrah plantings in the Willamette Valley. This cool climate Syrah is made in a classic rustic old world style- lean, robust wine with deep color, light tannins, black cherry, pepper & oak – with a long finish. Even though it is several years old- it is drinking young. Meaning it tastes now of youthful pepper, bite & spice and becomes more nuanced & elegant as it opens up. It will age well. Enjoy – it’s one of only 6 barrels produced.
Most of the Chardonnay we make is done “on steel” meaning it is aged and fermented in steel tanks to keep a more natural & lighter style of Chardonnay- great for the cool climate Willamette Valley fruit. But we like to explore and experience other styles of wines as well. (Heck it would be boring in the cellar if we didn’t!). For our Kitara Chardonnay we induce induce secondary fermentation (malolatic) in French Oak barrels during the aging process. This adds complexity and the subtle characteristic of vanilla and spice to the wine and provides a fuller, richer mouth feel.
To enjoy the breadth of these wine serve slightly, but not over chilled.
2004 Kitara Chardonnay
Lighter and more elegant than the 2003. This wine was aged 8 months on oak and provides a complex, medium bodied wine, with slight oak and citrus flavors. Good on its own or with lighter dishes and cheese. Enjoy- we only made 4 barrels!
2003 Kitara Chardonnay sorry, sold out
If you like a full bodied chardonnay with oak overtones this one is for you (ie- expensive California style). Rich with a full mouth feel and velvety honey texture with intense vanilla after-tones. A great wine to enjoy on its own this is a pleasure by itself. Enjoy- we only made 6 barrels!
Overture – Late Harvest Pinot Gris sorry, we’re sold out!
(375ml) – $21.00 bottle
Owners Joe & Lilli grew up in Germany and have always dreamed of making a true natural dessert wine similar to the fabulous ones from the Rhine Valley.
Perfect conditions a few years ago allowed for one vineyard of Pinot Gris to be harvested after the freeze. Providing for an intensely flavored wine that has the precisely the right delicate balance between sweetness and acidity.
Enjoy on its own or with a light dessert.
- Only 128 cases produced.