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A small artisan producer of organic wines and spirits from Oregon grapes launched in 1997 by founder Tad Seestedt. Seestedt is a New York transplant who gained winemaking experience at Argyle and Amity. Still wine production began with the 1999 vintage. The producer found a home for its winery in McMinnville's granary district in 2004. In 2008, a 40-acre farm was acquired outside of Sheridan, Oregon, bringing the winery and distillery together for the first time. Vines were planted in the spring of 2010.
The name "Ransom" was chosen to represent the investment necessary to become self-employed. It has since come to represent the amount of debt owed to banks.
The majority of sourced fruit is farmed organically or biodynamically. The second label, "Jigsaw," is a blend of Pinot Noir from organically and conventionally farmed vineyards.
Ransom Pinot Noir is less than $30 and Jigsaw Pinot Noir is less than $20. An eau de vie of Pinot Noir is distilled from wine and aged in French oak. The website does not indicate where the wines may be purchased so call or e-mail Tad and say, "I want my ransom!"
The winery/distillery is not open to the public.
2015 Jigsaw Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.2% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.50, 4,149 cases, $19.99, screwcap. Produced and bottled by Ransom Wine Company, Sheridan, OR.. Grapes sourced from seven vineyards, primarily in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Harvest Brix 23.2º. Grapes 100% de-stemmed, into 1.5-ton open-top and large close-top fermenters. Average cold soak 4 days, inoculated and wild yeast fermentation for seven days with hand punchdowns. Aged 11 months, filtered and bottled. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very little aromatic interest, with only subtle notes of fertile earth, candy corn, vanilla and floridity. Slightly confected mid weight black cherry and cranberry flavors framed by noticeable tannins, finishing somewhat astringent. Score: 86. Reviewed August 6, 2017 ARTICLE »
2013 Ransom Jigsaw Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.8% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.58, 3,136 cases, $19. Multiple clones from multiple vineyards in three AVAs. 100% de-stemmed, high percentage of whole berries sent to 1.5-ton open-top fermenters. 4-day cold soak, wild and inoculated yeast fermentation, hand punch downs two to three times a day. Aged 10 months, blended, filtered and bottled. · Moderately light red cherry color in the glass. Demure aromas of cherry, tea leaf and subtle oak. Light to mid weight flavors of cherry and raspberry with supportive oak. Juicy, with decent tension, a silky texture, and mild tannins. An easy drinking wine that lacks flash or finish, but will perform nicely at the dinner table. Score: 86. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »
2013 Ransom Selection Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
12.6% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.62, 1,200 cases, $27.99. Produced and bottled by Ransom Wine Company, Sheridan, OR.. Low yields, own-rooted and nonirrigated mature vines, all free run juice. Sourced from four vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills. Harvest Brix 22.4º. 100% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak, inoculated and wild yeast fermentation for average of 7 days with hand punchdowns. Aged 12 to 16 months in two-year-old French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose offers primarily stemmy, woody, and vegetal aromas with only a hint of cherry fruit. Light to mid weight flavors of red and purple berries with what can be described only as a grape popsicle taste. Also earthy and woody. The tannins are tame, the texture is appealing silky and there is some persistence on the finish. I just could not embrace the flavor of this wine. Score: 87. Reviewed August 6, 2017 ARTICLE »
2012 Ransom Selection Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.6% alc., pH 3.32, TA 0.65, 781 cases, $29. Harvest Brix 23.2º (average). Sourced from JMD, Temperance Hill, Zielinski, and Johan vineyards. Dijon, Pommard and Wädenswil clones. 100% de-stemmed with a high percentage of whole berries sent to 1.5-ton fermenters. 6-day cold soak, wild and inoculated yeast fermentation. Aged 16 months in mixed French oak cooperage one to two-years-old. 100% free-run juice with no fining or filtration. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Scents of black cherry, forest floor, conifer and seasoned oak lead to mid weight flavors of bright cherry, raspberry and Damson plum fruits that coat the mouth and persist through a citrus and cranberry imbued finish that has some persistence. Silky smooth on the palate with the balance weighted toward vibrant acidity. Tasted twice with consistent findings. Score: 88-89. Reviewed January 23, 2015 ARTICLE »