Still on location in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
Today was the day I was looking forward to. I think I dreamnt about it.
Wine Tasting Wednesday! Oh Yeah!
The rain and light snow (that melted before it hit the ground) was NOT going to get in the way of the little tasting I had planned.
For me, Dundee Hills wine tasting was happening regardless of weather. And it did.
Dundee Hills, in the North Willamette Valley, is what I consider the epicenter for Oregon Pinot Noir.
The wines made here have a sense of place with unique factors making the Dundee Hills a well known and respected American Viticultural Area.
Dundee Hills is sheltered by the Chehalem Mountains in the North from the cold influences created by the Columbia River Gorge and protected in the West by the Coast Range Mountains, creating a rain shadow blocking maritime influences originating from the Pacific Ocean.
Dundee Hills experiences warmer nights due to its elevation, keeping the frost at bay, a problem often found on the valley floor.
Today the plan was to taste at three wineries and enjoy the views. It wasn’t a problem.
Today I will share with you my tasting at Sokol Blosser, a family owned winery and one of the original Oregon pioneering families that believed in a sustainable Oregon wine industry when many of the naysayers said that the climate here could not support a quality wine making region.
Here is the sign at the winery entrance on Highway 99. Nothing fancy but the property itself is beautiful.
Thess are some of Sokol Blosser’s vineyard blocks that are passed as you make your way up to the hilltop tasting room, which by the way has a killer view.
So while the hooligans and the Wild Boar ran around outside, I went inside for a little taste.
Evolution, 12th Edition $16
Wow, I loved this.
This is an interesting white blend of nine different varietals; Pinot Gris, Muller Thurgau, White Riesling, Semillon, Muscat Canelli, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Sylvaner.
This is by far one the best proprietary white blends I have experienced in a long time.
Very fruity. Crisp and clean. The perfect summer wine that would go well with all things spicy.
Sokol Blosser makes about 50,000 cases of this. This is what I would call their cash-flow wine. It is distributed everywhere and I bet you can get it at a wine store near you. Look for it.
2006 Rose of Pinot Noir $12
I love a good rose.
My blogging program does not let me put the little accent mark above the “e” which makes me insane. This wine is not pronounced like the flower. But whatever, I’m over it.
Anyway, this wine was a great example of a fruity rose that had upfront strawberry aromas followed by a great finish. An all around enjoyable wine that would be great for all the upcoming warm evenings on the patio.
2005 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir $34
You can really taste the dust in this one, and it’s not a bad thing. Earthy. Truffle. Mocha. These characteristics were all things I was picking up in every taste. Good structure and just a very well-polished wine.
Meditrina, IV $18
Another one of Sokol Blosser’s proprietary blends, this one red.
This surprised me. A blend of Pinot Noir, as the base, and Syrah and Zinfandel to round out the balance.
You would not think of putting these varietals together, but having done some blending experiments myself I know that sometimes the strangest pairings make the best wines; even if it’s only a 1% addition.
Meditrina is a Roman goddess of wine and health. I guess that’s why they chose her name for their blend.
This wine was extremely fruit forward, more so than I expected. It reminded me of a berry pie. Which is a good thing.
2006 Estate White Riesling Dessert Wine $40
Saved the best for last. This is one of those knock your socks off dessert wines that would be the perfect addition to any after dinner cheese selection (something sharp) or even better Creme Brulee.
It’s sweet but had a great acidity to it. A true winner. Floral, nutty, honey…need I say more?
And yes, this wine is making the trip home with me, unless I open it in my hotel room. That could very well happen.
Here’s an old vine on their property. No sign of budbreak here. Spring comes a little late in Oregon compared to the Napa Valley.
Here are the hooligan’s. I found them running in the vineyard rows, their shoes covered in mud. Nothing unusual for them.
Overall, a great start to a perfect day. And it was only 11:30 AM.