Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Serenly Sokol Blosser

Step back a few years to the London International Wine Fair. As a California resident, wine is at my fingertips at an instant so my main objective was to taste anything and everything beyond the United States. My one exception, where I was truly curious to taste more of
(as I am a fan of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris) were the wines of Oregon. Enter Alison Sokol Blosser and the Sokol Blosser booth.

Alison was warm and friendly and began telling me the story of her parent's Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser's journey to become pioneers in Oregon's wine industry. It all began in 1970 with their discovery of an abandoned prune orchard, some basic wine making knowledge and a passion for Pinot Noir. By 1979 Sokol Blosser was now winning international recognition at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London. In 1996 Sokol Blosser is the first winery to be "Salmon Safe". In 2002 they were the first US winery to receive LEED Certification and began their organic transition in 2004.

Now back to present day I am reconnecting with Alison at the winery after a fantastic weekend in Portland for the Wine Bloggers Conference. Among their achievements and certifications the thing that Alison and her family feels is of the utmost importance is to keep as little as possible between the vine, the grape and us the consumers. She leads my friend and filmmaker Chrissa and I through the serenely picturesque 100 acres (80 of them planted) vine-scape that is Sokol Blosser with Twix the resident Wine Poodle (official title) in tow.

While we walk she shares tastes of their crisp and mineral rich 2010 Pinot Gris (ideal for the current heatwave!), their dry and elegant 2011 Rose of Pinot Noir ( a perfect ballerina pink color ) and then we move into the explore the barrel room and the Pinot Noirs.

We begin with their 2009 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir grown in the amazing red Jory soils of Yamhill County's Dundee Hills. As a winery's "entry level" Pinot Noir it's stunning and one I could easily drink on a daily basis. Besides their Dundee Hills Sokol Blosser also makes 4 other "block" designated Pinot Noirs. To get a better vision of where the blocks are located on the property they have a great map on their site; Sokol Blosser. These four are Peach Tree (delicate, roses and violets...pair with seared salmon), Big Tree (Asian spices, coffee and cocoa...pair with a coffee and cocoa rubbed lamb chop), Orchard Block (savory, plum and purple flowers...pair with duck breast with a plum sauce) and my absolute favorite the Goosepen Block (earthy, sour cherries and black truffles...pair with black truffle risotto or even a roast turkey!). 

Alison herself favors the Goosepen Block but said she has fond memories of the Big Tree that once stood on the Big Tree Block. Whatever Pinot Noir you may decide upon the theme I savor in all their wines is that seductive, feminine, but strong character that they possess (and at a fantastic value!).

As a fan and a friend to the Sokol Blosser Winery I highly recommend a visit to them. Their wines are also available online and would make a great addition to the table for the upcoming holiday season.

Thank you again Alison for a fantastic tasting and visit!


PJ said...


When my wife and I were up there back in April we got a similar tour of Sokol Blosser. The gentleman from the tasting room who gave us the tour brought a bottle of wine from each block and it was so cool to have him talk about the block and the flavors you get from the soil, then to be poured a glass from that block! Their barrel room is very impressive as well.

That tour was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, but we haven't yet opened the bottle we got from there. It'll be great to drink it and reminisce.

Thanks for bringing back the awesome memories!

Alison Sokol Blosser said...

Absolutely loved seeing you and meeting Chrissa. Thanks for coming to Oregon and for making another trip out to wine country to see me. London - San Diego - Dundee. Where will we meet up next?!