Sokol Blosser Tasting along the Willamette River
The beautiful Valley River Inn, located on the banks of the Willamette River in Eugene, Oregon, recently started weekly wine tastings on their relaxing riverside deck. Their first wine tasting took place last Thursday, August 2, and a colleague and I had just wrapped up a meeting at Valley River Inn regarding a large scale wine event we’ve been working on, so we decided to sit riverside and sample the wines of the featured winery: Sokol Blosser out of Dundee, Oregon.
Sokol Blosser Winery was founded in 1971 by Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser. Taken from their website, their passion for Pinot Noir in the early seventies has since turned into an Oregon wine industry legacy:
“1970 was winding down when our founders, Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser pulled their ’68 VW Camper up to an abandoned prune orchard some 30 miles southwest of Portland. These moonstruck kids had little farming experience and just a basic knowledge of winemaking. What they did have, in abundance, was a passion for growing the Pinot Noir grape and creating world-class wine. Soon after settling on this extraordinary land, they planted their first vines and cinched their place as pioneers in Oregon’s budding wine industry.”
Fast forward to 2012, and the second generation of Sokol Blosser’s, son Alex and daughter Allison, are now co-President’s of the family’s thriving business. In addition to Pinot Noir, Sokol Blosser offers Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat, Rosé of Pinot Noir, a blended red and a blended white.
The four Sokol Blosser wines being poured for the tasting at Valley River Inn were the 2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir, 2009 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Evolution Red 2nd Edition and Evolution White 15th Edition.
2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir: Salmon hued in the glass with aromas of strawberries. On the palate, super dry, super crisp, super refreshing. Flavors of lemon zest and fresh strawberries round out with an acidic backbone. Excellent summer sipper – this refreshing Rosé is definitely my kind of Rosé .
2009 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir: Beautiful ruby garnet in the glass, this light bodied Pinot Noir displays aromas and flavors of blackberry, cranberry, leather, earth and pie spice. It’s really delicious and it’s a true depiction of the characteristics found so often in Dundee Pinot Noirs. This is a Pinot that’s light enough to be enjoyed all summer long, but will also be delectable alongside roasted turkey on Thanksgiving.
Evolution Red, 2nd Edition: Black currants and cinnamon, in both aroma and flavor create a complex bold blend. If I hadn’t just ordered an appetizer of Manila Steamed Clams, I probably would have ordered a glass of the Evolution Red – it’s a fun blend that I think most anyone would enjoy.
Evolution White, 15th Edition: Nine different varietals were used in yet another fun blend from Sokol Blosser. Of what I think was mainly Chardonnay with eight other varietals, this golden hued beauty had a touch of sweetness to it. Up front, flavors of ripe melon and vanilla with a silky texture end with a hint of honey and tiny bit of lemon. It was interesting and enjoyable, so I ordered a glass thinking it would be a decent pairing with the Manila Clams.
Although the Evolution White was very good with the clams, in retrospect, I think the Rosé would have been an outstanding match with its zesty lemon finish. Regardless, it was excellent on a hot summer afternoon while relaxing riverside.
For next Thursday’s wine tasting at Valley River Inn, check my weekly column on Eugene Daily News: Wine Down Eugene. The listing will include the times and featured winery; in addition to, wine related events happening in the southern Willamette Valley. Wine Down Eugene is published every Wednesday.