United States > Oregon > Rosé of Pinot Noir

Sokol Blosser Rosé of Pinot Noir

Country: United States
Region: Oregon
Producer: Sokol Blosser
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2011
Found at: Co-op Wines and Spirits, Willow Park Wines and Spirits  (or see Liquor Connect and enter your postal code)
Price: $16.99 – 18.39

About the region: The first time we visited the United States, we had some Zinfandel from California: a wine marked by dark fruit flavours. Most California Zinfandel is actually made into inexpensive, simple, generally off-dry rosé, known as White Zinfandel though. For a rosé with somewhat more character than the average White Zinfandel, we make our way North, up the Pacific coast, to Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, and even more specifically, the Dundee Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area, similar to the Canadian VQA designation).

Summers here are warm and dry, but because the Valley lies rather close to the Pacific, this then provides a cooling effect. Due to the moderating effect of the ocean, the Willamette Valley, and Dundee Hills specifically, are ideally suited for the world’s best known cool-climate black grape variety: the Pinot Noir. In fact, the valley has developed such a reputation for growing high quality Pinot Noir that several wine producers from Burgundy (Pinot Noir’s homeland) have now setup shop in the Valley. Most prominently among them: Domaine Drouhin.

About the wine: Most rosés are made by limiting the amount of contact that the red grape juice has with the red grape skins. So whereas for red wine, the skins stay in contact with the juice for the entirety of the fermentation process, for rosé the juice is separated from the skins anywhere from immediately after pressing up to 48 hours after fermentation getting underway. The less contact with the skins, the paler the rosé will be. Note that for some inexpensive rosé (I refer to the aforementioned White Zinfandel as a frequent example), a small quantity of red wine is added to a white wine to create the wine.

As of 2008, Sokol Blosser is run by brother and sister Alex and Alison Sokol Blosser. Their parents were at the forefront of Oregon’s wine industry, planting their first vines in 1971, following pioneers David Lett (Eyrie Vineyards) and Dick Erath (Erath Winery). One of the hallmarks of their winery is their dedication to sustainable farming: they adhere to certified organic farming, sustainable business practices, and low impact packaging.

Their rosé shows classic strawberry and melon aromas and flavours, as well as green apple, lemon peel, and a hint of white pepper, which gives this quite a bit more complexity and character than you would expect from a rosé. It’s showing above-average acidity, which makes it a perfect wine to sip on the wam summer days we’re currently experiencing. At below $20, this is great value and Susanne and I reached the bottom of the bottle rather quickly last night.

In Susanne’s words: pretty but sour.

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