We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
Summer is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, which means lots and lots of crisp white wines and Rosé. However, most of us are still determined to enjoy our back patios with a red wine in hand, which is where lighter bodied wines, like Pinot Noir, come in handy. This grape variety comes in many forms, and is shaped by where it was grown, and is also dependent on the winemaker’s stylistic approach. One thing is for certain, Pinot Noir pairs with so many different types of food, which makes it a brilliant component to any wine-driven social event. The soft tannins and overall gentle nature of most Pinots, makes it one of the most versatile wines on the planet.
The wine up for review is a Pinot Noir from the Sokol Blosser family called Evolution. This is a food friendly wine designed from the ground up to drink in its youth, and to provide great structure for such a youngster. This wine was grown in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley AVA in Oregon. This area truly is ground zero for world class Pinot Noir in the USA, and I am always excited to try something new from this part of our world. The 2014 growing season was unusually warm and dry, but not overly hot. The typical diurnal shift at night was lessened as well, offering warm days and warm nights. Despite the warmer than normal temperatures and arid summer, this vintage produced the largest crop ever seen at Sokol Blosser, and the quality was high, making it an optimal year for great wines.
Once the cork is popped, the wine pours a light garnet into the glass. This wine is still a bit tight upon opening, but a little agitation via glass swirling begins to unlock the aromas. Notes of strawberries, cranberry, baking spices, and a little smoke envelop nasal passages. The palate is very similar, but offers more of a meaty and smoky profile vs. the aromatics. The wine offers a tad more mouthfeel than I originally anticipated based on the nose alone. The finish is long and elegant.
- Sokol Blosser Evolution Pinot Noir, 2014 vintage
- Appellation: Oregon, Willamette Valley AVA, Dundee Hills
- Grape Varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
- Barrels: 85% aged in stainless steel tanks, 15% in neutral oak for 5 months
- Clarity/brightness: Clear/bright with no detectable flaws, and no evidence of gas or sediment
- Tannins: Medium to low
- Acidity: High
- Alcohol: Medium
- Finish: Long
- Alcohol by volume: 14.0%
- Retail price: $20.00 per bottle, at the time of review
As the winery states, this is a bottle of Pinot Noir meant to be enjoyed young, and with food. We paired it with seared chicken breast over a bed of rice, topped with a Roussanne infused white sauce. I must say, the pairing was quite nice. This wine is an easy drinker, best served with friends and family on a warm summer day. It is drinking quite well now, but I see much improvement on the horizon as it bottle ages. I recommend to forcefully decant it now, to really bring out more complexity and body on the palate. As the Evolution cork cap states; Eat. Drink. Repeat.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.