Alison Sokol Blosser, representing the second generation of this family-owned estate, came to Kalamazoo to present her estate's wines Wednesday evening at a wine dinner organized by D&W Market at Fuze Kitchen & Bar. It was my introduction to an impressive range of Sokol Blosser wines, now run jointly by Alison and her brother, Alex.
What impressed me most is the ability of Sokol Blosser to offer the consumer-friendly Evolution line of wines at a reasonable price while continuing to produce high quality wines of place through environmentally friendly practices. The vineyards are 100% organic with plantings of lavender, yarrow, rudbeckia and Russian sage to provide habitats for beneficial insects. The underground cellar is the first in the country to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Solar and wind energy are used and everything at the winery--from office paper to shrink wrap--is recycled.
I liked the Willamette Pinot Gris and the Evolution Sparkling Brut and Big Red Blend. But the wine that attracted me to the tasting was the Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, and I was not disappointed. Before this wine was poured, the wine representative went around the room offering tastes of the Evolution Pinot Noir. It was very good but no match at all for the exceptional Dundee Hills.
What Alison's brother Alex, the winemaker, strives for in Pinot Noir is finesse. This wine has finesse, of course, but also incredible concentration and depth. Black cherry, blueberries and intense French oak highlights. Notes of black raspberry and spice. A hint of orange peel. This wine is lovely tonight, but I want to see what it tastes like 5 to 10 years from now. For those who attended the dinner, D&W is offering this wine for $26.99--an incredible value.