With turkey time upon us, it was the right moment to pull out the Willamette Pinot Noir purchased during a August trip to that favourite AVA.
Dundee Hills is the ‘epicentre’ of Pinot Noir in Oregon and its soil and elevation are the reasons why. There was a flood about 15,000 years ago during which sediment was deposited throughout the region below the 200 foot mark. Everything above 200 ft is red lava-based Jory soil (reddish silt, clay and loam) and perfect for vine growing. The micro-climate is drier and warmer than the surrounding AVAs. Combined with the Jory soils, these factors make this part of the Willamette most desirable.
Several families including the Sokol Blossers recognized this and started planting vines over 40 years ago. I’ve had several of their wines before and tasted others at industry tastings here in Vancouver. So, this summer we were excited to see their new building and learn about all their current wine and sustainability adventures.
This Pinot Noir from their Big Tree Block was clear and bright, medium garnet with legs. On the nose it was clean with medium plus intensity and aromas of cedar, red fruit, cherry, clove, pepper and a distinct rhubarb.
The palate was dry with high alcohol, medium acidity, medium body and medium plus intensity with medium and fine-grained tannins. The flavour characteristics included baked strawberry, cedar frond, cherry, baking spices (more clove) and white pepper and the finish was medium plus.
This is a WSET ‘very good’ wine that has lovely fruit and some complexity, was well balanced and with the tannin, acidity and fruit may go a while longer (3-5).