Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dundee Hills Oregon Wine Tasting @Sokol Blosser Vineyards #WBC12

We've just had a snowstorm.  It s January 2013, I've poured myself a glass of scotch, sat down at the computer, and now I am reminiscing about the Dundee Hills in Oregon.

August 2012  The first cork was popped by Sokol Blosser's Jenny Mosbacher on the bus. (now THAT's hosptality!)  I was traveling with my favorite wine professionals, Luiz, his wife Nanci #WINELOVER, Valerie #CHEZVINO, and forty or so other close wine blogging fiends (that is a freudian typo for friends!) from the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference.

The white wine that we sipped from plastic cups as we drove through Portland, Oregon to the Dundee Hills is lost to my distant memory, but was good, and a great way to introduce us to the amazing regon that is the Dundee Hills.  I had already fallen in love with Anam Cara wine at Valerie's birthday party just days before, but little did I know what was to come....

The event was held in the bosom of the rolling Dundee Hills, at Sokol Blosser Family Estate.  The area is beautiful, and good for growing grapes too.  After a outdoor tour and lecture on the terroir (really, I just used the word terroir in a sentence, and my head didn't explode) from Argyle Winery's wine maker Rollin Soles, we were ushered into the Sokol Blosser fermenting room for a tasting provided by the local wineries.

I am biased to bubbly.  The first wine I tasted was a sparkling wine from Argyle, their `09 Brute.  I may have yelled at Rollin "Why don't you sell this in London?!?"  It was my favorite of the night, and to this day remains my favorite American sparkling wine. It rocked my world (and I was still sober).

But why stop there?  I love writing about wine because it affords me the opportunity to taste so many fantastic/uncommon/small production types.  Lang Pinot Gris, Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir, they stand out as delicious wines that I really liked.  What started as a Trader Joe's Wine Shop blog has turned into my own personal discoveries, and had led me on adventures that are ripped from the pages of romance novels. REALLY. But I write about those stories on my private "50 Shades of Wine Writing" blog.

Meanwhile, after a cold shower of Bronco Chardonnay... back to the tasting.

PINOT NOIR.  Yeah, Oregon rocks it.  The Stoller Pinot Noir Rose (no one can buy that anymore, it was delicious, and it went FAST).  Whew, I went back for more.  In between sips, I realized that I was living the life that Thomas Jefferson WISHED he could have had.  I was tasting premium American grown and made wine from Lewis and Clarke's backyard. I have live in Europe.  I have tasted the centuries old traditional wine, and it is great, as it should be.  But in the Dundee Hills?  I was drinking something distinctly American, Rollin is a man who wears a cowboy hat in the hot August sun, and looks the part, but he can hold his own with his peers from Maison Jaquesson.  After all, they are ultimately farmers, just with a different accent.

Sure, it's roots are European, and that shows, but we now"own" it.  As I sat with the LA rooted brand ambassador Lee Medina from Sokol Blosser over dinner on the patio with my Canadian, and Brazilian American friends, we were living Jefferson's dream, watching the sun set and planning for our futures. We've done it.  There is great wine to be had, and we don't need to fly to France to taste it.

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