The spring of 2018 was warmer than the average over the previous 10 years, and fairly dry. Bud break happened in mid-April and Bloom in early June, which can be a treacherous undertaking as the spring weather can mess up a healthy flowering. A giant hail storm descended on the Dundee Hills in early June, but luckily none of our Sokol Blosser Estate crop was ruined. The summer started like one giant furnace; July was a hot month and we had a lot of above 90 degree days. Just when it seemed like the hot weather would not stop, August came and more moderate weather with it. This helped slow the ripening down, and even cooler weather in September allowed us to let the grapes hang longer, resulting in riper fruit without additional sugar accumulation. The 2018 vintage is our coolest growing season since 2012, and we believe it will be our best vintage since then.
The grapes were carefully hand harvested over several days in the end of September. They were then sorted by hand on the crush pad to remove any flawed bunches. Half the of block was de-stemmed directly into several 3-ton stainless steel fermenters. The other half was not destemmed and fermented separately as an entirely whole cluster fermentation vessel. Both groups of fermenters were inoculated with commercial yeast. Cap management for the whole cluster portion was done with pumpovers while the destemmed portion was managed with punchdowns. The wine from this block was drained and pressed off the skins immediately following primary fermentation with 15-20 days of skin contact time. This wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels with 20% new oak for 17 months with minimal SO2 levels.
Our 2018 Blackberry Block Pinot Noir is a delicate wine with notes of dark berries, wet forest floor, and hints of tobacco and leather. The palate has black cherry, blackberry, and leather with a touch of earthiness.
Pair with rich Italian pastas like lamb sugo or mushroom ragu.
The Blackberry Block is the first piece of land purchased by Alison and Alex Sokol Blosser when they succeeded Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser in the family business. It was named for the 20+ years of untamed growth of blackberry bushes throughout the block. Despite all the hard work to prepare the land for planting in 2008, it now thrives as one of Sokol Blosser’s Cellar Club designated wines.
To join the club, and the fun, visit our Cellar Club page!
If you appreciate the characteristics of Blackberry Block, you will also enjoy wines from our Goosepen Block!