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 DundeeHills 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 2018vintage is our coolest growing season since 2012, and we believe it will be our best vintage since then.
The grapes from this block were carefully hand harvested on September 19th. The clusters were then sorted by hand to remove any flawed bunches and 100% de-stemmed directly into their fermentation vessels, 1/3 going in to an oak upright fermenter and the other 2/3 in 3 ton stainless steel fermenters. The wine was inoculated with our house native yeast and spent 24 days on the skins with cap management done by a combination of pump overs and punch downs. After being pressed at dryness the wine was aged entirely in French oak barrels for 18 months with with 17%new oak.2018 had such luscious fruit it was important that it really shined through, which is why we used less new oak. We use primarily one cooper of barrels to age this wine in and their highest end barrel. 18 barrels were hand selected for this blend.
Our 2018 Goosepen Block Estate Pinot Noir exhibits fragrances of black cherry, licorice and leather, with more cherry and licorice on the palate followed by a dash of clove.
This wine pairs really well with anything off the grill, from rib eye cap to portobello mushrooms.
When Alex Sokol Blosser (our winemaker) was growing up, this block was not planted to pinot noir, but riesling. During this time Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser tried their infamous and failed experiment of fencing it in and releasing a flock of geese to consume the grass. Since then, the Sokol Blosser’s have always called it “Goosepen.” When we had to re-plant the block due to Phylloxera, it was decided that the highest and best use of that site was for pinot noir and not for riesling. This was not a failed experiment. To this day, Goosepen is Alex’s favorite of our single vineyard blocks.It does not have the rich tannins of its northern neighbor, Big Tree, nor the finesse of the OrchardBlock. It has fruit. A lot of rich fruit that can be heavy some years (2014) and complex in other years(2012 and 2015). Drinking a glass of Goosepen always reminds Alex that experimenting is a two edge sword; sometimes you get the goose, and sometimes the goose gets you