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2020 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

2020 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
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2020 will always be remembered as a year of epic challenges. For the grapes, a cold wet spring hindered fruit development during bloom and thus gave us the smallest crop since 1998. An exceptionally light crop level historically leads to exceptionally good quality. Loose clusters with big and small berries “hens and chicks,” as we call them, often leads to dark color and richer and more intense flavors. We began harvest on September 3rd and had a good week of bringing in most of our grapes for sparkling wine and all our Pinot Noir for our Rosé program. Then, the winds changed and the fires started. For around seven days a thick fog of smoke hung over Sokol Blosser and the Willamette Valley. During that time the sun was covered, all photosynthesis stopped and the grapes’ development stalled. The smoke event ended in an amazing fury of lightening, thunder, and 1” of rain on the night of September 17th. We then waited for the grapes’ development to progress, taking samples and doing micro-ferments to test for smoke effect. Proceeding slowly and carefully once full maturation had been achieved, we harvested the remainder of our estate fruit feeling incredibly lucky and optimistic.

The grapes were carefully hand harvested at different points in ripeness to capture variety of flavor profiles, making this a more layered wine. Our Pinot Gris is gently whole cluster pressed to minimize the extraction of bitterness from the skins. Fermentation took place with a diversity of yeasts over 14-18 days in stainless steel tanks. The Pinot Gris was aged for 5 months in stainless steel tanks remaining in contact with its fine lees and stirred multiple times during the aging process to broaden the palette and develop weight without high alcohol or sugar. This 2020 blend is made entirely from Sokol Blosser estate grown fruit.

Our 2020 Pinot Gris is bursting with fragrance, featuring peach, ripe pear, honeysuckle, and granite. On the palate, the peach stands out, but is also joined by pineapple and apricot. This is a bright and expressive wine, with crisp acidity and a refreshing finish.

The Pinot Gris is a lighter, crisp wine that is perfect for fresh grilled halibut, summer salads as well as creamy dishes like a classic Fettucini Alfredo.

2019 - (91) James Suckling
2018 - (91) James Suckling, (90) Wine Enthusiast

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