2021 was the 2nd warmest growing season we have ever seen since 2015. We also got to add a new term to the dictionary: "Heat Dome". Three straight days of triple digit temperatures in late June breaking heat records for the Willamette Valley. Bud break started like usual in the middle of April. We had the driest March through May that the Willamette Valley has seen through 128 years of record keeping! Bloom also appeared on time in early/mid June. While late June brought the “Heat Dome”, our grapes made it through thanks to bloom being finished at all our sites and there still being soil moisture, so they grew like crazy over those three days of hellish temperatures. While July and August turned out to be exceedingly hot and dry, September arrived with little rain which that allowed us to fully ripen the grapes. The hot and dry summer made for fruit that was extremely clean, resulting in excellent fermentations. All in all, mother nature gave us something to be grateful for on our 50th anniversary.
The grapes from this block were carefully hand harvested on September 14th. The clusters were then sorted by hand to remove any flawed bunches and 100% de-stemmed directly into three ton stainless steel fermenters. Ambient fermentation was allowed to take place naturally with cap management by punch-downs. Once the fermentation process was finished, the wine was pressed off the skins at dryness and barreled down in 100% French oak barrels with 8% new oak and 25% neutral, and left to age for 16 months before bottling.
The nose is red fruit forward with a hint of spice. On the palate red cherry, black cherry, raspberry, and red currant. Very smooth, well rounded between tannins and fruit characteristics with a medium plus finish.
Pair with a miso-mushroom risotto, lamb or chicken gyro, and bold cheeses.
When Alex Sokol Blosser was growing up, this block was not planted to PinotNoir, but to 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 Orchard Block. 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!