For my 29th birthday, two of my closest friends each happened to buy me a bottle of Pinot Noir and both happened to be from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. My friends know the way to my heart – with wine! Plus, Pinot Noir is one of my favorite red varietals. Needless to say, I was stoked to see how two different wines of the same varietal from the same wine region would compare when tasted side by side.
Van Duzer 2014 Pinot Noir
The grapes for the Van Duzer 2014 Pinot Noir mostly come from the Van Duzer estate vineyards located at the mouth of the Van Duzer forest corridor. These vineyards receive a significant marine wind influence because of their location, making prime growing conditions for this finicky variety which requires a cooler climate to thrive.
The Van Duzer Pinot was a deep, luscious purple. Upon tasting the wine, my palate first got the sense of a very rainy day in Oregon. A little bit of musty earth and wet wood. I picked up subtle notes of dried cherries and wild strawberries. The finish held a lot of eucalyptus and even some cracked pepper with licorice and other barrel-driven spices. The Van Duzer 2014 Pinot Noir tasted unlike any other Pinot Noir I had before. I enjoyed the wine for its unique characteristics, however I didn’t feel that it was the most easy drinking.
Sokul Blosser 2014 Evolution Pinot Noir
Same vintage, same appellation, yet wholly different wine! Got to love the magic of winemaking. Sokul Blosser’s 2014 Evolution Pinot Noir was extremely easy drinking. So much so that I may have drank the bottle by myself in one sitting… The Evolution was much lighter than the Van Duzer, with tart and tangy notes of pomegranate, cherry, and raspberry. The wine was aged in stainless steel, so it was lacking in the heavier spice notes of the Van Duzer wine. Self-proclaimed as “food’s best friend,” this wine would pair well with virtually any dish you can dream up.
Evolution was definitely the winner for me! Now to plan a trip to explore the Willamette Valley…