Splendor in the Glass

Arturo Ciompi's blog on wine

Colorful Wines

Tag icon Published under Weekly Tastings

Clock icon June 2, 2013

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A rosé that looks like a Pinot Noir and a Pinot that looks very similar but, oh, what a difference!

Today’s rosé comes in a squat bottle with the wine itself a very dark cranberry shade – the color of many Pinot Noirs! ( I understand that the dark skin of these indigenous Portuguese grapes creates such a deep color.) I can’t say that I thought it looked promising. But the beauty is IN the bottle and this low-alcohol (11.5 %), Portuguese pleaser will enliven many a picnic this summer.

  •  2012 Vera, Vinho Verde Rosé Wine, Cabeceiras De Basto, Portugal $11 srp

A deep cranberry, red coral color with light bubbles hugging the walls of the glass. Nose of Morello cherry, with orange zest overtones; seemingly an easy-going, frothy delight. But the flavors are more penetratingly direct, light on their feet with good acids on a rather dry finish. Cherry and strawberry flavors dominate with nary a hint of heaviness or mouth-tiring sugars. ( 60% Vinhao, [Souzao] 40%Rabo de Anho) Begs for grilled cod, scallops or a light chicken salad. Drink now.

86/100 points

P.S. Anyone remember Paul Masson’s “Rare Souzao Port?” That’s the last time I ever saw the Souzao (Sousao) grape used.

Nota Bene: The photo is of the 2011 vintage.


wine 1757At a recent Pinot Noir blind tasting, this Oregon wine stood out among its brethren from California, Burgundy and New Zealand. Although this may be a bit hard to find at retail, it’s worth the search. Tasted two years ago, the oak seemed a bit prominent. But what a supple, round package it is today.


  • 2008 Antica Terra Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills $48 srp

Beautiful deep crimson and cranberry color. Pretty yet powerful impression on the nose with floral spices and flower garden sensations. A wild berry, dark cherry bouquet with earth and forest elements. Juicy berry flavors enhanced by leather, minerality and a tallow-like richness. Yet, it’s overall subtle with a balance that belies its richness.  I thought it was a Gevrey-Chambertain! Drink now-2016.

93/100 points

Sokol Blosser

Tag icon Published under Weekly Tastings

Clock icon April 7, 2013

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Sokol Blosser is one of Oregon’s oldest wineries (1971) with a long history of excellent Pinor Noir production under its Dundee Hills belt. Its famous red soil suits many grape varieties, and Sokol Blosser used to make a radically different, but very tasty, red called Meditrina. Their newest red blend, Evolution, (now in its second vintage) follows a similar path. I’m not sure if Evolution also features Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel (!), but, having now tasted it, I wouldn’t be surprised. This is a fanciful bottling–sleek, smooth and sexy!

Evolution 2nd Edition, Sokol Blosser Winery, Dundee Hills, Oregon $17 srp

Mid-summer nose of powerful floral scents, with baked stone, coffee and spicy berry notes. A soft, elegant mouth texture with savory plum, cherry and generous meaty elements. Very smooth, lingering finish. Could take a little chill if consumed at a cookout. Daringly different and enjoyable. Drink now-2014.

89/100 points



2011 Pinot Gris, Sokol Blosser, Willamette Valley $20 srp

Yellow-grey glint of color. A charming, lithe nose w/lush tropical elements held in check by a steely “cut” on the nose. Totally inviting with suggestions of banana and Passion Fruit. Very dry mouth entry with crisp green apple fruit and mouth-cleansing structure. A great foil for oily fish or simple roast poultry.

88/100 points


Evolution White, 16th edition, Sokol Blosser $17 srp

Low key, gentle nose of melon, pear and juicy apple. Somewhat Vouvray-like, hinting at light sweetness. Lilting fruit elements on a linear, just off-dry palate. Good acids on the refreshing finish and a good bet for summer pasta or Quinoa salads or grilled shrimp. Most pleasing.

89/100 points

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