From the very start of my wine journey – I’ve always loved red wines. Especially red blends. In addition to growing excellent pinot noir, Oregon can impress with it’s large bodied reds. There are many big red varietals (i.e. cabernet sauvignon, tempranillo, or merlot) that are grown in Southern Oregon because of the warmer climate. However, today’s selection is from a little further north.
Sokol Blosser is a winery with a long history. They are one of the founding wineries of Oregon, having released their first vintage back in 1977. Since the beginning of their production, they have been known for high quality wines and for their green approach to production. They are LIVE certified (Low Input Viticulture and Enology), and were one of the first wineries to be pronounced “salmon safe” by not using harmful pesticides that hurt the salmon population.
Sixteen years ago, Sokol Blosser released the first edition of a wine called “Evolution”. It was a white blend made from 9 different grapes and was an immediate hit. I did a review (Read it here) about a year ago and fell in love with it. It had the right amount of sweetness and a slight bubbly mouth feel – so good. When I saw they had made a red version properly titled “Evolution Red”, it was a no brainer. I had to try it.
The great thing about red blends is that they usually are a great price point, and the mixing of different varietals can be very complimentary. The Evolution Red is a blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano (a grape originally from the Abruzzo region in the east-central part of italy). Now any blend that has Syrah in it is going to a be big bodied treat. This wine definitely delivered.
In the glass it poured a deep, rich, purple color. It was beautiful. On the nose it had hints of cracked pepper and blackberries, and crisp minerality. I knew right away that it wasn’t going to be too sweet which for me was a real plus. The first sip was medium bodied, with flavors of dark cherry and white pepper popping through. It had hint of dryness from the remaining tannins but all in all was a smooth finish.
As per usual, I drank this wine solo while watching a new flick on Netfix, but this wine is dying to be eaten with food. The dark berry flavors mixed with the perfect amount of tannins would pair really well with many different options. A rich lamb stew would be my vote though. This wine would cut through the fat and be the perfect fit. The best part of this whole experience was the price point. For only $15 a bottle, this was wine was a great deal. So versatile, and perfect for the upcoming winter months. I know I’ll be stocking up. Cheers!