Second Generation Vintners is collaboration between the siblings at Elk Cove, Ponzi, and Sokol Blosser. Founded in Oregon’s Willamette Valley during the early 1970’s , each winery was built on the mutual vision of making world-class Pinot Noir.
A tasting of the wines was held at the Astor Center in NYC. This was one of the most unique tastings that I have ever attended.
Elk Cove Vineyards: Adam Campbell
Ponzi: Luisa Ponzi
Sokol Blosser: Alex Sokol Blosser and Co- President
There were 9 wines divided into 3 flights. Each of the winemakers produced 1 wine from 3 different vineyards. The vineyards: La Bohéome, Madrona Vineyard and Old Vineyard Block
Elk Cove La Bohéme Vineyard planted in 1985 from cuttings from their best vineyards on the western side of the property. Adam said the soil is marine sediment, the AVA is Yamhill-Carlton, elevation is 800 ft, spacing is 7×6 and the clone is Pommard on its own roots. The estate’s vineyards stretch from the Yamhill-Carlton hillsides to the peaks of the Chehalem Mountains.
Luisa Ponzi 100% destemmed, inoculated with commercial yeast and fermented in an upright oak tank. The wine was aged in French oak 20% new. Luisa said there was a long fermentation of 21 days. This is a wine with a lot of red fruit, with hints of cherry and almost cherry candy like in the finish.
Alex Sokel Blosser 100% destemmed, and inoculated with commercial yeast. Fermentation was in an oak upright tank with punching down. The wine was aged in French oak 20% new. Alex said his section of grapes was not ready to be picked until two weeks later than the others. This is a wine with nice fruit, a hint of spice and a hint of vanilla.
Ponzi: Madrona Vineyard Luisa said it is a 10-acre vineyard and was planted in 1985. It is one block of soil. The soil is called Laurelwood (a basalt base covered with ice age wind blown sedimentary soils) this is the youngest soil in the valley. The elevation is 300 to 450ft and the exposure is southeast. Spacing is 8×3 and the Clones: Pommard own-rooted. The winery is in the northernmost part of the valley in what is known as the Chelalem Mountains AVA.
Adam said he used 85% whole clusters and the wine was “dumped over” not punched down. William Seylem yeast was used and the wine was aged in French oak 25% new. The wine had hints of red berries, cherries and spice. It was the most approachable and if I had to chose a wine to drink with lunch today this would be the one.
Louisa said she used 50% whole clusters and there was a 7 day post fermentation with 35 days in the fermenter, ambient yeast fermentation. The wine was aged for 25 days in French oak, 25% new. This was the most tannic wine I tasted so far but there was enough ripe fruit to cover it. This is a wine that will age.
Alex said there was 100% destemming, ambient yeast and fermentation in an oak upright tank. The wine is aged in French oak 20% new for 10 months. The wine had hints of raspberries and cherry and a touch of spice. Good acidity in a wine is very important to him.
Sokol Blosser Old Vineyard Block The vineyard was planted in 1971 and replanted in 2007. The soil is called Jory (Volcanic) and the vines do not have to struggle too much. Elevation is 500ft. Spacing is 7×5. Clones: Pommard on 428H rootstock. AVA is Dundee Hills, 30 miles SW of Portland, in Yamhill County in the northern Willamette Valley.
Adam used 85% whole cluster, dump over, no punching down, William Seylem yeast and the wine was aged in French oak 25% new. The wine has hints of red fruit ,cherry and spice. I found the wines made by Adam to be the most approachable and have the softest tannins.
Louisa said there was 100% destemming, and 10% saignee added on the second day and ambient yeast fermentation. This wine had the most tannin, which I believe is part of the Ponzi style. This is the most structured of the wines with hints of blackberries, cassis, plum and a hint of hazelnut.
Alex Said there was 100% destemming and a house yeast was used for fermentation and aged in new Mercury Prestige French oak barrel. This is a wine with hints of cherry and raspberries and a touch of spice.
I found Alex’s wines to be somewhere between the style of Adam and Louise.
Some of the wines have a touch of vanilla and Alex said that would go away with age.
One of the members of the audience in response to a question from Alex said the 3 wines they liked the best were those made by the winemakers from their own vineyards and I would have to agree.
The last wine was the 2GV 2017 Pinot Noir Cuvee from 3 vineyards: 36% Madrona, 32% Boheme and 32% Old Vineyard Block.
Alex said this wine is a blend made by three-second generation, sibling-run wineries, incorporating three estate vineyards, three AVA’s and three different wine makers. This wine had hints of red and black fruit with hints of cherry, blueberries and a note of spice.
Also at the tasting: Anna Maria Ponzi, President of Ponzi
Alison Sokol Blosser, Co- President
Anna Campbell Elk Cove Vineyards, Creative Director.
This was a Oregon Original and true Second Generation Family wine event.