My wife and I went out to dinner last night and faced our normal quandry. I love rich red wine, but I typically like to order fish when we go out to a good restaurant. My wife favors red meat, yet she prefers white wine (or light reds). So, we decided on Pinot Noir ... again.
The wine list still had a 2002 Oregon Pinot listed, so I inquired about it. Alas, the cupboard was bare on the 2002's. Our server brought out two bottles for us to consider: 2004 Van Duzer and 2003 Sokol Blosser. Neither was a designated vineyard bottling.
I recall not liking the Van Duzer wines many years ago, but tasted some better ones after a new wine maker showed up. I wasn't sure about that 2004 vintage, however. The server suggested we try it, and if it was not to our liking, we could try something else. How could we lose?
The 2004 Van Duzer Pinot Noir was rather raw tasting, and simply not very appealing to us. As promised, the bottle was removed from further consideration.
The 2003 Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir was a different story altogether. It was definitely tight initially, but vigourous swirling ensured it was ready to complement our starters: my oyster stew and her dungeness crab cakes. It then opened up quite nicely during the wait for our entrees. It stood up well to my wife's filet mignon, and went quite nicely with my halibut baked with coriander and panko coating.