2014 Marsh Estate Vineyard Chardonnay
93 Wine Enthusiast
91 Wine Spectator
Winemaker Tasting Notes:
Some of the greatest Chardonnays in the world express a lovely floral aroma when young and this Marsh Estate has this rare characteristic. There are profound notes of Bosc pear blossom alongside fresh rose petal with a hint of chamomile on the nose. The palate is electric with a refreshing acidity framed by a citrus lemon crème and the promise of nectarine and honey comb in its age worthy future. This wine has a combination of depth and finesse and lively finish.
- Rollin Soles, Winemaker
Winemaker’s Production Notes
ROCO Chardonnay is handpicked and then chilled overnight to 38° F in our large cold room. The chilled bunches are then pressed in our modern tank press and the juice is sent to the tank. After settling in the tank, the juice is inoculated and racked to neutral oak barrels where it completes fermentation.
After primary fermentation is complete, the young wine is allowed to go through Malo-lactic fermentation in order to soften the acidity and to add further complexity. After MLF, the wines are racked to a mix of barrels comprised of approximately 15-20% new and 80% neutral French oak. There they rest for five months or more before bottling.
Winemaker’s Vintage Notes
The 2014 growing season started out beautifully and ended up that way too, rich and wonderful. The gentle warm weather allowed the grape flowers to pollenate in large numbers resulting in many grape clusters. We knew then that we would spend a lot of money thinning clusters so that we wouldn’t have too much fruit on the vines.
Fifty days after flower bloom, we estimated our final crop load and made plans to thin. We cut off half to 2/3 of our young, green fruit clusters to ensure full ripeness in our wines. The cost of this work is HIGHER than the cost of harvesting. After experiencing other warm vintages like 2006, 2003, and 2009…we knew what to do! The summer continued to be dry and sunny. (If all our summers were like this we’d have 30 million residents in Oregon instead of 4 million!)
June to September was VERY dry. Fortunately, we have irrigation available at the majority of ROCO vineyard sites. Cold rain events at the end of August and mid September were very welcomed. I think this bit of precipitation perked the vines up, delivering extraordinary fruit. We harvested fruit from the 11th of September to 5th of October.
Sparkling wine grapes showed ripe fruit and high acidity. The Chardonnay came in delicious and complex. While the Pinot Noirs were exceptionally dark colored, powerful, textured and balanced.