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2014 The Stalker Pinot Noir

2014 The Stalker Pinot Noir
2014 The Stalker Pinot Noir

ABOUT THE STALKER PINOT NOIR

A wine unlike anything else in the wine world. A blend of our premier estate fruit from Rollin and Corby's Wits' End Vineyards. The Stalker uses a unique winemaking method developed by Rollin in which the grapes are destemmed, the stems are then aged and added back to the fermenting wine. This allows for a wine with bright and pure fruit on the front palate and a richly defined tannic backbone that provides a level of complexity unparalleled in Pinot Noir.

THE STALKER WINEMAKING PROCESS

"There are a few ways that winemakers use grape stalks to flavor thier wines... and then there's my way. While I've never been a fan of whole cluster fermentation for my wines, I am influenced by the way the Valpolicella region of Italy age whole clusters. I also agree with the late winemaker, Aaron Hess' distaste for fresh stalks. And, I have an abiding love of whole berry fermentation. With these preferences in mind, I took a 'walk on the wild side' to produce a unique Stalker Pinot Noir. I found a technique allowing 100% of the stems to age for 10 days before being incorporated into the Pinot Noir berries at the start of fermentation. The rest of the process will remain a mystery. I can tell you that it takes a heck of a lot of manual work, but the results in a wine with spice-laced tannin from the stalks, without the "greenness" of a traditional whole cluster press, similar to the stylings of Mescal. The unexpected surprise in an increased sense of mid-palate texture. After fermentation, the pressing and barreling remains the same as for our other Pinot Noirs. The wine is aged in a mix of new to three-year-old French oak barrels for at least 18 months." -Rollin Soles, Winemaker

2014 VINTAGE NOTES

The 2014 growing season started out beautifully and stayed that way to the end. The gentle warm weather allowed the grape flowers to pollenate in large numbers resulting in many grape clusters. The summer was dry and sunny but ended in some rain. These cold rain events at the end of August and mid September were very welcomed. The precipitation perked the vines up delivering extraordinary fruit. The fruit was harvested from September 11th to October 5th. The sparkling wine grapse showed ripe fruit and high acidity.

90 Wine Spectator

WINEMAKER TASTING NOTES

Brambly and black peppercorn spice driven aromatics compliment the ripe, black cherry fruit on the nose. The profound chunky structure and the mid-palate notes of sandalwood is paired with rich, black cap raspberry, gooseberry and lilac. Full, grain leather and wet stone come through on this powerful finish. 

-Rollin Soles, Winemaker

Vintage2014
Varietal100% Pinot Noir
AppellationYamhill-Carlton AVA
VineyardMarsh Estate Vineyard & Wits' End Vineyard
Aging18 Months
Alcohol14.00%
Volume750 ml

90 Wine Spectator 

"Firm in texture, with black pepper accents to the black plum, cherry and floral flavors, finishing with a chocolate note on a taut frame. Best from 2018 through 2024." -H.S., 02/17

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