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2015 The Stalker Pinot Noir

2015 The Stalker Pinot Noir
2015 The Stalker Pinot Noir

ABOUT THE STALKER PINOT NOIR

The Stalker Pinot Noir is a unique wine. The fermentation style was developed by ROCO’s owner/winemaker, Rollin Soles in a quest to develop deeper, richer flavors in a Pinot Noir without adding heavy, over-the-top green tannins. The name refers to Rollin’s time in Australia, where they call the grape stems ‘stalks’. The label features Rollin being “stalked” by our logo, a Thunderbird: It was conceptualized by his wife and co-owner, Corby Stonebraker-Soles and was carved into a linoleum block for printing.

 

2015 VINTAGE NOTES

This growing season was one of those warm, sunny experiences that we all desire in the often challenging Willamette Valley. Other than a spot of high temperatures, nearly the entirety of August punched in at the 80’s with clear blue skies. Virtually no precipitation occurred all summer long. On August 28-30th we received a refreshing 1.3 inches of rain, which perked up the vines, the acid bounced back and fruit flavors became lively once again. We were able to pick at optimum ripeness beginning around September 4th through September 23rd.

 

WINEMAKING PROCCESS

Hand picked Pinot Noir grapes are chilled overnight to 40F. The next day, whole berries are de-stemmed into small 1.6 tons fermenters for a 10-Day cold soak.  During this cold soak, 100% of the stems that were removed are collected and separately aged for 7 days under inert gas. Removing the stems is a paramount step, since traditional whole cluster fermentation does not ensure fully ripe stems. Then the aged stalks/stems are hand punched into the cold grape berry fermenters, kicking off the fermentation. They are punched down twice a day until end of fermentation. The grapes are then gently pressed and the juice is transferred to French oak barrels and matured for 18 months before bottling.

 

WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES

“Plum jam and cherry pie give way to a refined but powerful tannin structure. Just try to catch the fleeting hints of aged grape stems in the mid palate then again during the superb finish! This wine has one thinking about beautifully aged Nebbiolo.”- Rollin Soles, Winemaker

90 WINE ENTHUSIAST

91 WINE SPECTATOR

93 JAMES SUCKLING 

90 WINE ADVOCATE

92 VINOUS

Vintage2015
Varietal100% Pinot Noir
AppellationWillamette Valley
VineyardMarsh Estate Vineyard & Wits' End Vineyard
Aging18 Months
Alcohol14.00%
Volume750 ml

 

90 WINE ENTHUSIAST

“Not a mere whole-cluster wine, the Stalker is made by drying the stalks separately and adding them to whole berries. It's slightly chalky as a result, with a green edge to the tannins and green tea flavors. Black cherry, espresso and cacao components also factor in. Give it another couple of years and drink after 2020.” – P.G., 10/1/2017

 

91 WINE SPECTATOR

“A distinctive style, well-built and framed by refined tannins, this offers blueberry, cherry, sassafras tea and spice notes, with an appealingly minerally, earthy accent. Best after 2018. 840 cases made.” – T.F., 10/31/2017

 

93 JAMES SUCKLING 

“Aromas of plums, cherries, lemons and lavender. Hints of cedar, too. Light to medium body, firm and tights tannins and a vibrant finish. Delicious now.” – J.S., 12/15/2017 

 

90 WINE ADVOCATE

“The 2015 Pinot Noir The Stalker is made using whole Pinot Noir berries mixed with grape stalks, as opposed to whole cluster fermentation. Pale to medium garnet in color, it opens with notes of herbs, dusty earth, crushed rock and potpourri over a core of red cherry, raspberry jam and cranberry. Light to medium-bodied, it’s red fruited in the mouth with a good spicy layer and earthy notes, with firm, slightly fuzzy tannins and juicy acidity to carry the long spicy finish. 840 cases produced.” – E.B., 11/30/2018

 

92 VINOUS

“Lurid red. A sexy, highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh black raspberry, cola and floral pastille scents, along with woodsmoke and Asian spice flourishes. Stains the palate with sweet, concentrated red and dark berry and spice cake flavors that show a suave blend of power and finesse. The spice quality lingers on a very long, penetrating, gently tannic finish that leaves five-spice powder and cola notes behind.” - J. R., 01/2018

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