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2017 The Stalker Pinot Noir Futures

2017 The Stalker Pinot Noir Futures
2017 The Stalker Pinot Noir Futures

 

The Stalker Pinot Noir is a unique wine. The fermentation style was developed by Rollin 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 and was carved into a linoleum block for printing

The 2017 Vintage

2017 vintage was completely different from the previous three years when vintners harvested their grapes earlier than normal. The wet, cool spring delayed flowering until late June, setting the stage for a later harvest. Hot, dry conditions prevailed through the summer and fruit set was higher than average requiring thinning to ensure incredible wines. There is a fresh fruit component and complexity that emerges to the forefront in the wines.  The classic, cool climate, luscious wines from the Willamette Valley were produced this harvest by winemakers that were mindful of crop levels.

Production notes


Winemaker’s Production Notes

ROCO Pinot Noir is handpicked and then chilled overnight to 38°F in our large cold room. The chilled bunches are gently de-­stalked and the whole berries fall into small 1.6 ton open fermenters. The berries soak for about five days before beginning ferment with our proprietary, house-­cultured indigenous wine yeast. Soaking allows gentle extraction of color and flavor from the berry skin, and not the bitter-tasting seeds.  The fermentations are hand punched twice a day to mix skins and fermenting juices. Ferments are allowed to reach about 28°C. A post-fermentation soak occurs until the wine is just right for removing from the skins and seeds.  At that time the ferment is gently pressed in our large tank press.  The young wine is sent to barrel for Malo-­lactic fermentation to soften the acidity and to add further complexity. After MLF, the wines are racked once to a mix of new and three-year-old, tight-grained, French oak barrels.  The wines are aged in barrel for 18 or more months before bottling.

Other notes

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.

Vintage2014
Varietal100% Pinot Noir
AppellationChehalem Mountains AVA
VineyardWits End Vineyard
Aging18 Months
Alcohol14.50%
Volume750 ml

93  Wine Spectator

"Focused, deftly balanced and expressive, offering red berry, cinnamon and floral flavors on a velvetyy frame, coming together harmoniously on the persistent finish." - H.S., 11/16

91  Wine Enthusiast

Full review will be published in February 2016.
 

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