2008 Private Stash Pinot Noir 1.5L
ABOUT PRIVATE STASH
The Soles' small Wits' End Vineyard is situated on the southwest slope of the Chehalem Mountain Range. The site is superbly located at an elevation of 400' and is protected from the winds by the coastal range to the west and the Dundee hills to the south. The vineyard is planted to a high planting density (2,200 vines per acre) on devigorated root stocks to what Rollin considers the three distinctive Dijon Pinot noir clones. The site is predominantly marine sedimentary soil and farmed for low yields. It is irrigated by a fresh-water spring that flows year-round through the property. The Chehalem Mountains are a single uplifted land mass with spurs, mountains, and ridges.
ROCO Pinot noir is hand picked and then chilled overnight to 38F in our large cold room. The chilled bunches are gently de-stalked and the whole berries fall into small, 1.6 ton fermenters. The berries soak for about five days before beginning the ferment with our proprietary, house-cultured 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 the skins and fermenting juices. Ferments are allowed to reach about 28C. A post-fermentation soak occurs until the wine is just right for removing 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 3-year old tight-grained, French oak barrels. The wines are aged in barrel for 18 or more months before bottling.
2008 VINTAGE NOTES
In the beginning, the '08 growing season did not want to warm up. A dry and very cool spring led to low heat accumulation and July flowering. This is the first year of the 2000's to experience flowering this late in the season. The 1990's had four such events: 1991, 1993, 1996, and 1999. In the vineyard there was heavy fruit set, but the clusters were smaller than normal and therefore required that we drop less fruit than we did in the 1990's in order to have a normal crop. August brought much needed rain to the vines just before veraison (fruit berry softening and coloring). Veriason requires nitrogen from the soil. This nitrogen cannot get into the roots of the vine without the help of water.
September was dry and sunny. October 3rd had a nice cold rain that seemed to perk up those dry and dusty vines. October 11th brought temperatures low enough to frost the Valley floor. We harvested ROCO on October 10th. These late harvests seem to deliver fruit of extraordinary balance of ripe fruit and bracing mineral acidity. The harvest berries had a wonderful cruchy, apple-like texture when popped into your mouth!
The wines have fantastic balance and grace. Dark color and plum to blackberry fruit flavors with sanded tannins. There is excellent acid structure and purity of fruit - both hallmarks of an excellent growing season. These are wines to enjoy over a long period of time.
ROCO's Wits' End Vineyard was a great performer this year. It was actually difficult to cull the best barrels out for our Private Stash selection. i would have selected all the barrels from the vineyard for this auspicious wine blend, but Corby wouldn't let me! only the best of the best will do for this wise woman!
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
"2008 was a late harvest, producing wines with fantastic balance and grace. Dark color and plum to blackberry fruit flavors with sanded tannins prevail. There is excellent acid structure and purity of fruit -‐both hallmarks of an excellent growing season." -Rollin Soles, Winemaker
94 Wine Spectator
93 Wine Advocate
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