2013 The Stalker Pinot Noir
Winemaker’s Vintage Notes
We experienced quite a bit of sunshine in the spring but the weather became cool and wet in mid June making it difficult to determine when the midpoint of bloom occurred. We had the fruit set the 3rd week of June which led to a late October harvest. The rest of summer was just about record dry with a normal shot of rain in early September that helped dry vines go through Veraison. September 21st, the tables turned as wet, monsoon-like conditions lasted until the 27th. ROCO brought in fruit for our white and sparkling wines prior to the 22nd and the majority of our red fruit in by the 27th. The fruit came in with surprising cleanliness due to our non-complacent farming methods. These are the kind of wines I came here to make.
"There are a few ways that winemakers use grape stalks to flavor their 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 Valpolicello region of Italy air-dry 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 bit of a “walk on the wild side” to produce a unique Stalker Pinot Noir. One of the tricks is to keep air flowing around the stalks and ensure that mold is held at bay. I also continued my commitment to whole berry 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 results in a wine with spice- laced tannin from the stalks, without the “greenness” of the fresh stalks. The unexpected surprise is an increased sense of middle palate juiciness. 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."
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
“Jump out of the glass red fruit aromatics; underpinning of lilac, gooseberry and Honduran cigar tobacco through the mid palate. Racy acidity with playful tension between minerality and juicy tannins. The mouth feel amplifies with time in the glass, as if one is turning up the volume.” -Rollin Soles, Winemaker
91 Wine Spectator
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