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.
2014 VINTAGE NOTES
We had great weather during bloom in early June leading to many large clusters on the vines. The potential to over crop was the real viticulture challenge of 2014. We learned from past vintages that dropping a significant number of clusters per vine near Veraison (berry color change) is required for truly focused, delicious wines. The summer brought us near a record number of 90-degree days. It’s often said that the vintage is made in the last couple weeks of harvest. Cold crisp night temperatures days before harvest brought amazing fruit flavors and acidity. A nice easy picking pace took place between September 15th - September 23rd.
THE STALKER WINEMAKING PROCESS
“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 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 results in a wine with spice-laced tannin from the stalks, without the “greenness” of a traditional whole cluster press, similar to the styling of Mescal. The unexpected surprise is 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 18months.”- Rollin Soles
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“Brambly and black peppercorn spice driven aromatics compliment the ripe, black cherry fruit on the nose. The profound chunky structure and mid-palate notes of sandalwood is paired with black cap raspberry, gooseberry and lilac. Full grain leather and wet stone come through on the powerful finish.” - Rollin Soles, Winemaker
90 Wine Spectator
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