2014 Wits' End Pinot Noir
ABOUT WITS’ END VINEYARD PINOT NOIR
This is one of two estate grown Pinot Noirs from Rollin and Corby’s Wits’ End Vineyard. Nestled 450ft above sea level on a gentle south slope of the Chehalem Mountains AVA, the property is entirely in blonde marine sedimentary soils. Intensely spice driven with herbaceous notes to compliment the dark fruit and tobacco flavors. This wine delivers the most classic expression of high quality Willamette Valley 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. Picking took place on September 15th.
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 ten 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 modern tank press. The young wine is sent to barrel for Malo-lactic fermentation to soften the acidity and to add further complexity, then 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.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“Ripe, generous deep plum fruit is framed by an enticing, savory aroma of tea leaf, tobacco, herbs and a hint of rose petal. Bright, red cherry lifts the dense mid-palate, accompanied by notes of lavender and loose tobacco on the sultry and prolonged finish.” - Rollin Soles, Winemaker
93 International Wine Report
91 Wine Enthusiast
91 Wine Spectator