2015 Gravel Road Chardonnay
ABOUT GRAVEL ROAD CHARDONNAY
This 2015 Chardonnay is a blend of our three favorite Chardonnay vineyards in the Willamette Valley: Gran Moraine, Marsh Estate, and Knudsen Vineyards. The first two vineyards grow in low to mid elevation, in sandstone-shale derived soils that provide a lovely creamy texture. While Knudsen Vineyards is located at a high elevation in volcanic derived soil that adds a racy minerality to this unique Chardonnay.
ROCO Chardonnay is handpicked and then chilled overnight at 38˚ F in a large storage room. The chilled bunches are then pressed and the juice is sent to a tank. After settling in tank, the juice is inoculated and racked to neutral oak where is completes fermentation. After primary fermentation is complete, the young wine goes through malolactic fermentation in order to soften the acidity and to add further complexity. Next, the wines are racked to a mix of new and neutral French oak. There they rest for at least five months before bottling.
2015 VINTAGE NOTES
This growing season was one of those warm, sunny experiences that we all desire in the often challenging Willamette Valley. Other than a spot of high temperatures, nearly the entirety of August punched in the 80’s with clear blue skies and virtually no precipitation occurred all summer long. The vines were obviously struggling under persistent sunshine and no precipitation, but then August 28-30th brought us a refreshing 1.3 inches of rain! This rainfall perked up the vines, the acid bounced back and fruit flavors became livened once again. We received one more shot of cool rain on September 17th with freezing levels down to 5500 feet. These cloudy cool wet events at the end of the growing season helped to lift the character, and provide a nice zip of flavor. We were able to pick at optimum ripeness beginning around September 4th through September 23rd. The 2015 wines are chock full of great fruit flavor, structure and a mouthwatering dose of delicious freshness and acidity.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
"The aromas are a blend of warmer-riper fruit and traditional cold climate Willamette Chardonnay. Look for Asian pear and yellow skinned apple center with lovely citrus zest and white flower scents finishing with roasted hazelnut. This is a very rich, concentrated Chardonnay on the palate." -Rollin Soles, Winemaker
92 WINE ENTHUSIAST
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