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2016 Ancient Waters Pinot Noir

2016 Ancient Waters Pinot Noir


One of our proprietary blends, Ancient Waters sources the highest quality fruit from Wapato Ridge Vineyard and the famed Shea Vineyard. Ancient Waters’ name is derived from the marine sedimentary soils in which the vines are planted. Ancient Waters is a powerful wine that showcases the intense flavors possible in Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley.


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 malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity and to add further complexity, then racked once to a unique ratio of new to three-year-old, tight-grained, French oak barrels. The wines are aged in barrel for 18 or more months before bottling.


This growing season started with cool, wet spring weather, which created random, poor fruit set in some blocks.  May and early June saw a few high heat spikes, but overall the summer’s warm, sunny weather kicked growth into gear.  Then a cold, wet, “Alaska” front perked the vines up around the 17th of August.  Refreshed fruit sailed into a beautiful fall harvest where growers and winemakers alike enjoyed a nice and steady pace of picking perfectly ripened wine grapes.  The resulting wines are robust without losing that ROCO juicy-centered youthfulness. 


"The aromatics are a complex, bright mix of ripe black raspberry fruit and pink peppercorn, vanilla spices. The flavor is a fathomless, layered mix of red plum and classic black cherry/cassis fruit. Here you’ll taste lovely, firm tannins all the way through to its very long cardamom and vanilla pod spice finish. Its wonderful to blend a wine from the best portions of several vineyards planted in ancient marine soils." -Rollin Soles, Winemaker

90 Wine Spectator

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SKU: 2016_AWPN
Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Yamhill-Carlton AVA
Alcohol %
Wine Spectator
California Proposition 65 Warning

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