2016 Knudsen Vineyards Pinot Noir
ABOUT KNUDSEN VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR
One of the oldest plantings in the Willamette Valley, Knudsen Vineyards was planted by Cal Knudsen in 1971 and is still owned by the Knudsen family. These vineyards sit atop the world famous Dundee Hills AVA at 800ft of elevation and are entirely red clay Jory soils. ROCO is one of a few wineries able to source this amazing fruit due to Rollin’s long-standing relationship with the Knudsen family. Knudsen Vineyards produce strong, dark fruit flavors with spice notes on the front and mid-palate and a distinct minerality on the finish that is unique to ROCO Pinot Noir.
2016 VINTAGE NOTES
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 youthfullness.
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 then sent to barrel for malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity and to add further complexity, then racked once to new, one, two 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
“Wow me now! This Knudsen Vineyards Pinot Noir shines with a sweet, red nose capped with wild blackberries, tobacco and black currants. Its sleek, rich, black flavor profile wows the palate with tightly wound, evocative tannins that produce a juicy sphere of black sweetness in a casing of chewy tannins and tobacco that escort you toward a booming finish”- Rollin Soles, Winemaker
92 Wine Enthusiast
Sign up for ROCO's email newsletter