2017 Gravel Road Chardonnay 1.5L
ABOUT GRAVEL ROAD CHARDONNAY
Gravel Road Chardonnay is a blend of our four favorite Chardonnay vineyards in the Willamette Valley: Gran Moraine, Wits' End, Marsh Estate, and Knudsen Vineyards. The first three 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 degrees fahrenheit 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 it 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 different barrels approximately 15-20% new and 80% neutral French oak. There they rest for at least five months before bottling.
2017 VINTAGE NOTES
2017 vintage was completely different from the previous three years when vintners harvested their grapes earlier than normal. The wet, cool spring delayed flowering until late June, setting the stage for a later harvest. Hot, dry conditions prevailed through the summer and fruit set was higher than average requiring thinning to ensure incredible wines. There is a fresh fruit component and complexity that emerges to the forefront in the wines.
WINEMAKER TASTING NOTES
The 2017 vintage was perfect for Chardonnay. The aromatics are especially lovely, with pear, citrus/quince, with roasted hazelnut, vanilla, and celery stalk savory notes. The palate may be the finest balanced Chardonnay we’ve made at ROCO. Look for passion fruit and floral notes of honeysuckle and pear blossoms framed by lovely chestnut and vanilla bean spice. The fulcrum of ripe fruit to fine citrus acidity is delightful with a finish that is long and full of joy. -Rollin Soles, Winemaker
91 Wine Spectator
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