2017 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.
VINTAGE NOTES 2017
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.
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
"Aromatics are a generous blend of juiced black cherry and strawberry leather fruits with complex savory components like cedar, tobacco leaf, and vanilla pod typical of higher elevation grown Pinot noir. The palate is super rich with a silky mouth feel. Toothy tannins are cushioned on a bed of strawberry jam, cherry pit fruit, and baked persimmon fruit. This wine’s finish is like a dream you’ll want to never wake up from." - Rollin Soles, Winemaker
93 WASHINGTON WINE BLOG - "Rollin Soles has sourced from this esteemed vineyard for more than a decade. The resultant 2017 edition shows gorgeous aromatic range from red currants to sandalwood tones as well as lemon zest and shades of white truffle that all come together marvelously in the glass. The palate is full-bodied and generous, with wonderful length and verve. Guava puree and red raspberry cordial collide with suggestions of wild mushroom, peat moss and copious minerals. Bright, with outstanding richness, the 2017 'Knudsen Vineyard' Pinot Noir will enjoy a long time in the cellar." Owen Bargreen, March 2020
92 WINE ENTHUSIAST
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