2018 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 2018
The 2018 growing season felt more typical to California than the Willamette Valley due to a nearly record dry May that started the season. May saw six days at +79F, with an 89F thrown in for good sunny measure. We received less than an inch of rain in June, and none in August. July and August racked up a total of 10 days at +95F. September shifted into cold, cloudy Willamette Mode with lowered snow levels and a bit of rain. After a nice shot of rain in early October, ideal conditions prevailed from 10th to 22nd for beautiful Willamette ripening. ROCO sets itself up nicely harvesting from vineyards that have capacity to irrigate in these increasingly dry growing seasons. The wines made are going have generous ripe fruit flavors, yet maintain balanced acidity due to our ability to give each vine a bit of moisture at the right moments of a grapevine’s season. ROCO’s signature rich mid palate and juicy finish is going to be a winner in the 2018 vintage.
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
"Fruity aromatics of boysenberry, black raspberry, and blueberry are wrapped into a tortilla of graham cracker with a hint of clove, black licorice, molasses, and pink peppercorn spice. In the mouth, look for blueberry and black raspberry fruit, spice, and vanilla. The mouthfeel is voluptuous, displaying a seamless elegance from start to a long youthful finish." - Rollin Soles, Winemaker
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