2018 RMS Brut
ABOUT THE RMS BRUT
In 1987, when all other Willamette Valley wine producers were focused on Pinot Noir, Rollin Soles had a different vision. He believed that Oregon was the best place in North America to grow cool climate grapes for sparkling wine. After making wine at Petaluma Winery in Australia, Rollin moved to Oregon and founded Argyle Winery, the state’s first sparkling wine production facility. During his 27+ years with Argyle, Rollin crafted some of the most highly acclaimed New World sparkling wines, which made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines three times, proof that he has mastered the sophisticated craft of fine Méthode Champenoise. Rollin’s vision has become a reality as the world continues to discover that the Willamette Valley’s cool, maritime climate is indeed ideally suited to world-class sparkling wine production.
THE MÉTHODE CHAMPENOISE PROCESS
This labor-intensive process creates the very best Champagne and high-quality sparkling wines around the world. The wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle creating those signature small bubbles. The process starts with the addition of a liqueur de tirage (a wine solution of sugar and yeast) to a bottle of still wine. This triggers that second fermentation inside the bottle which produces carbon dioxide and lees, or spent yeast cells, which collect at the neck during the riddling process. After an extended time on lees, the bottles are disgorged and the lees is replaced with a solution of wine and sugar, which gives sparkling wine its sweetness.
2018 VINTAGE NOTES
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.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
Recently disgorged aromas include pear and honeyed quince fruit, white citrus blossom and vanilla perfume, with nice lemon grass hints. The palate is at once zippy with acidity, yet very creamy textured. This is a signature of cool climate growing. Fruit flavors include granny to pink lady apple, pear, with a touch of freshly bottled Soave white wine. Long citrus, honey, and vanilla spices sail into RMS’s typical seamless finish.
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