2019 Ancient Waters Pinot Noir
ABOUT ANCIENT WATERS PINOT NOIR
One of our proprietary blends, Ancient Waters sources the highest quality fruit from Wits’ End Vineyard. Ancient Waters’ name is derived from the old marine sedimentary soils in which the vines are planted. Ancient Waters is a powerful wine that showcases the intense flavors possible in Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley.
2019 VINTAGE NOTES
This was quite the “Yo-Yo” growing season, so definitely not boring to this old Veteran Vintner, Rollin Soles. The warmer-than-normal start in May with temperatures into the 90’s was a worry as there is normally a colder temp at the time. Then, when the shoots were a good 6 -8” long, a cold, rainy mid-May hit came for a full two-week period. Then, a warm long summer kicked in. And just as anticipated, from first of September to the 19th, we were presented with nearly 3” of cold rain. Mt. Hood looked fantastic with its early mantle of white snow!
Cool temps and refreshing rains after such a long time dry in the vineyards, lifted the aromatics (think “floral” qualities) and the elegance in the palate and in the fruit flavors. It’s becoming a pattern here in the Willamette, where we receive a “refreshing wash” of cold rain at the end of August or into early September (15, 16, 17, 19 for example). Seems to brighten and lift the fruit and acidity of our 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
"A black licorice - dark plum aroma is tempered by fascinating petrichor/wet coral minerality and that alluring smell of Italian leather gloves. The mouthfeel displays instant juiciness that carries all the way to the long finish. Still, a bold grip of tannin manages to wrap its arms around your flavor buds! Look for sweet black licorice, black plum fruit, pomegranate, dried cranberry, with spices of black pepper, an ocean meets forest meets porcini mushroom and umami. Enjoy this long lasting, gripping Pinot noir!" - Rollin Soles, Winemaker