2019 Knudsen Vineyards Chardonnay
ROCO Chardonnay is handpicked and then chilled overnight at 38˚ F 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 is 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 a mix of new and neutral French oak. There they rest for at least five months before bottling.
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.
WINEMAKER TASTING NOTES
"Delicately toasted Vosges oak forest, pear fruit and lemon thyme aromas speckled with lemon citrus aromas. The taste is a lovely combination of citrus blossom, golden apples lifted by bright acidity and a smooch of toasted French oak. The mouthfeel is rich from start to finish exhibiting a classic level of Northern Pacific minerality. See if you can catch that bonus touch of caramel, browned butter at the very end." - Rollin Soles, Winemaker
Wine Enthusiast - 91 points