2021 Private Stash Pinot Noir
ABOUT PRIVATE STASH PINOT NOIR
ROCO’s premier Pinot Noir, Private Stash is a numbered series of small production Pinot Noir sourced from a 2-acre plot on the Soles’ private 21-acre vineyard. This complex Pinot offers layer upon layer of intense, silky, full-bodied flavor that is elegantly balanced. Derived from Rollin’s special clonal propagation, 3A, otherwise called “the ROCO selection” these vines produce smaller than normal clusters of tightly packed berries. We hold that this wine will stand shoulder to shoulder with the finest Pinot Noirs from around the globe. The 2021 Stash is No. 18 in the production series that began in 2003.
2021 VINTAGE NOTES
The Spring start to 2021 was one of the driest on record. Heaps of sunshine and warmth gave us the prospect of a nice crop of winegrapes. Just as the clusters bloomed, we received a shot of cold, wet drizzle. The result was rather poor pollination, limiting a potentially large crop. The Summer progressed normally until record heat hit us over the 25-28 July period. By plan, most of our vineyards are setup to drip irrigate if required. Watering vines a couple of days before the 25th seemed to allow the vines to “weather” the heat. Much of our chardonnay and pinot noir was harvested under sunny Fall skies. A refreshingly cold rain dropped snow down to 5500’ on the 19th and 28th which benefited our later ripening Pinots. The last day of harvest was October 14th. The wines are delicious, do not lack for acidity, and due to our ability to drip irrigate vines and chill whole clusters at the winery, fruit expression is concentrated and fresh.
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 sent to barrel for malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity and to add further complexity, then racked once to a unique ratio of new to three-year-old, tight-grained, French oak barrels. The wines are aged in barrel for 18 or more months before bottling.
This Pinot Noir displayes impressive power right from the start with entertwining aromas of anise, black licorice, and plum. On the palate, more dark plum, fresh fig, and a hint of cranberry supported by structured tannins and bright acidity. Complex with a subtle hint of peppercorn and essence of black cap raspberry contribute to its depth.
93 Wine Spectator