2021 The Stalker Pinot Noir
ABOUT THE STALKER PINOT NOIR
The Stalker Pinot Noir is a unique wine. The fermentation style was developed by ROCO’s owner/winemaker, Rollin Soles in a quest to develop deeper, richer flavors in a Pinot Noir without adding heavy, over-the-top green tannins. The name refers to Rollin’s time in Australia, where they call the grape stems ‘stalks’. The label features Rollin being “stalked” by our logo, a Thunderbird: It was conceptualized by his wife and co-owner, Corby Stonebraker-Soles and was carved into a linoleum block for printing.
Hand picked Pinot Noir grapes are chilled overnight to 40F. The next day, whole berries are de-stemmed into small 1.6 tons fermenters for a 10-Day cold soak. During this cold soak, 100% of the stems that were removed are collected and separately aged for 7 days under inert gas. Removing the stems is a paramount step, since traditional whole cluster fermentation does not ensure fully ripe stems. Then the aged stalks/stems are hand punched into the cold grape berry fermenters, kicking off the fermentation. They are punched down twice a day until end of fermentation. The grapes are then gently pressed and the juice is transferred to French oak barrels and matured for 18 months before bottling.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
“Perfumed purple violets, pomegranate blossom, give way to a “vinous” sur bois earthiness before a nice kick of feral blackberry, ripe blueberry, and fig jam fruitiness proves this wine is Pinot noir centric after all. Aromatically, this wine would stump the best of trained sommeliers.
The palate is not just big, but BIG! Got to love the HUGE tannin grip from skins, seeds, and stalks (stems) in this wine. Black cherry fruit is almost over- shadowed by a spice rack of Mediterranean Italian spice mix, cardamon, forest floor, browned stems, and wet slate minerality. This is a robust wine from start to long, long finish. “Honey, I’m thinking rack of lamb tonight!” - Rollin Soles, Winemaker
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