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.
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, and 19 for example). Seems to brighten and lift the fruit and acidity of our wines.