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Roco Clawson Creek Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS93
  • WE91
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark, fathomless color. Big, brooding, blackberry-fruited nose with a touch of cocoa leaf. Concentrated mouth feel. Has real power and broad tannin shoulders. Not for the faint of heart. The tannins add grip to the very rich black fruit. The finish is blackberry with Southwest Indian spice, black pepper, and a splash of clove and Ceylon cinnamon. Classic Yamhill-Carlton Pinot noir.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Dark and spicy, sleek in texture and brimming with purple plum, black cherry, tar and grilled meat flavors that come together seamlessly on the finish, revealing a slight crunch of tannins. Drink now through 2022.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Initially sharp and spicy, this compact effort supports its cranberry and cherry fruit with ample acidity. Give it some extra time to breathe open and it shows the muscle and structure to age nicely through 2024 at least.
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Roco
Roco, Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Rollin and Corby Soles planted their small Wits' End Vineyard, located on the southwest slope of the Chehalem Mountains, in 2001. Two years later they produced their first vintage, four barrels of the 2003 Private Stash Pinot Noir. They were so delighted with the wine that they decided to produce two separate ROCO Pinot Noirs each vintage: the Private Stash and Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Rollin brings more than twenty years of Oregon winemaking experience, a passion for Pinot Noir and insistence on the highest winemaking standards to this private family venture.

Yamhill-Carlton District

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Yamhill-Carlton, characterized by pastoral, rolling hills composed of shallow, quick-draining, ancient marine soil, is ideal for Pinot noir and other cool-climate-loving varieties. It is in the rain shadow of the Coastal Range to its west, whose highest point climbs to an altitude of 3,500 feet. Yamhill-Carlton is actually surrounded by mountains on three sides: Chehalem Mountains to the north, the Dundee Hills to the east and the western Coastal Range to its west, which, when it lets Pacific air through, serves to cool the region.

Vineyards grow on the ridges surrounding the two small communities of Yamhill and Carlton and cover about 1,200 acres of this 60,000 acre region, which roughly makes a horse-shoe shape on a map.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

EPC27298_2012 Item# 138704