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Roco Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS91
  • WE91
13% ABV
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is a 'leopard" of a Chardonnay; quiet, lythe, yet powerful. The aroma is Old World, ripe Anjou pear that shifts to white peach, then back again, with a lovely, gentle toasted oak spice. The flavor has a powerful amount of ripe fruit and mouth feel, yet has a balanced, bracing mineral core that lends the wine a real zing. The flavors sail on and on.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Bright and tangy, with lemon and grapefruit vitality against hints of pear and apple as the finish persists with refinement and depth.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Still young and tight, this terroir-driven Chardonnay needs further cellaring to show its best. Woody scents top off crisp, persistent tree fruits, with lemony acids propping up flavors. It’s dense, compact and unyielding, but clearly the raw materials for ageworthiness are there.
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Roco
Roco, Eola-Amity Hills, 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.

Eola-Amity Hills

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Running north to south, adjacent to the Willamette River, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA has shallow and well-drained soils created from ancient lava flows (called Jory), marine sediments, rocks and alluvial deposits. These soils force vine roots to dig deep, producing small grapes with great concentration. Like in the McMinnville sub-AVA, cold Pacific air streams in via the VanDuzer corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidities in its grapes. This great concentration, combined with marked acidity, give the Eola-Amity Hills wines—namely Pinot noir—their distinct character. While the region covers 40,000 acres, no more than 1,400 acres are covered in vine.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

EPC24662_2012 Item# 147075