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Roco Private Stash Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • WE90
14% ABV
  • WS93
  • WE91
  • WS92
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • WS94
  • RP93
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Very dark crimson red color. Imagine late ripened blackberry juice with a pinch of boysenberry and spice in the aromatics. Elegance and power are balanced on a razor's edge here. Ripe black cherry and boysenberry flavors dance on a bed of gravelly tannins and lively mineral acidity. Remembrances of tilled earth and feral black cherry fruit go on and on. Spice-driven center scattered with ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, cinnamon stick, and a touch of tea. Big beautiful mouth feel. This lady is strutting and shimmering her way across your taste buds. Refined and well adjusted she makes you sigh, "yes."

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Polished, sleek and expressive, open-textured and almost plush, featuring black cherry and red plum flavors shaded with hints of peach and spice. Comes together harmoniously on the long finish. Drink now through 2022.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Pinot Noir Private Stash is made by Rollin Soles and his better half (according to Rollin, she has a much better palate). This comes from a field selection of 777 propagated by Rollin with 667. It has a "rockier" bouquet, more stones littered about the aromatics - granite and flint infusing the fruit that is a tad darker and broodier than the Wits' End. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, a lovely saline character coming through, fine tension here with raspberry and cranberry fruit interlaced with minerals defining the finish. You could broach this now, or I would prefer to leave it in bottle for 2 or 3 years because it will repay cellaring.
Rating: 90+
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
From the Wits' End estate vineyard's best lots, this offers a complex fruit mix running from orange and pineapple into raspberry and cherry. A suggestion of Dr Pepper soda is in play also, and the wine shines with excellent texture and freshness.
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Roco, 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.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a Mediterranean climate moderated by a Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and winter.

Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant differences in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. Silty, loess soils are found in the Chehalem Mountains.

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.

EPC27300_2012 Item# 147071