Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir 2017
The 2017 Roserock Pinot Noir shows what is possible from this beautiful vineyard. The color is characteristically darker than what I see in the Dundee Hills, but not inky. The nose is charming and expresses the coolness compared to prior years. On the palate, I taste pomegranate, black cherry, and a touch of berry confiture. The site is always capable of elegance, which shows itself in layers, structure, and balance. We can drink this young, but it should age very nicely for 6-10 years.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This has a savory and stony feel with a strong, floral thread, as well as dark cherry and plum notes to the nose and palate. The texture is sturdy and composed with quite succulent tannins and a stony feel to the finish.
Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir opens with gobs of violet, blueberry coulis, boysenberry preserves, spiced cranberry sauce, stones, red currant jelly and an earthy undercurrent—so layered! The light to medium-bodied palate is silky and spicy, gaining intensity in the mouth, with a grainy frame, seamless freshness and a long, spicy finish.
Supple and sexy, this is anchored in purple and black fruits, accented with a wash of coffee liqueur. Further barrel-related flavors bring malted milk candy into the mix, yet the wine remains balanced and beautifully integrated, and none of the expressive flavors seem overdone.
Drouhin Oregon Roserock is the newest chapter in the Drouhin story, extending from Burgundy's Cote d’Or and Chablis, to the Dundee Hills of Oregon, and now Oregon's Eola-Amity Hills.
Drouhin Oregon Roserock continues a four-generation story that began in 1880 when Joseph Drouhin moved from Chablis to Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy.
In Oregon, as in Burgundy, the Drouhin Family farms singular, expressive parcels of land. The Roserock Vineyard sits at the southern tip of the Eola-Amity Hills, in Oregon's Willamette Valley and is marked by volcanic soils, cooler temperatures and an ideal elevation range. Farmed by Phillipe Drouhin, Roserock is certified sustainable.
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 Van Duzer Corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidity 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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”