2015 Roco Chardonnay Gravel Road

Year: 2015
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Country: USA-Oregon
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 89
Vinous Media: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 92
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
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"Lively and easygoing, with tropical fruit and creamy spice accents that linger with snap. Drink now. 631 cases made. -TF" (WS)

"The 2015 Chardonnay Gravel Road is scented of lemon and grapefruit peel, crushed rock, white peach and nectarine with notes of toast. Medium-bodied, it features ripe citrus and orchard fruits in the mouth with toasty and creamy notes and bright acidity on the finish. 700 cases produced.

Winemaker and owner Rollin Soles says, "Chardonnay has been a long-time passion since 1987. All my Chardonnays are barrel fermented and go through full malolactic fermentation, but I hope you see the impression of acidity despite the full malo. André Tchelistcheff was big on the presence of lactic acid as a key mouthfeel component. I believed him."

He has also invented what he believes to be a new fermentation technique for Pinot Noir: hand-picked fruit is chilled overnight and then destemmed. The grapes are cold soaked for ten days; 100% of the stems are collected and aged for a week under inert gas. Next, the stems are hand-punched into the cold grapes, beginning fermentation. They are punched down twice daily through fermentation and then pressed off the skins/stems. Soles says, "Removing the stems is a paramount step, since traditional whole cluster fermentation does not ensure fully ripe stems."" (WA)

"Pale gold. Intense aromas of pear nectar, white peach, honey and tangerine pick up a smoky mineral nuance with aeration. Pliant and concentrated on the palate, showing impressive depth to orchard and pit fruit flavors firmed by a spine of juicy acidity. In a lush, concentrated yet energetic style, delivering powerful closing punch and lingering pit fruit nectar, vanilla and buttered toast notes." (VM)

"After a faulty first bottle of this wine, the second was a revelation: sexy, polished and lushly endowed with a mix of orange, apple, pear and apricot flavors. Its texture, length and definition are truly impressive." (WE)

Winery Notes:
The aromas are a blend of warmer-riper fruit and traditional cold climate Willamette Chardonnay. Look for Asian pear and yellow skinned apple center with a lovely citrus zest and white flower scents finishing with roasted hazelnut. This is a very rich, concentrated Chardonnay on the palate.