Introduction

Winemaking: The Continuation of Terroir by Other Means.®

Welcome to the Amalie Robert Estate Farming Blog, aka FLOG. By subscribing, you will receive regular FLOGGINGS throughout the growing season. The FLOGGING will begin with the Spring Cellar Report in April. FLOGGINGS will continue each month and detail how the vintage is shaping up. You may also be FLOGGED directly after the big Cluster Pluck with the yearly Harvest After Action Report. Subscribe now and let the FLOGGINGS begin!

Rusty

"This is one of the Willamette Valley’s most distinguished wineries, but not one that is widely known."

- Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile - September 2016

Josh

"Dena Drews and Ernie Pink have been quietly producing some of Oregon's most elegant and perfumed Pinots since the 2004 vintage. Their 30-acre vineyard outside the town of Dallas, abutting the famed Freedom Hill vineyard where Drews and Pink live, is painstakingly farmed and yields are kept low so production of these wines is limited. Winemaking includes abundant use of whole clusters, which is no doubt responsible for the wines' exotic bouquets and sneaky structure…"

- Josh Raynolds, Vinous - October 2015

David

"...Dallas growers Dena Drews and Ernie Pink... showed me this July three of their reserve bottlings and thereby altered my perception of their endeavors. Since these are produced in only one- or two-barrel quantities, they offer an extreme instance of a phenomenon encountered at numerous Willamette addresses, whose really exciting releases are extremely limited. But they also testify, importantly, to what is possible; and what’s possible from this site in these hands revealed itself to be extraordinary!... And what a Syrah!"

- David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate - October 2013

Wine & Spirits

"Finding that their whole-cluster tannins take some time to integrate, Pink and Drews hold their wines in barrel for up to 18 months - so Amalie Robert is just releasing its 2008s. And what a stellar group of wines: Bright and tart, they possess both transparency and substance, emphasizing notes of rosehips and sandalwood as much as red berries. The pinot noirs alone would likely have earned Amalie Robert a top 100 nod this year. But the winery also produces cool-climate syrah that rivals the best examples from the Sonoma Coast. And the 2009 Heirloom Cameo, their first attempt at a barrel-fermented chardonnay, turned out to be one of our favorite Oregon chardonnays of the year. Ten vintages in, Amalie Robert has hit its stride."

- Luke Sykora, Wine & Spirits Magazine – September 2011

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2006 August

Hello,

August is in the record books and we are entering the crucial month of September. During September, I will take cluster samples and report maturity and climate data specific to your blocks. It seems like only a few months ago that we were flowering and hopeful for enough fruit to fill fermenters. Someone out there, it appears, was hoping a little too hard.

The 2 week weather forecast I have seen calls for warm daytime temperatures in the mid 80-90 degree range and nighttime temperatures in the 50s. The Pinot Noir crop load has been reduced to one cluster per shoot with wings removed. The canopy remains very green and is holding up to the dry summer very well.

For everyone who has yellow jacket issues, may I recommend baiting your yellow jacket traps with salmon scraps. We have found this extremely effective and deeply rewarding, as I am allergic to bee stings. Using 30 traps for 48 hours resulted in 1.5 plastic Safeway bags full of dead yellow jackets. We mostly place the traps on endposts that are near blackberry bushes where we will also have harvest bins.

Here are the climate numbers for August. We have received 503 degree days through the 30th of August, which brings us to a total of 1,749 degree days for 2006. For comparison, at this time in 2005 we had logged 1,629 degree days. So, we are still ahead by about 120 degree days, or about 7.4% over last year. Our highest hi was 103.4 and the lowest high was 90.9. The lowest low was 43.9 and the highest low was 46.8.

The only moisture we received was 0.05 inches on August 30th which brings the year to 29.20 inches and is 9.10 inches above last year's total of 20.10 inches through August 30th. Last year we were a bit more fortunate and recorded 0.06 inches during August.

Looking back to last year's September conditions, I see degree days of about 360 and 1.7 inches of rain. For those who like to "LET 'EM HANG!", we picked up another 60 degree days and 1.6 inches of rain through October 19. As a reminder, the 2003 vintage gave us about 645 degree days in September. Steve Goff has been really working his crystal ball, and when I get a look at it I will let everyone know when we will be picking.

Something to note in this big berried year is the August degree days and nighttime temperatures compared to the last 2 years. It seems to me, we have been cooling a bit more this August than in previous years. It is eerie that the July temperature numbers for 2004 and 2005 are the same. Here is a brief table with the numbers (in case you don't have enough to think about already.)


Degree Days and Night Time Temperatures
July
Hi
Low
August
Hi
Low
Total
2004
        603
      48.30
      44.70
        556
     51.80
     49.70
      1,159
2005
        548
      49.70
      46.10
        568
     48.30
     45.40
      1,116
2006
        590
      49.70
      46.10
        503
     46.80
     43.90
      1,093
Average
        580
      49.23
      45.63
        542
     48.97
     46.33
      1,123


Thanks,

Ernie