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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2008 August

Hello and Welcome,

Well, it seems that all the vineyard work is done, and what's left is the hard part - waiting. So, let's have a look at August, shall we?

We have recorded about 488 degree days for the month of August, providing a total of 1,481 degree days since the beginning of the growing season on April 1st.  This compares with 442 degree days last August and a comparative total of 1,496 degree days for 2007. Looks like Déjà vu all over again.

During August, our highest high was 104.3 and our lowest high was 95.5. Our lowest low was 44.7 and our highest low was 47.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainfall for August was 1.70 inches and was 0.92 inches above last August's rain of 0.78. Rainfall since April 1st through August 30th was 4.43 inches, and is 0.01 inches less than last year's growing season to date rainfall of 4.44 inches.

So, we are 15 degree days short of last year and missing about 27.5 gallons of water per acre - ceteris paribus. Here is a quick look at our degree days through August 27: (2008: 1,481; 2007: 1,495; 2006: 1,748; 2005: 1,629; 2004: 1,825; 2003: 1,908.) The graphing is an exercise left to the reader, but it seems to me, we are getting cooler.  

The key activities in the vineyard this month were hedging and spraying. I chose to take a 4th hedging pass in some of the cooler corners of the vineyard, as I was seeing too much new growth and active shoot tips. The spray program was modified to include Botrytis sprays at all key intervals. The Buckwheat cover crop is continuing to grow and reseed itself in the rows. It seems the Vetch was a no-show this year. Perhaps due to lack of soil moisture?

We have significant color change with most blocks showing over 50% color. As always there are a few blocks that keep the harvest window open a little longer. These are the blocks with special needs and we give them special care, and so do the birds... We are thinning down to one cluster per shoot in most blocks, depending on fruit set. Wings are the last to come off and act as shock absorbers to the rainfall.

Looking to the future, the first 2 weeks of September are supposed to be picture perfect. Although hoping is not a strategy, I am hopeful that the remaining weeks until harvest will give us another outstanding vintage. At least the vintage of the year.

Ernie