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, April 30, 2009

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2009 April

Hola!

Just a little reminder that Tuesday is Cinco de Mayo. Other than that, not too much to report. Well, maybe a little bud break here and there.

We have accumulated 1.31 inches of rain since the 1st of April and that is 0.52 inches less than the same period in 2008. Q1 2009 rainfall was 13.41 inches and was 1.83 inches less than the 15.24 inches of rain for Q1 2008. The historical 30 year average for Q1 is 19.72 inches of rain, or 536,384 gallons per acre, mas o menos.

We have recorded 10 degree days this month. Our highest high was 83.00 and our lowest high was 71.80. Our lowest low was 30.10 and our highest low was 34.10 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, we did not record any degree days for April 2008 or April 2007; about 25 degree days for April 2006 and 49 degree days for April 2005. And everyone remembers how those vintages turned out! Ay Caramba!

One bright spot is that chisel plow springs are only about $25 apiece this year, plus s/h. Yes, the alternate rows have been flailed, mown, chisel plowed and rotovated. As soon as we get a break in the weather, I will be drilling buckwheat and vetch to those rows to help digest last years canes and winter cover crop and provide nutrients for the fall feeding frenzy. I can now finally answer "Si" to the following question with 100% certainty. "Does the roto-tiller need its clutches replaced every year?"

Now, onto the good stuff - we declared bud break in the Pinot Noir on Wednesday, April 22nd at 2:13 pm in block 10 which is full of wonderful Wadenswil clone grafted onto 5C, what a thrill! So far I have seen no scarring, or other signs of bud mite damage. As the season goes along, I am keeping a keen eye out for any potential mite issues. When mites are prolific they can really catch your eye, not unlike the hook on a screen door. No bien!

It seems the press corps has confirmed my suspicions regarding the 2008 vintage, so now we must start over. So for this year, I say we are "5x5" in declaring the vintage of the year.

Muchas Gracias,

Ernesto