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!


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

- Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile - September 2016


"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


"...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


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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: 2011 July Flowers Update

Hello and Welcome,

I am happy to report that I scouted the first and only Pinot Noir flowers of the 2011 vintage on Sunday, July 3rd. You know where they were? Yep, they were right there in Block 10 - that wonderful Wadenswil cone grafted onto 5C rootstock. What a block!

July 3rd is day 184 of the Julian Calendar. We add the requisite 105 days to develop nice flavors and aromas, and our harvest window opens on day 289.

Now the little 289 was quite popular in the early Mustangs. Lee Iacocca must have been quite proud, except he wanted the car to be called the Panther. But the little 289 soon gave way to the more powerful Boss 302 Mustang in the early 1970s. Today's modern version for 2012 sports a whopping 444 horsepower and an estimate cost of $43,000. That's just about $100 per pony. Giddy-up!

Back on point, this is the latest we have seen flowering at Amalie Robert Estate, and is pretty close to 1991. The harvest window opens on Saturday, October 16th. Yes, we will have the usual suspects in the aviary, bouts of showers and our ever present adversary Botrytis.

However, we have the advantage. We have seen the mid to late October harvests in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Not that this is old hat to us, but we know what is coming, albeit not when. A quick reality check before this gets too far out of hand, own rooted Pinot Noir vines in the Willamette Valley are typically harvested starting the 3rd week of October. For those pining for the good old days, well they are here again!

So how did we do in 2010? We predicted a harvest window of Tuesday, October 13th. We began harvest on October 17th and finished just as the rains arrived on October 23rd when the harvest window abruptly closed. We hung it out there a little, and got lucky. Luck, it seems, does favor the prepared mind.

This year, even more so than usual, we will be thinking very positive thoughts about late October. What about the Syrah and Viognier? Well, they are built to take a little rain and I don't think they are going to be disappointed.


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