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


© 2005 – 2017 Amalie Robert Estate, LLC

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: 2013 Pinot Noir In Flagrante!

Well for farming out loud, we’ve got a harvest coming our way!

The first sign of harvest arrived Thursday, August 1, 2013 (day 213 of the Julian calendar.) Yep, it always begins with one little berry just starting to blush, and then before you know it, they’re all gettin’ purple. Wineberries that is, and Pinot Noir in particular.

We’re not the only ones to notice. Here’s Big Nose checking out the crop.

Typically we see this phenomenon manifest itself around the middle of August, or day 227 of the Julian calendar. In that character building vintage of 2011, we were held out until day 237. Think about that, we were over 3 weeks later in 2011 v 2013. For some odd reason 2012, came in right about “average” at day 229. You can read all about it right here in our 2012 Harvest After Action Report (AAR.)

Other than jotting it down for posterity, what does this mean? It means that the birds may very well go hungry this year! Wouldn’t that be something? Actually it means we had better get the oil changed in the tractors, the harvest bins washed up and the winery ready to go because, in about 60 days, we will be harvesting our very first Pinot Noir from the 2013 vintage.

Ernie is quite excited about the Syrah and Viognier hanging out there. While they have ripened every year, this year holds a little more promise, at least on paper. The vines had an early start and have been the beneficiary of some great summer weather. The trick to growing a great cool climate Syrah on our site is hang time. The extra days, or in the case of 2013, perhaps weeks of sun, wind and a little rain on those skins all adds up to more interesting flavors and aromas. Of course, we won’t really know until November when we bring them in.

While we are enjoying the last few weeks of summer, how about a little “Pinot in Pink” Rosé to set the tone? This 2012 vintage wine is 100% Pinot Noir and fermented dry. It is terrific for welcoming the end of a long day, or just relaxing WTF (Wafting The Fruit.) Check it out here and send Dena an E-mail to hook you up! Ernie highly recommends the smoked duck breast.

Tasting Notes: Refracted pink twilight sets the mood. A brief chill returns spring wildflowers, fresh picked strawberries and cut Rhubarb stalk (without the dog influence.) The palate is lively and accessible, bringing a svelte experience backed by delineated acidity, as if taunting you for a taste of something nice. A tribute to the allure of a casual afternoon, or the seriousness of a sunset rendezvous.  30 case production.

Suggested Food Pairings: Fresh Gala apples and your favorite cheeses are a wonderful beginning. Grilled vegetables and the antipasto plate in the picnic basket means you are good to go. Smoked duck breast and fresh Oregon strawberries are the perfect foil. Perhaps a little contraband on that afternoon train ride? Nothing too complicated, life is serious enough.

Before we return you to your regularly scheduled activities, we would like to remind you about the most misunderstood vintage in Oregon’s history. That’s right sports fans, it is the 2007 vintage. If you are new to Oregon Pinot Noir, or this vintage in particular, have a read through our 2007 Vintage Primer.

By now it seems “common knowledge” that the early reports of the vintage were somewhat less than kind to this very expressive and sublime vintage. A lighter body vintage with lower alcohol seemed to be what the mainstream press was clamoring for after a string of very warm vintages, but they blinked. That being so, many bottles of 2007 were consumed very early and not allowed to fully express themselves through bottle maturation.

Now we find ourselves nearly 6 years after the vintage and the wines are, as Glenn Miller would say “In the Mood.” Amalie’s Cuvée and Estate are our “Hers and His” reserves and they are on the band wagon. Our whole cluster fermentation, along with great acidity from the vintage, is standing the test of time by developing layers of flavors and aromas.

If you have been holding onto to these wines to see what they would develop into, your dedication and patience will be rewarded. While we believe they still have many years of life left, and they are providing great pleasure now. If you are short on these wines, please let Dena know and she can kit you out.

Kindest Regards,

Dena & Ernie

No comments:

Post a Comment