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 – 2020 Amalie Robert Estate, LLC

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Amalie Robert Estate: A-List Release - 2019 Dijon Clones Chardonnay!

Hello and Welcome, 
Big News! We just received word from Punxsutawney Phil. That big fur bearin’ rodent says that they will have 6 more weeks of lockdown! A FLOG communication from Dena and Ernie @AmalieRobert Estate. 
While masks are all that have been called for in Oregon, other jurisdictions of the US are taking a more authoritarian or “Full Body” approach to your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) i.e. the “FBC-PPE.” You are free to choose your own PPE. In farming we say, “If it looks stupid but it works, it is not stupid.” Certainly, we are not here to judge.

Meanwhile spring has sprung, and we have a new A-List release, the 2019 Dijon Clones Chardonnay! The winery will be open for wine pickups and perhaps a bit of tasting from 10 am through 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday, May 2nd and 3rd.

Look for an E-vite from Dena to schedule your pickup time. You can also request any last-minute wine needs to replenish the Oregon section of your Adult Recreational Beverage cellar and read the latest updates on any socially unacceptable behavior. We look forward to seeing you and your choice of PPE.

If you need ground transportation (UPS or FedEx) to co-locate with your wine, we can make that happen. The outer box will be inconspicuous brown cardboard. Each bottle in your order will come individually wrapped in its own PPE. We recommend setting the bottles upright and at the correct temperature for a minimum of 24 hours before opening them. Visit Amalie Robert Direct to place your order, discretely.

Let’s get right into it. We are very proud to introduce to you our estate grown 2019 Dijon Clones Chardonnay! Kinda rocks your world, we know. Here is what didn’t change. Ernie still grows this wine in block 24. The block still has 1,089 vines of Dijon Clones Chardonnay, with the field blend favoring clone 76 over 95. The rootstock is still that mother of all rootstocks, 5C. And yes, we still produce the BFC Heirloom Cameo. Starting to feel the hairs on the back of your neck relax, maybe just a bit?

Besides, how can you have Champagne Deconstructed without Chardonnay? If you have time for a little home schooling, pick up a six pack of Champagne Deconstructed. Your order will contain 2 bottles each of 2019 Dijon Clones Chardonnay, 2018 Pinot Meunier and 2012 iPinot Pinot Noir, complete with examination sheets. Don't delay, order yours today and shipping will be included through Mother's Day!

So, what’s new about the 2019 Dijon Clones Chardonnay? We have retired the Her Silhouette fanciful name in favor of a more informative name. The Dijon Clones of Chardonnay are the new vines on the block. The vines were brought into Oregon direct from Burgundy just about the time we were establishing the vineyard at Amalie Robert Estate. And they make a damn fine wine. It also
eliminates any confusion that we are growing that much maligned 108 clone out of California (where you can see some of the most unusual self-quarantine PPE - ever.)

The primary fermentation of sugar to alcohol is still done without oak influence. Stylistically, the Her Silhouette was colloquially known as “No Oak, No Malo”. We have moved on. And you can too! All it takes is a little bacterium and all of that malic acid becomes lactic acid. If that sounds yummy, it’s because it is. Lactic acid is the acid in goat's milk, and you get yummy goat cheese from goat's milk. Malic acid is from your granny’s “screamin’ greenies” green apples that she grew out on Boone’s Farm road. Remember her? That was before cellphones, and cellphone cameras, fortunately.

The Malo to Lactic (ML) conversion happens virtually all the time in red wines. In white wines winemakers typically have a choice to encourage or discourage this conversion. Mistakes (known as uncontrolled experiments or, sometimes, successful failures) happen all the time in winemaking. In some circumstances, you will have the ML conversion whether you want it or not. The opposite is also true. You can wish in one hand and wait in the other, but it’s just not going to happen. Maybe next year, but that’s a long time to wait.

We made the stylistic (and intentional) choice to change our ML program in 2019. Over the last 20 years or so, we have noticed our site affords a bit of a Sancerre expression in our Chardonnay that provides some intrigue. Ernie wanted to try and expand on that, while better integrating and softening the screamin' greenie experience. That, and Dena said we are not planting any Sauvignon Blanc.

So as part of our unquenchable thirst for knowledge and unabated appetite for risk, Ernie said, “What the Hell, let’s give it a try!” And that is how we arrived at the 2019 Dijon Clones Chardonnay - "No Oak, Full Malo".

Tasting Notes: Cold Fusion Yellow releases Meyer lemon zest, star fruit and guava aromas delineating an unadulterated and pure expression of Dijon Clones Chardonnay. Integrated, viscous and expansive, the mid-palate is wholly enveloped with a lingering silken texture before the smooth and palate cleansing delivery of tempered acidity.

Culinary Inclination: Poached black cod or shark (if you are a little slow working the reel), in parchment with julienned green onions, fresh sliced ginger root, enoki mushrooms and artichoke heart. Add a thin slice of Habanero pepper if you want to add some color to your dining companion’s complexion.

Vintage Notes: It all comes down to September. It used to be October, but things have changed and as farmers we are along for the ride. Vintage 2019 was a moderate growing season with adequate amounts of sun, wind, rain and wind all properly folded into the mix. Until September. That’s when we recorded a record amount of rainfall from the beginning to the end of the month. Of course, it was just lovely from there on out and that is when we were out Cluster Plucking. Read all about The Great Cluster Pluck on the FLOG!

Fill out the RSVP on your E-vite for a time to come by and have a taste. Or maybe just gaze longingly at the label until you can get one home, squeeze out the cork and have a swig! Note: we do have a few Home Tasting Kits still available (including PPE stemware) if you are uncomfortable drinking straight out of the bottle. As with all PPE, get it while you can. And there is still a free cork in every bottle!

Kindest Regards,

Dena & Ernie

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