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

Monday, June 8, 2020

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: Flowers 2020

Hello and Welcome, 

This is an Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: Flowers 2020. A FLOG communication from Dena and Ernie. Amalie Robert Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. 
The first sighting of wine berry flowers at Amalie Robert Estate occurred Monday, June 8, 2020. Flowers are the first sign that vintage 2020 is headed to harvest. And it comes with some specificity (105 days to be exact) from flowers to The Great Cluster Pluck. Yep, you can set your watch by it. You know the one… the one with just one hand.

Your timing would be off of course, but it wouldn’t be your fault. There are all manner of hidden and not so hidden disasters-in-waiting that can disrupt the path to harvest. And while we have fortunately not seen them all, in 20 years we have seen enough and gained tremendous experience. Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. But it is wisdom that we are after, if only...

Like the early warning Cedar Waxwings that flew into the vineyard last week. They are wine berry bandits, complete with masks and afterburners. Typically, their turf is southern Oregon and we would prefer they stay there.

And so we press on to harvest 2020, undaunted in our quest. Even though we have seen this show before, each year’s production varies considerably from baseline and year to year. We live the infamous words of John Wayne, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

We grow three selections of Pinot Noir: Pommard Clone, Wadenswil Clone and five of the Dijon Clones. Each of them blooms about the same time, mostly dependent upon on where they are situated in the vineyard. Higher elevation plantings have a tendency to flower later and we usually harvest them toward the end of The Great Cluster Pluck. If you would like to learn more about the Wadenswil Clone, you can check out Interview with a Clone - Wadenswil 2A.

We also produce dedicated bottlings to showcase the best of what these clones can do on our site. The Pommard and Wadenswil Clone selections are typically just 2 barrels each (48 cases) of the most intriguing barrels of the vintage.  The Dijon Clones bottling is a little different story. We planted five of the Dijon Clones of Pinot Noir and they are 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777. We blend all five of these clones together to make the Dijon Clones Pinot Noir.

If you would like to experience these clones in their purest form, click on the Big Blue Button that will whisk you away to Amalie Robert Direct where you can peruse bottlings and select your favorite vintages. And check out the iPinot 6-pack offering while you are there.

Kindest Regards,

Dena & Ernie

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