Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé 2017, Willamette Valley, Oregon
R osé is a great wine to drink all year long, but it seems to get the most attention in the summer. It’s perfect for those red wine drinkers who don’t want to switch to whites during the hotter months.
With a good dry rosé you get all the refreshing attributes of a chilled white wine with the bigger body of a red wine.
The pink color is caused by reduced exposure of the wine to the grape skins in most rosé. The dark skins of red wine grapes may be in contact with the juice for up to a day.
Another way to make rosé is the Saigneé method, a byproduct of a winemaker wanting to add more color and tannin to a red wine. Some of the pink juice is removed at an early stage and the remaining red wine becomes more intense. You also can produce rosé by blending red and white wines, but that method is seldom used.
Rosé is produced all over the world and from many different varietals. It is almost always in clear glass bottles to show off the color, which can range from pale orange to nearly purple. There are many good dry rosés on the market, and it is fun to try them on picnics or sitting on the porch after a long day. But you won’t find a better one than this Stoller.
The Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé ($24-26) is a beautiful bright pink in the glass, with inviting aromas of strawberry and watermelon. On the palate there are hints of strawberry and tropical fruits laced with a refreshing dose of acidity. The wine is balanced and bright with lots of fresh fruit and a medium-long finish.
Stoller produces some tremendous pinot noir and chardonnay, but they have made this pinot noir rosé a cornerstone of their production for more than a decade. They use particular clones of pinot noir that are grown for the rosé to achieve their particular balanced and bright style.
Whole clusters of grapes from premier growing areas in the Willamette Valley are pressed and fermented in stainless steel before bottling.
This vintage saw great weather, so there was a bumper crop. The wine should be widely available. Serve it chilled.
Winery: Stoller Vineyards owner Bill Stoller has deep roots in the vineyards. He was raised on the family farm outside of Dayton, Oregon.
After earning a business degree and an MBA Stoller co-founded a staffing company that became the largest privately-held staffing company in the world. He later founded a human resources outsource company.
All that allowed him to pursue his passion for wine.
In 1993 he and his wife Cathy obtained part ownership in Chehalem Wines. Later that year the family turkey farm that had been established in 1943 by his father and uncle ceased operation. The Stollers bought the property from Bill’s cousin and decided to plant vines.
The land was marginal for farming, but the rocky, well-drained volcanic soil was ideal for growing grapes. The Stollers planted their first 20 acres of pinot noir and chardonnay in 1995. The estate is the largest contiguous vineyard in Dundee Hills, and the wines are produced from 100 percent estate fruit.
Stoller built the winery with conservation and preservation in mind. The winery features gravity-flow technology, and it was the first in the world to receive LEED Gold certification, which means it is sustainably built and environmentally friendly.
The 4,000-square-foot tasting room is a stunner, with floor-to-ceiling glass garage doors that are opened in nice weather. You feel like you’re sitting in the vineyard. The south-facing roof is covered with solar panels. As you sip your wine you look out to the hillside vineyard.
The property covers 373 acres, with 210 acres under vine at elevations ranging from 220 to 640 feet. Surrounding mountains protect the vineyards and create a warmer microclimate. It is the largest contiguous vineyard in the Dundee Hills region.
The vineyard is divided into 101 sections, planted in pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling, tempranillo, syrah and pinot blanc. The vineyard is primarily known for its six clones of pinot noir and three clones of Chardonnay.
My wife and I visited the property with friends two years ago and rented one of the Stoller guest houses set among the vines. The guest house we stayed in is one of three available to rent. All are set in the vineyards and provide a memorable wine experience.
The winery was named 2014 Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest, Oregon’s Best Tasting Room by USA Today, and one of Oregon’s Most Admired Companies by the Portland Business Journal.
Earlier this year Stoller bought out his partner at Chehalem and runs both wineries.
Goes with: We had this beautiful wine with homemade cheeseburgers on the grill, a perfect summer pairing. I love to grill, and just about anything I can put on the grill will pair well with the Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé.
The thick, juicy burgers are loaded with flavor, so they need a wine with a little weight to stand up to them. The fruit and acidity are a great balance to my hearty burgers.
I make the burgers with chopped onions, egg and Morton Nature’s Seasons, sometimes adding other herbs and spices. I form thick patties so they end up nice and juicy if I don’t cook them too long.
All we had with the cheeseburgers were French fries from the oven. We dress the burgers with slices of tomato and pieces of lettuce, so we figured we didn’t need any more vegetables.
This wine would be great with all kinds of meat on the grill, and some heavier fish such as tuna. It would be good with beef soup, pasta and Italian dishes such as lasagna. It even would be good with a fresh salad
Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé 2017, Willamette Valley, Oregon