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2019 Syrah - The Rocks

2019 Syrah - The Rocks


tasting notes

red-blue fruits, violet, green olive tapenade, warming spices—mouthfilling, silken, harmonious balance—a permeating fine thread of structure—youthful, will gain in complexity and subtlety over many years in the cellar


ava: the rocks district of milton-freewater

vineyards: River Rock & RockBar

elevation: 900-925 ft

soil series: Freewater (cobblestone and gravel intermixed with loess)

planted: 2000-2016

harvest: October 7, 2019

whole cluster: 50%

elevage: sur lie 21 months in 228L & 400L neutral cooperage

bottled: July 16, 2021, Unfined & Unfiltered, 13.8% Alc.

cases produced: 320 (750ml x 12)


the Terroir

Nested within the Walla Walla Valley AVA, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater resides entirely on the Oregon side of the Valley. The Rocks District is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries have been fixed by virtue of a single soil series (Freewater Series) and a single land form (alluvial fan). We believe this to be one of the few locales in the world where the highly distinctive savory/umami attributes of Syrah can be found in spades, making for complexely perfumed and textured wines that remind us of the Northern Rhone. Please view this website: terroir for a highly educational illustration of this unique terroir. The proof is in the glass!


the Growing Season Winter snow accumulations in February and cold temps delayed bud break, followed by a pleasant summer without heat spikes. Total growing degree days were lower than recent years. It looked like an ideal and easy harvest approaching, but then significantly colder than normal temperatures arrived in september, along with multiple storm cycles (unusual for this area of eastern oregon at this time of year) delaying pick dates. Alas, this allowed phenologic ripeness to advance, while brix accumulation and potential alcohol ideal scenario in our opinion. Cabernet Franc attained beautiful flavors and Syrah reached ideal maturation just ahead of early Autumn frosts in the beginning of October, which brought the growing season to a quick close. 2019 is a classic, cool-climate Oregon vintage and we couldn't be more excited about it. The wines are highly enjoyable now and also highly cellar-worthy for 10-25+ years.


notes on Winemaking

picked October 7, 2019 at 23.3 brix, 3.43 pH. 50% whole clusters sandwiched in small open top 1.5 ton fermenters. 35 days total on skins. Minimal pumpovers and punchdowns. Peak temps, 80-83F. Aged 21 months on lees (no stirring) in 228L & 400L neutral cooperage. Racked carefully and bottled July 16, 2021, Unfined & Unfiltered, Diam 10 corks,13.8% Alc., TA 5.1, pH 3.69, rs 0.1 g/L


about Martin Woods

A secluded property in the wooded foothills of oregon's coast range, within the mcminnville ava. We farm and partner with highly distinctive, late-ripening vineyards in the willamette valley to produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay, among other varietals. We strive to find the soul of our wines in the vineyard, to produce authentic wines with a consistent sense-of-place. Our wines are most warmly embraced by sommeliers, chefs, wine geeks and collectors who recognize and appreciate honest and compelling wines presenting graceful balance, textural complexity, tension, freshness, clean aromatic lift and long cellaring potential. Enjoy & Cheers—Evan Martin, winemaker/proprietor

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