The boundaries of the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater are based on the geographical distribution of soils of the Freewater series, which are derived from the cobblestone-rich gravels deposited by the Walla Walla River. The cobblestones consist entirely of basalt, a dark-colored volcanic rock (that was) derived by erosion of the Blue Mountains. Wines from this region often possess deep dark fruited characteristics, big bold tannins, and high alcohol content due to the consistently warm growing season.
Blackberry jam, black pepper, cedar box
"The grapes for this 2019 Syrah are grown on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley. The complexity of this Walla Walla Syrah can best be described as distinctly jammy when it meets the nose. Blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry jam aromas are counterbalanced by a savory, smoky component that gives depth to the aromatic experience. The sweet mixed berry flavors intermingle with lively acidity and a heavy tannic presence. This intense celebration of fruit lingers, as do the age-worthy tannins, long after the wine is finished. With time in the cellar, this 2019 Syrah will mature with textural finesse. But such exuberant fruit flavors will prevail for at least five years, or maybe more!" - Winemaker Don Crank III
The 2019 season began with a winter that was cold and wet, but was followed by a warm spring. Near record precipitation amounts during late June and early July brought increased disease pressure to the estate vineyard. The 2019 harvest will be mostly remembered for the early rains in September and rapid cool down into October which attempted to force winemakers’ hands across the Willamette Valley. Degree-day totals were marked by the lowest heat accumulation experienced in September and October since 2007. While waiting for flavors to set, higher humidity caused some damage in the Pinot noir blocks. Suspect bunches were meticulously culled with several passes in the field dropping fruit and long hours were spent on the sorting table making sure only the best fruit made it to tank. In the end, all of the hard work proved worthwhile as the wines show classic Oregon Pinot Noir flavors of hibiscus and dusty cherry, but with exceptional length and elegant textures. The first vintage of Chardonnay to be harvested from the estate vineyard was bright, lean and fruity. However, there were a few barrels of the clone 76 had truly exceptional qualities, enough to mark them as our first ever Reserve bottling of Chardonnay. Our first vintage of Syrah harvested from Cockburn Vineyard on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA was allowed to hang a bit longer than their previous vintages as the area had a dry but cooler harvest conditions. This beautiful Syrah fruit has made an amazing barrel aged wine.