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In 1987, Rollin Soles hatched the Argyle Winery and the same year he purchased a hillside property in the Chehalem Mountains. It was many years later, in 2001, that Rollin and his wife Corby planted a 7-acre Pinot Noir vineyard on the property and named it Wit’s End Vineyard. The vineyard is uniquely situated to take advantage of the protection afforded by the Chehalem Mountains which shield the vineyard from winter Artic winds and the Dundee Hills to the South which temper the wind from the Pacific Ocean. The vines are planted to a high density and three Dijon clones make up the mix.
The Wit’s End Vineyard has been a family project of great pride and Rollin and Corby farm the property with utmost care and attention. Beginning in 2003, they produced four barrels of Pinot Noir meant for family and friends under the ROCO (rock-oh - RO as in Rollin and CO as in Corby) label and called it Private Stash. Beginning in 2004, Soles has crafted two Pinot Noirs, a ROCO Willamette Valley bottling from source grapes and the ROCO Private Stash from the Wit's End Vineyard. A small amount of the two wines are released to the public each vintage.
In 2009, the Soles built a winery 5 miles from their vineyard, and their son, Cody, joined the winemaking team. A small amount of Chardonnay is also produced.
The thunderbird image on the ROCO label is a reproduction of an ancient petroglyph removed from the Columbia River George in the 1950s. The bird image is said to represent the “wild essence and intriguing history of the Pacific Southwest and ROCO wines.”
ROCO Pinot Noirs are available in limited quantities on the website. 503-538- 7625. The tasting room adjacent the winery on Red Hills Road near Dundee is open daily.
Sold to Santa Margarita in 2021.
2014 ROCO Gravel Road Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., $30, screwcap. Winemaker Rollin Soles creates a wine with forward fresh fruit flavors and seamless tannins. He notes, “This entry level wine delivers a reserve selection quality blend.” Composed of fruit from vineyards off gravel roads. Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon clones. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Somewhat delicate, but appealing, with aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry and dried herbs. A straightforward wine, yet offers restrained use of oak, silky tannins, commendable balance, and a juicy finish. Score: 88. Reviewed August 29, 2016 ARTICLE »
2013 ROCO Wit’s End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 322 cases, $60, screwcap. Rollin Soles’ estate vineyard and winemaker. Dijon clones. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, cranberry and sous-bois lead to a deeply flavored light to mid weight wine with plenty of cherry flourish accented by a savory herbal thread in the background. Sleek and balanced, with a forward drinking attitude, but the wine should add weight and more appeal over time. Score: 90. Reviewed February 26, 2016 ARTICLE »
2012 ROCO Wit’s End Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 250 cases, $42, screwcap. An estate vineyard planted to Dijon clones in sedimentary soil. Winemaker Rollin Soles. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Nicely perfumed with hi-tone scents of fresh cherries, sousbois, spice and dried rose petals. The core of bright cherry fruit is flavorful and vivid, and complimented by a deft touch of oak. The tannins are well integrated and the highly pleasurable finish is long and full of Pinot goodness. Score: 91. Reviewed November 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2012 ROCO Wit’s End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 250 cases, $60 ($45). Dijon clones planted in sedimentary soil. Estate grown and vinified by Rollin Soles. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, house-cultured indigenous yeast, post-fermentation soak, aged in French oak barrels for 18 or more months, a combination of new, one, two and three-year-old tight-grained barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Highly scented nose offering aromas of cherry, baking spice, and a floral-based perfume. Superb flavor, with an intense attack and finish that sails along, featuring black raspberry and black cherry fruits. Ideal harmony with balanced t n’ a, and a caressing, velvety mouthfeel. Way too easy to drink. Score: 94. Reviewed September 3, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 ROCO Private Stash No. 10 Wit’s End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 320 cases, $66, screwcap. · This wine is not as developed as the Wit’s End bottling but has more potential long term. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very pretty aromas of dark red cherry, raspberry and spice box. Soft, smooth and silky on the palate with delicious flavors of juicy black cherry and a hint of red licorice. Very seductive, with supple tannins, a welcome hint of oak, and a good spark of refreshing acidity on the lasting finish. Tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was holding its own, predicting its long term potential. Score: 92-93. Reviewed November 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2010 ROCO Marsh Estate Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $50, screwcap. Vineyard owned and farmed by Doug and Pat Marsh. Clone 115 and Pommard on Riparia rootstock, irrigated, planted in sedimentary sandstone, sustainably farmed. · Light garnet color in the glass. Aromatic, with clean scents of cherries, tea leaf and compost. Light in weight and easy to drink, but the flavors of woody cherry, red berry, black tea and green leaf don’t particularly appeal. Decent. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »
2010 ROCO Private Stash No. 8 Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $70, screwcap. From Wits’ End Vineyard. · Light garnet color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of dark cherries and berries. Delicious core of red fruits with accents of spice, sassafras, graham and nutty oak. Juicy, elegant and charming, displaying balanced fine-grain tannins and a short, but satisfying finish. Interesting textural magic. Noticeably lighter in this vintage. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »
2009 ROCO Private Stash No. 7 Wits End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 250 cases, $70. · Medium reddishpurple color in the glass. Deeply aromatic, filling the glass with scents of deep black cherries, plum, raisin and cut flowers. Hits the mid palate running and keeps on going. Striking fruit intensity and purity, exhibiting flavors of black raspberries, black cherries and black currants that linger on the generous finish. The flavor profile veers to the ripe (dark) side, but never enters overripe territory. Still sporting substantial tannins and will benefit from a few years in the cellar. Always a distinguished wine and this vintage is no exception. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »
2008 ROCO Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., 1,600 cases, $30, screw cap. Sourced from Wit’s End Vineyard and other vineyards all of which are certified sustainably farmed. This is the second vintage at Rollin Soles’ new winery located on a small rural farm property on the Willamette Valley floor at the northern foot of the Dundee Hills. The estate vineyards are located in the Chehalem Mountains. A tasting room and offices are being added, but the winery currently is open to the public only a few days a year. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Appealing scent of black cherries, red berries, cinnamon apple and sandalwood. Tasty melange of red berries and cherries with a hint of pomegranate. The wine is on the delicate side, but there is an impressive blast of cherry flavor in the mid palate, carrying over to the finish. Flavors build in intensity over time in the glass. Well proportioned tannins and acidity round out the wine. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating further aging will enhance this wine. Very good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »
2008 ROCO Private Stash Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 150 cases, $75, screw cap. Sourced entirely from the Soles’ family Wit’s End Vineyard. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is closed for business initially, opening up over time in the glass to reveal hi-tone aromas of red Pinot fruits and spice. Pleasing, middle weight dark red cherry and berry flavors with a hint of candied spice and Red Vines. The taste profile is more typical of Pinot Noir from the Dundee Hills. A classy wine with admirable elegance that is very smooth in the mouth and literally grows on you over time. Definitely decant if you drink now. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »
2007 ROCO Private Stash Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 300 cases, $70. Fifth vintage from the Wits’ End Vineyard farmed by the Solle’s family. · Reticent scents of black cherries, oatmeal and oak. Flavors veer to the redder fruit spectrum with soft tannins and some citrus peel evident on the persistent finish. Copious pinotypicity. Not up to the last two vintages but delivers plenty of pleasure. Very good. Reviewed November 29, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 ROCO Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $40, screw cap. A blend of vineyards including winemaker Rollin Soles’ own Wit’s End Vineyard. · Subdued scents of dark red cherries and red licorice which blossom with time in the glass. Delicious cherry and berry fruit that is soft in the mouth with no perceptible tannin, this harmonious wine glides smoothly to a slightly tangy and refreshing finish. The 2005 version of this wine might be a skosh better, but this one has plenty to recommend. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 ROCO Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $40. A blend of the winemaker’s favorite Willamette Valley Vineyards including the Wit’s End Vineyard. · Soles says: "I like the ruby red 2005 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir already. The nose reveals violet, deep black cherry, mother’s roast beef and red currant jelly. I get the red currant in the front of the mouth, a mineral sweet center, and the finish is black cherry that includes a long hint of cinnamon with gripping, youthful tannins." Reviewed January 30, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 ROCO Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $40, screw cap. A blend of several Willamette Valley Vineyards, including the winemaker’s own Wit’s End Vineyard. The thunderbird image on the label is derived from a petroglyph discovered in the Columbia River Gorge. On the label: “We believe the wine speaks for itself. Wine is a revelator.” · Fairly light in color. Lovely red cherry and allspice aromas. Very soft and elegant redder fruits with a raspberry kiss on the lingering finish. A very feminine and sexy Pinot Noir that is perfectly crafted and in one word, superb. Reviewed February 18, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 ROCO Private Stash Number Three Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 100 cases, $70, screw cap. Third vintage, all from estate grown fruit at Wit’s End Vineyard. · The aromatics are stunning with perfectly spiced cherry fruit. Similar to the wine above but a little deeper and earthier and more ramped-up fruit flavors. The tannins are gossamer, the acidity is perfectly integrated, and the texture is mouth coating and silky. In two words, more superb. Reviewed February 18, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 ROCO Prviate Stash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 100 cases, $70. · Soles says: "In the nose I get a bit of black licorice, plum cake and black pepper that flows effortlessly to black cherry as it has time to open in the glass. In the mouth, the wine is juicy with flavors of pomegranate and plum juices. Its center is spicy with bits of licorice, a touch of pepper and a long sweet fruitcake finish." Reviewed January 30, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 Private Stash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $75, screw cap. · Complex perfume of confected black cherries and berries, exotic flowers, and understated charred oak. With air, the nose broadens and intensifies. Rich arsenal of tasty dark Pinot fruits with great purity and vigor. Finishes clean with lively clarity. Brilliantly crafted with pinpoint balance. Reviewed August 19, 2008 ARTICLE »