2010 Rochioli "Estate" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1107572 92 points Wine Spectator

 Full-bodied, rich and layered, with honeysuckle, smoke, roasted fig and melon flavors that are pure, focused, subtle and persistent. Drink now through 2018. 1,647 cases made.  (6/2012)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Chardonnay Estate is a gorgeous wine. Pears, flowers, spices and almonds are some of the notes that flow from this refined, textured Chardonnay. This is a very pretty entry-level wine from Tom Rochioli that captures the essence of the house style. I loved it. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016. I came away deeply impressed by the wines I tasted with Tom Rochioli. The 2010 Chardonnays are absolutely gorgeous. The cold, late-harvest provides a wonderful balance to the inherent richness that is typically present in the wines. Rochioli is one of the later growers to pick. The 2010 Chardonnays were fermented in barrel. Rochioli stirred the lees every week until January, then once every few weeks until the wines were moved to tank in July. The wines spent three weeks in tank and were bottled in August 2011. The Pinot Noirs are stunning in both 2009 and 2010. As is the case throughout the Sonoma Coast, the 2009s are more consistent across the board, but the best 2010s may very well prove to be superior. For now what is certain is that the 2010 Pinots show a level of verve and focus that is missing from the 2009s. Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these big, exuberant Pinots. Tom Rochioli is a bit of recluse, which means his wines remain known only to a relatively small group of consumers. Prices are very reasonable considering the quality of what is in the bottle.  (2/2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light gold. Aromas of orange, poached pear, ginger and toasty lees. Sweet and buttery on entry, then nicely taut in the middle, offering minerally orchard fruit and lemon curd flavors and a bright mineral nuance. Finishes chewy and tactile, with lingering floral and spice notes and very good persistence.  (5/2012)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 A textbook example in how to make a Chardonnay that’s ripely fruity and oaky, yet maintains impeccable balance. The orange, apricot, green apple and lime flavors hit the jackpot, while brisk acidity and minerality provide equilibrium. Possesses that rare quality of elegance.  (3/2012)

Wine & Spirits

 There’s an intriguing meaty savor to this wine, balanced against the warmth and sweetness of the fruit. Cellar this for six months to a year and the wine’s complexities should begin to show.  (4/2012)

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Price: $59.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.