2012 Rochioli "Estate Grown" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1186594 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red. Vibrant redcurrant and raspberry scents, with a seductive overlay of candied rose and peppery spices. Focused and taut but sweet, with sappy red berry flavors and a lively mineral quality that adds lift and cut. Closes silky, seamless and long, with a strong echo of red fruit and no obvious tannins. (ST)  (5/2014)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Savory and structured, it has a supple layering of allspice that dances on the palate, with floral violet tones. Black cherry and earth make up the soul of this wine; it's both classy and hearty. (VB)  (10/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Pinot Noir Estate, which is already in bottle, comes primarily from the West Block and includes Dijon clones 115, 777 and the old California clone used in both California and Oregon, the Pommard clone. This wine exhibits a deep color, lots of pomegranate, black raspberry and black cherry fruit, a rich, concentrated mouthfeel, and hints of cranberries, cherries and spice. It is one of the finest Estate Pinot Noirs I have tasted from Rochioli, and should age nicely for a decade. Most knowledgeable people in the wine world have enormous respect for the integrity, honesty and exceptionally high quality of the wines emanating from the Rochioli Vineyards in the Russian River area. Currently, Tom Rochioli runs the show, and if you are not on their mailing list, chances are you only have an opportunity to purchase their Estate Chardonnay, Estate Pinot Noir, and possibly their Sauvignon Blanc. Mailing list customers have access to their best single vineyard wines. The consistency of these wines, even in less than ideal vintages, has been remarkable over my career. When I saw Tom Rochioli in October, he was thrilled with what 2012 had provided, and was even more excited by the fact that 2013 may be even better. The Pinot Noirs are largely produced from different clonal materials, and each parcel represents different blocks within the Rochioli estate vineyards. (RP)  (12/2013)


 The 2012 Pinot Noir Estate is punchy and lively from the first taste. Bright red fruit, cranberries, mint, licorice and spices all jump from the glass. The 2012 is an excellent choice for drinking over the next few years, while the fruit retains its vibrancy, lift and graciousness. (AG)  (2/2014)

Wine Spectator

 Offers ripe plum and raspberry notes, with dry, gripping tannins. Though somewhat simpler midpalate on, this may gain with time. Drink now through 2025. (JL, Web-2014)

K&L Notes

Rochioli has earned a reputation for farming some of California's most renowned Pinot Noir, contributing grapes to legendary brands like Williams Selyem and Gary Farrell, as well as making their own wine, most of which is only available by allocation.

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Sp├Ątburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

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 Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.