2008 Rochioli "Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1198615 90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The delicious 2008 Pinot Noir Estate (just under 4,000 cases produced) is one of the finest generic Pinots one can find from Russian River. It exhibits sweet pomegranate, raspberry, cherry, roasted herb notes along with a hint of smoky oak in its seductive, round, opulent personality. It should drink well for 7-8 years. This is another beautiful portfolio of wines from Tom Rochioli. Since they all possess a similar style, one can quibble over just how much difference there is between all the different cuvees of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. However, there are subtle differences that I will do my best to articulate. With respect to his Pinot Noirs, Rochioli completely destems his grapes, does a cold soak for 4-5 days, and keeps the wines in 100% Francois Freres French cooperage for 14-16 months or less. The wines are racked directly from barrel to tank, and are bottled without fining or filtration. (RP)  (2/2010)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium red. Fresh red berries and flowers on the nose, with spice and smoky notes emerging with air. Deep in red fruit flavor but light on its feet, offering zesty strawberry and cherry flavors and a touch of cola. The smoky note returns on the long, gently sweet finish. This is drinking well now. (ST)  (5/2010)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Light ruby. Quite complex even if a little beetrooty. Sweet start. Lacks the finesse of the Cristom 2007 tasted immediately before it. Very sweet and rich and somehow rather less forgivable in a Pinot than a Chardonnay. Good effort but lacks finesse. A little tough. (JR)  (12/2010)

Wine Spectator

 Intense, vibrant and racy, showing a chewy side to the wild berry, black cherry, plum, spice and mineral flavors that are raw, rustic, and in need of cellaring. Best from 2011 through 2017. 1,456 cases made. (JL)  (11/2010)

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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.