2011 Rochioli "Little Hill" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1212283 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Ultrafine and ripe, with a tenderness of generosity that belies its firm tannins and ageability. It’s immediately delicious for the depth of raspberry and cherry pie richness, balanced with zesty acidity. Yet it’s complex and balanced enough to warrant aging.  (8/2013)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Little Hill is one of the biggest and richest of these 2011 Rochioli Pinots, largely because of the presence of Burgundy clones. Juicy, expressive and full-bodied, this voluptuous wine is a classic example of Russian River Pinot, the cool vintage notwithstanding. Dark raspberries, cherries, licorice and mint positively explode on the super-ripe, racy finish. (AG)  (4/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Pungent cherry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by suggestions of smoky minerals, sassafras and dried rose. Deep, finely etched cherry and dark berry flavors show very good energy, with slow-mounting spiciness adding complexity. The finish features bitter cherry and candied rose and lingers with impressive sappiness and cling. (ST)  (5/2013)

Wine Spectator

 Firm and loamy, with snappy raspberry and wild berry flavors accompanied by touches of crushed rock and graphite, ending with gripping tannins. Needs time to unwind. Best from 2014 through 2022. (JL)  (7/2013)

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Price: $84.99
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Varietal:

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 Spätburgunder 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.
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.