2005 Rochioli "Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1030018 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Pinot Noir Estate offers delicious raspberry and black cherry fruit along with a hint of flowers, and crisp underlying acidity to buttress the beautiful texture and rich, heady mouthfeel. There are 4,000 cases of this cuvee, which was aged in one-third new Francois Freres barrels. Tom Rochioli told me considerable crop-thinning had to be done in 2005 to keep the Pinot Noir yields manageable. A blend of Dijon Clones 115 and 777 in addition to some of the old Pommard Clone, this stunning effort is the finest regular Pinot Noir Rochioli has yet produced. (RP)  (12/2006)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 The beauty of this wine is in the aroma, a foresty dark cherry scent that mingles with the cinnamon stick essence of new oak. The flavors haven't fully developed yet, though the wine feels generous, sappy and rich. It finishes clean, as if waiting for the aroma to extend through the wine and last. For the cellar.  (8/2007)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light red. Vibrant strawberry and raspberry on the nose, with an earthy rhubarb accent. Fine-grained and silky, with bright red berry flavors, good depth and a refreshing mineral quality on the finish. The suave texture and sweet red fruits reminded me of Volnay, as did the lush, harmonious tannins.  (6/2007)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Starts with a dazzling array of bright, pure aromas of cherries, loganberries and raspberry jam, with intricate complexities of cola, pumpkin pie, nutmeg, cinnamon and smoky oak. The flavors are similar, and the wine is totally dry and elegant. For the winery’s villages-style Pinot, it’s a real beauty.  (7/2007)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Shows aromas of floral, cherry, wild berry and raspberry fruit. Compact and delicate on the palate, ending with an earthen floor and mushroom note that adds complexity.  (6/2007)

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Price: $49.99
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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 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.

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.


- 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.