2006 Rochioli "Estate" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1033940 91 points Wine Spectator

 Starts with subtle smoky pear, fig and citrus flavors and builds complexity, picking up rich mineral, marshmallow and light hazelnut flavors. Elegant and stylish.  (7/2008)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Green-gold. Strong leesy character underscores fresh lemon, lime and pear aromas, with a light smoky note adding depth. Very Burgundian in style, with strikingly focused orchard and citrus fruit flavors, creamy texture and a refreshing jolt of acidity on the finish. A subtle toasty note lingers on the finish of this very impressive "basic" bottling.  (6/2007)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Made from the old California Clone 76, the 2006 Chardonnay Estate goes from strength to strength...it offers elegant, smoky, marmalade, peach, and apricot notes, medium to full body, and good minerality  (12/2007)

Wine & Spirits

 Decant this wine to bring out its clean apple and chamomile scents. This vintage of Rochioli's chardonnay is relatively light in body, its oak aging apparent in subtle leesiness rather than overt wood scents. It's meaty, with good length of fruit; for roast veal.  (2/2008)

K&L Notes

Robert Parker writes: "In 2006, there is even a smaller amount of wine from Tom Rochioli than usual. Yields were so small and there was so little wine from the Three Corner Vineyard that it was blended with the East Block Pinot. Rochioli sells the majority of the fruit from their 140 acres of vineyards in the Russian River to other producers, which I find remarkable given the quality of what winemaker Tom Rochioli is able to achieve in addition to his superb vineyard sites." (12/2007)

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Price: $29.99
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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.


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