2015 Rochioli "Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1296591 93 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2015 Pinot Noir is terrific, with classic black raspberries and cherry fruits intermixed with spice-cake, incense, and dried flower/potpourri nuances. All from the Russian River Valley and aged 15 months in French oak, this beauty is medium to full-bodied, elegant and layered, with impressive depth and purity, as well as richness. It's going to drink nicely for at least a decade. (JD)  (3/2018)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Creamy, spicy, vanilla-tinged oak adds an attractive aromatic element and textural suppleness to the core of zesty wild blackberry and spicy scents, enlivened by snappy acidity and vibrant tannins. Drink now through 2025. (JL)  (4/2017)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Estate offers intense black cherry, red currant and mulberry notes with a spicy undercurrent of cinnamon, cloves and anise. Medium-bodied, it provides mouth-filling cherry and spice flavors with a good frame of grainy tannins and plenty of freshness. (LPB)  (2/2017)

90 points Vinous

 The 2015 Pinot Noir Estate is big, rich and powerful. Dark cherry, plum, lavender, tobacco, menthol and licorice are some of the signatures. This is a decidedly dark, powerful vintage for the Estate. Ripeness is on the edge, and the flavors are also a bit roasted today. I would prefer to drink the 2015 sooner rather than later. Tom Rochioli's 2015 Chardonnays are fabulous. Rochioli reports that yields were about average, which might explain why the wines are so well balanced, harmonious and fresh. Pinot yields were much lower. As a result, the wines are intense and ripe to the point of being exotic. Some blocks on the property handled the conditions of the year - namely considerable shatter during flowering and a very early harvest - better than others. That is exactly what comes through in the wines. All that said, Rochioli picks a little earlier than he used to and is now experimenting with stems on the Pinots, all of which give wines that have more energy and overall freshness than they had just a few years ago, while still maintaining plenty of the Russian River exuberance that is such a hallmark of these wines. (AG)  (1/2017)

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Price: $79.99
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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 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.


- 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.