“What Tom Rochioloi does with Pinot Noir is like what Michelangelo did with chapels.” .... James McMillan
Then again, Luis Fernando Olaverri, said, “Wine is the only art work you can drink.” And someone, long ago said, “If the shoe fits,” but I’m getting carried away. What’s relevant here is that I’m a Francophile, brought up, in the 60s, on the Burgundy of the Cote d’Or (when it was less pricey and I didn’t so much concern myself with what I was spending on wine). Old world vs new, with the lines drawn decades ago based then on availability as much as anything else. But then I went to Oregon’s Willamette Valley and subsequently to California (twice) and met with Tom Rochioli. I’ve been a committed fan of Rochioli Vineyards and Winery since I first visited an met with Tom Rochioli in October of 2012.
Rochioli has estate vineyards in Russian River Valley, its own AVA within Sonoma California and produces estate and single vineyard estate wines. From Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc to Valdiguie (a good wine to blind taste with a SOMM or WSET graduate to see if she/her can identify the varietal – hint: it’s like a cru Beaujolais). But it’s his Pinot Noir that amazes me. Estate or Single vineyard (there are several) the Pinot Noir from this place continues to entice, thrill and amaze. And, yes, even when his Pinot Noir is rendered as a rose, I am drawn into it; wanting to continue tasting to better understand what I’m experiencing. Not “new world,” or “old,” it’s a mélange of the best of both. Fruit is evident, but always reserved and handled gracefully.
In the glass, the rose presents as medium-plus rose. And its nose is complex, especially for a rose: Fresh sea breeze, chalk, white peach and strawberry hulls, cherry, sweet floral notes, watermelon hard-candy. Fruit is opposed by chalk and minerality: a see-saw of interest enticing one to sip and verify first impression. But it doesn’t stop there. On the palate: contrasting notes: watermelon, cherry, vanilla but citrus opposes. The wine is dry, but fruity, sweet (just somewhat from the fruit) but tart in its finish. The finish is long, again – especially – for a rose. Cherry is forward, but tart and clean. Some white pepper announces on the finish balanced by strawberry balanced by tart cranberry.
|Don't Just Look At The Glass|
Look INTO It.
The wine is a “Flying Wallenda” of balance with a constant see-saw of opposing notes that makes for an interesting experience. Fruit opposes tartness and minerality but the finish is always cleansing and, in that sense, “old world.” Like a Provence, but not – weightier.
Perhaps it is that balances that so attracts me to the wines of Rochioli Vineyards. The mystery in his wines that keeps unfolding and involving me in tasting more and continuing to do so. It is “art that you can drink”. The shoe fits. And I am unabashed in my admiration.
It’s most certainly a food friendly wine with its acidity. Perfect for picnics with cold fried chicken at the beach or on the deck and patio with summer’s lighter foods. I’ve enjoyed it with simple salads and chicken kabobs. It could easily be appreciated with a charcuterie or a chilled pasta salad, goat cheeses, some grilled fish (Salmon, Opah). Having the acidity of a white, but the fruitiness of a red, pair this wine against a grilled (Italian) cheese sandwich.
|Salad With Strips Of Grilled Chicken|
Breast, Watermelon Radish and
|Chicken Kabobs, Zucchini with|
Stewed Tomatoes and Parmesan Reggiano
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TECH SPECS & ETC.
Rochioli Vineyards & Winery
6193 Westside Rd
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Avg Age of Vines: 18 Years
Drinkable: 2-3 Years With Proper Conditions
Fermentation: \ Steel, Temperature Controlled 62F
30 Days, 30 Days Malolactic Complete
No Skin Contact
WHOLE CLUSTER PRESSING and FREE RUN PINOT NOIR JUICE from Estate grapes with traditionally produced, barrel aged Pinot Noir added back in for color.
Cases Produced: 308
Picked: Sept. 2017
Bottled: Jan. 17, 2017
For information on other Rochioli wines, see:
For Their Sauvignon Blanc
For its (single vineyard Pinot Noir)
Production is limited. For availability, you may need to ask your retailer to order a sample bottle. Exclusive agent in the U.S. is Terlato Wines
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