Grapelive: Wine of the Day November 23, 2019

2015 J. Rochioli, Pinot Noir “Three Corner” Russian River Valley, Sonoma County -photo grapelive

2015 J. Rochioli, Pinot Noir “Three Corner” Russian River Valley, Sonoma County.
One of the rarest estate Pinots at Rochioli is their Three Corner, with this bottling coming from a small triangle shaped vineyard on the southern end of their property that was planted back in 1974 and that has what call West Block clonal selection(s) or Rochioli clone on a slope between Westside Road and the Russian River itself. This amazing parcel only yields about 1.5 tons per acre and the wine shows the concentration, making it one of Rochioli’s Grand Cru bottlings. The 2015 is just starting to full express itself and I was impressed with the lovely mineral and cool palate personality with black cherry, plum, cranberry and blueberry fruits, light spices, loam, sassafras/cola bean and toasty sweet oak shadings. This is a rich style Pinot Noir no question, but I wouldn’t say it is overt or over the top and I loved the vitality and lingering floral notes and hints of saline that make it great with an array of cuisine.

The River brings fog and a cool sea breeze up here and gives a big day to night swing in real temperature allowing for classic regional ripeness and balancing acidity that makes for a seriously age worth Pinot Noir. The old vine Three Corner Pinot is usually aged about 15 to 18 months in 50% new French oak and is luxurious, toasty and medium to full bodied with the 2015 showing wonderful length and intensity, it makes quite an impression on the palate in a way a stellar vintage Burgundy does and it handles its 14.5% natural alcohol very well indeed, it really comes together with air and tannins are remarkably fine and silken. I bought a few bottles of this off the Rochioli mailing list and this was the first one I opened, and I’ve thrilled by the class and depth here, it should age exceptionally gracefully for another 5 to 10 years with ease.
($149+ Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive