2012 Rochioli, Pinot Noir, Estate Grown, Russian River Valley.
One of California’s most famous classic Pinot Noir producers, Rochioli is a Russian River legend and still one of America’s finest estates with their Pinots being some of the world’s most sought after wines. Joe Rochioli Sr, with his small family, from a small village just outside of Lucca, migrated to America in 1911, seeking a better life. The Rochioli’s were one of many Italian families that arrived in New York, that made their way across the country, and settled in Northern California, and with hard work and some luck ended up on a 125-acre ranch in the Russian River Valley nearby Healdsburg, it was called Fenton Acres. Fenton Acres, is the same location where Rochioli Vineyards is today, though back in 1934 it had just a tiny vineyard, now grapes make up most of the estate and the winery is on site, next to the family home now run by Tom Rochioli, who’s dad in 1959 planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc mostly. It was early in the 1970’s that the Rochioli’s put in Pinot Noir and sold it to some great winemakers, like Davis Bynum and Bert Williams of Williams Selyem, it wasn’t until 1983 that changed the name from Fenton Acres to Rochioli Vineyards and started to make their own wines with 1987 being their first estate release. The rest is history as they say, now there is a long waiting list to get their prized Pinots, sometimes customers must wait a decade to get an offer letter. The 2012 Russian River Pinot is a bold and luxurious wine with graceful textures and classic details with black cherry, raspberry and plum fruits, baking spices, cola bean and wilted rose petals, it’s a wine entering it’s prime and with subtle maturity.
It was great to go back and check in on these older vintage Rochioli bottles, I have been holding on to, this 2012 Estate Grown Pinot Noir is drinking glorious right now, the color is fresh and the depth of complexity truly remarkable, it has fully resolved it’s oak and has gained in all dimensions, it’s a pretty and satiny Pinot that certainly thrills in the glass, drink now.
($68 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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