2014 Rochioli, Valdiguie, Russian River Valley.
One of my secret favorite wines, the wonderfully fruit forward Valdiguie by Rochioli is playful and expressive wine, the varietal once though to be Gamay is from southwest France and not related, though sometimes called Napa Gamay still is a light to medium bodied red that offers juicy red fruit flavors that in a vintage as 2014 can be almost candied and Zinfandel like. Racy sweet raspberries and dark flowers rush at you on the nose and palate with a hint of carbonic tropical fruit leading the way with black cherry, sweet and spicy red berry, a touch of cola and banana bread along with vanilla, wild herb and guava nectar. This vintage is ripe and bright with surprising length and flamboyant character, it is showy and has a personality that again reminds me a bit more of Zinfandel, but with a Pinot Noir size frame and acidity, add to that a dollop of smoky French oak and you capture the essence of this vintage. Prior releases seem a bit more subtle, but certainly this Rochioli Valdiguie doesn’t lack for anything, it might actually be a wine to hold on to for another few years, surprising in it’s substance and for it’s expressive style. Valdiguie had an early champion in J. Lohr, but has gained modern embrace by Cruse Wine Company and Broc Cellars, both of which are great examples, though a bit more natural and subtle than Rochioli. This Valdiquie is only available through the Rochioli tasting room on Westside Road, near Healdsburg, and sometimes on their website, best to check often to see what they are offering, especially if you are waiting to get on their full mailing list.
($28 Est.) 89-90 Points, grapelive

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