2011 J. Rochioli, Chardonnay, South River, Russian River Valley.
Another full bodied single vineyard offering from Rochioli, the 14.5% natural alcohol South River is a lush and powerful wine that surprises for it’s force and depth, especially coming from the cooler 2011 vintage, it’s a stunner with a Roussanne (reminding me a lot of Hermitage Blanc) like intensity and oily mouth feel that is highly entertaining and impressive. The palate impact is huge with lavish textural pleasure showing golden apple, bruised pear, lemon curd, apricot and fig fruits along with a touch of vanilla, butter creme and smoke, but after a few swirls it takes on a stony mineral tone that cuts through the sweet density in this massively appealing Chardonnay. The J. Rochioli Single Vineyard Chardonnays are rich and long living wines, a bit of a throw-back in style, they are flashy and fleshy like Gucci, but these are wines you can’t help but admire and the pure hedonism they deliver in texture and depth, they are not shy on the oak, though everything flows seamlessly in these big wines that are best served with things like lobster or decedent creamy cheeses.
($70 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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