2008 J. Rochioli, Chardonnay, River Block, Estate, Russian River Valley.
An aging beauty with load a character and powerful intensity, in classic Rochioli style, this River Block 2008 impresses with a real palate impact, from their old vines and clones, this wine never fails to be massively appealing. A pure pleasure in the glass, reminding me of Chave Hermitage Blanc, the Rochioli River Block is rich and densely packed, this is no wall flower, showing sweet fruit, smoky oak and liquid mineral that explodes on the palate, in a wine which somehow remains fresh, detailed and heightened, revealing caramel apple, apricot, honeyed citrus/lemon curd, grilled pineapple along with butterscotch/creme brulee, it’s full bodied and thickly lush adding a bit of bright citrus tanginess, golden fig and vanilla cream. I can imagine this with lobster and or soft cheeses, it lingers on and on, it’s more Scarlett Johansson than Kate Blanchett in the glass, incredible for almost 10 years old. Deeply golden/yellow hued, though still crystal clear and perfumed, almost like a late harvest, but with a balanced vitality and a complexity flavors that offers a luxurious thrill ride, adding to the total experience and pleasure. Barrel fermented and aged in lots of toasty new oak, this Rochioli River Block is a full throttle style Chardonnay, but one that has aged well that you can’t help admire, and especially in an unheralded vintage like 2008. This Rochioli delivers everything you’d want and more, it’s a showy and flashy example of mature California Chard that rivals the best from Aubert and Peter Michael in this rich style. I love it’s overt nature and personality, if you have some of Rochioli’s single vineyard 2008 bottlings it’s a great time to drink them, in particular this one, it’s peaking right now and showing it’s best form, it’s great stuff, drink up.
($80 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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