2005RochioliPNLH2005 J. Rochioli, Pinot Noir “Little Hill” Estate, Russian River Valley.
I will first say that if you have this wine, give it some more cellar time as I found it takes a long time to open up and may just be in a closed phase at this time, but that said the next day when tasted it was much better. The just opened bottle showed toasty oak, truffle oil and smoky gun power that over powered the fruit and it took a while before giving way to the beauty that was hiding underneath. The palate is rich and almost full with firm structure and lots of savory notes. Plenty of black cherry, plum and raspberry flavors come out with time, but the sweet oak with mocha, vanilla and spice are a bit too forceful until the wine is really open, though it melted nicely into the background when tried the day after opening, so I believe the elements will come into balance in another couple of years, but this wine is taking ages to evolve and is a touch disappointing at present, especially after having the 2005 Riverblock, which was almost perfect 2 years ago. The tannins are a sharp and the strawberry rhubarb tangy element keep this wine from ever really be great or pleasing. I hope this softens and it still is very nice, but not where I would have hoped at this stage. I must say, Rochioli has almost never let me down and while this is not my favorite wine, it could be just this bottle, as every other 2005 blew me away.
($100 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

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