2010RochioliRiverBlockCH2010 J. Rochioli, Chardonnay “Riverblock” Estate, Russian River Valley.
This wonderfully rich and detailed Chardonnay is wildly enjoyable and hedonistic, while still showing bright, vivid and focused layers of fruit, mineral and acidity. The vintage really brought out the best in Chardonnay, a long cool season with a few heat spikes and plenty of acid and fully ripe grapes. River Block is one of the great wines of California, and Rochioli has no trouble selling out to their mailing list, so it is a very rare wine, which is rather sad, and while I rather focus on wines that are more readily available, I couldn’t resist sharing my impressions of this American Classic. It is with ultra high expectations that I approach wine like this, especially Rochioli (It took me over 7 years to get on their list, and I am able to get maybe a few bottles a year.) so it was a great surprise that this 2010 J. Rochioli, Chardonnay “River Block” Russian River Valley blew away my high bar and set it higher with a wine that is almost perfect in everyday from bouquet to finish with mouth filling texture and sublime balance. The nose begins the journey with citrus, fig, clove, toast, mineral and clarified cream leading to a palate of lemon, peach, apple and hazelnut along with hints of char, vanilla and orange zest. This wine is pure textural pleasure and density along the lines of a fine Meursault or Corton-Charlemagne while retaining elegance and grace without flabby or overt oaky character.
($110+ Est.) 95+ Points, grapelive

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