2012RochioliValdiguie2012 Rochioli, Valdiguie, Estate, Russian River Valley.
A trip to Sonoma County and or the Russian River Valley is not complete without a visit to Rochioli, one of California’s great wine estates, and with a quiet winter day I got a chance to taste through their new releases, which is always a pleasure. I’ve been trekking to Rochioli myself since 1996 and every time I’m excited as the first time I came here, and with this visit I was able to get myself the latest release of their tasting room only Valdiguie, formerly thought to be Gamay, and sample this fun and hugely drinkable offering, made from estate vines. The 2011 was a pure and delightful wines, and the 2012 Valdiguie continues in that vein, but is with the vintage a touch more flamboyant and riper, but not overly so, just a bit more personality and verve. Rochioli in their notes, refer to the Valdiguie as a Cru Beaujolais style wine, as it does taste similar to Gamay, but Valdiguie is a lost varietal that originally came from the south of France and most likely the Languedoc, it doesn’t seem to be widely know there or is there much wine made from this grape, there are patches of it found in Monterey, where J. Lohr made the first correctly labelled bottling many years ago, and there is some in Napa, even though they try and call it “Napa Gamay” along with tiny amounts in Sonoma County and the Sierra Foothills. The Rochioli 2013 Valdiguie is bright and fruity on the nose with floral and red berry notes, a good ruby hue in the glass and a palate of morello cherry, strawberry, raspberry and sweet plum fruits, hints of cedar, or walnut, minty herbs and a touch of oak. Overall it is a fresh and simple red that is flavorful and easy to enjoy, it should be a pleasing red for another few years in bottle, best from 2015 to 2018. Apart from the Valdiguie, the tasting room at Rochioli offers a Rose of Pinot Noir, offered in the Spring/Summer, and a Syrah in the Fall usually, though it looks to have found a place on the mailing list along with the estate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc all which are tasting superb by the way.
($24 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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