2019 Rochioli Sweetwater Pinot Noir

2019 Rochioli Sweetwater Pinot Noir

¥20,900 (incl. tax)

Very Low Stock

Rochioli Pinot Noirs stand out with a style that is aromatic, ripe and succulent but never big or oaky. Because they have no trouble selling every bottling of every vintage, the winery engages in almost no marketing or promotion. In the United States, one would need to be on “The List” to buy this wine, a process that can take four years or more. The Sweetwater Vineyard is located at the highest elevation of the estate. According to the winery, “This wine has aromas of ripe black cherry, rose, earth and spice with rich ripe cherry and vanilla flavors. Very full on the palate, the refined tannins and balanced acidity are in perfect harmony. This is a blend of the Rochioli West Block selection and Dijon 777. The average yield was 2.4 tons per acre and nineteen barrels were bottled.” Vinous (Antonio Galloni) wrote  “...laced with crushed red berry, spice, leather, licorice and dried flowers. Attractive floral and savory notes give the Sweetwater lovely aromatic complexity and tons of nuance...understated and classy to the core.”

Winery


Winery Description

When it comes to Russian River Pinot Noir, Rochioli Vineyards is an iconic name. After all, Rochioli supplied the fruit in wines made by Williams-Selyem and Davis Bynum that won awards and established the Russian River Valley as a great region for the “notoriously fickle” Pinot Noir. When Rochioli decided to release a wine under their own label, in 1985, it was named “best Pinot Noir in America” by the Wine Spectator. Today, Rochioli Vineyards and Winery is owned and operated by Joe Rochioli Jr. and his son, Tom, who farm over 50 hectares of vineyards southwest of Healdsburg. In this region with diverse soils and a moderate climate, they produce sought-after Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc in vineyard-designated and estate bottlings. 

Yet the history of Rochioli Vineyards is also an iconic story in the history of Sonoma County agriculture. Unlike the Napa Valley, which had always featured fancy estates and close ties to San Francisco and European high society, Sonoma was all about poor immigrant families who were farmers first and winemakers on the side. Joe’s father (Joe Sr.) immigrated from Italy to a life of hardscrabble farm work on the land he would eventually purchase one parcel at a time. Joe Jr. was born in Sebastopol and worked in the fields with crops that supported the family: hops, prunes, string beans as well as a few acres of grapes used in “jug” wines produced by the likes of Gallo. Only gradually (but before most other farmers in the area) did the Rochiolis shift toward planting vineyards for varietal wines, beginning with Sauvignon Blanc in the late 1950s and moving into Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the early 1970s. Joe Jr. had an instinct for viticulture, for he pioneered such techniques as seeking out and planting diverse clones, crop thinning to limit yields, and leaf pulling to better manage sunlight on grape bunches. In 1985, the Rochiolis built a winery, and since then have made wine under their own label as well as continuing to supply fruit to other top wineries in the area. Winemaker Tom Rochioli follows such Burgundian methods as using natural yeasts, fermenting vineyard blocks separately, aging on fine lees, assembling the blends after time in barrel, and avoiding fining or filtering. 

It should be said that Rochioli does not make wine in the vibrant, low alcohol style of the “In Pursuit of Balance” group of winemakers. On the other hand, dedication to viticulture and “hands off” winemaking methods lead Rochioli to make wines that express the terroir of the Russian River Valley, which they describe as “silky-smooth, fruit-forward Pinot Noirs; rich, opulent Chardonnays; and tangy, food-friendly Sauvignon Blancs.”

About this Wine


Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Russian River Valley (Sonoma)
Winery Rochioli
Vintage 2019
Color Red
Varietal(s) Pinot Noir
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 30.5
Case Size 35.5 x 27.0 x 31.5
Alcohol 14.5%
Product Code RC19SWP
UPC NONE

Owning & Enjoying


Tasting notes

93 points – Vinous / Antonio Galloni.

A complex nose of black cherry, raspberry, rose, earth and spice opens up to rich flavors of ripe cherry and vanilla, ending with a long finish.

Production


Vinification

The wine aged in French oak. 

Review this Wine