2021 Rochioli Estate Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

2021 Rochioli Estate Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

¥7,590 (incl. tax)

In 1959, Joe Rochioli Sr. planted one of the first Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in California. Today, these 60-year-old vines are still healthy enough to have provided a hefty portion of the fruit in this wine. More fruit was sourced from Rochioli’s 35-year-old hillside vineyard, as well as a newer vineyard planted to a rare clone of Sauvignon Blanc. (The 376 clone is a proprietary clone developed in France that requires licensing in order to plant. It has slightly lower acid and features tropical flavors of pineapple, melon, and peach.) What stands out in this wine is complexity and intense varietal character - that is to say citrus, lime, gooseberry, fresh cut grass, and passion fruit. Pour a glass for some friends and see how the alluring aromas, firm acidity, and mouthwatering minerality manage to dominate the conversation (or stop it altogether)!

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 2021
Color White
Varietal(s) Sauvignon Blanc
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 RC21SB
UPC NONE

Owning & Enjoying


Tasting notes

93 points – Wine Spectator (2020 vintage). 

Pale lemon in color, the wine starts with aromas of gooseberries, passionfruit, grapefruit with some floral notes. The palate is dry with high acidity and intense flavors of lemon-lime, honeyed citrus and passion fruit. Well-balanced, a wine with great Sauvignon Blanc varietal character. 

Production


Vinification

Fermented in stainless tank at cool temperatures. 

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