Rochioli is one of the true pioneers in Russian River Valley, with a winemaking history dating back to the the late 1950′s. In 1987 Rochioli released their first estate wine, the 1985 Rochioli Pinot Noir. Although best known for their world class Pinot Noir, Rochioli also produces remarkable Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Little Hill Vineyard is a small 2.8 acre parcel of Rochioli Vineyard planted in 1993 planted from West Block Vineyard cuttings. The winery recently published a detailed map of the Estate Vineyard that is required viewing for fans of the winery.
Light red in color. 14.2% ABV. Brooding nose of black cherries, cloves and forest floor. Surprisingly big and muscular with medium acidity. The structure belies the 13 years of bottle age. Cherries, cranberries, anise and mint on the palate. The finish is long with silky tannins. Delicious but somewhat atypical. Drink over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 91 points.
The current version was approximately $78 off the mailing list.
At present time (and for the foreseeable future) buying from Rochioli via the mailing list is not an option. The Estate wines do show up at retail periodically, and the winery’s Russian River Valley tasting room is still open for public tasting. They may only be pouring a couple of wines, but it’s a great opportunity to buy a bottle for a picnic on their lovely patio and a few more to bring home for the cellar.
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