Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2004 J. Rochioli Pinot Noir Little Hill Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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. Big nose of ripe red fruits, sassafras and cloves. Medium to full bodies with tons of acidity. Any expectations of a delicate, elegant wine were dashed by this rich, vibrant Pinot Noir. Cherries, rhubarb and baking spices on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long. Delicious but falls short of what I expect from a Rochioli SVD. Solidifies my lack of appreciation for Pinots from the Russian River Valley in the ’04 vintage. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 91 points.

The single vineyard designate Pinots are released each Fall and are only available to long time mailing list members.

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.

I’ve blogged about Rochioli previously in the The 2017 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists.

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