2017 Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard
RELEASE PRICE $85 Past Release

Winemakers Notes

This wine presents a wonderful juxtaposition of fruit and savory notes. The Rochioli Riverblock is dynamic with berry overtones and underlying hints of fennel. The wine builds toward […]

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Technical Notes

TA 0.61g/100mL
pH 3.61
Alc. 14.1%
Barrel Description 74% new, 26% 1 yr.
Barrel Aged 16 months
Technical Notes PDF

Winemakers Notes

This wine presents a wonderful juxtaposition of fruit and savory notes. The Rochioli Riverblock is dynamic with berry overtones and underlying hints of fennel. The wine builds toward the mid-palate and berry flavors and earth tones cling all the way to the finish. With the warm growing season, the tannins achieved another level of maturity in this stalwart site resulting in refinement and precision in this offering.

Harvest Notes

It was an auspicious start to the 2017 growing season with steady rain followed by dry spells which allowed for the soil profile to fill up progressively. The waterworks kicked into high gear in January at which point over 20 inches of rain had accumulated. That’s nearly double the historical average. 2017 was epic in many respects and at one point the Russian River waters touched Westside Road and the winery was waterfront property! As the waters receded and the soil dried up, temperatures moderated, and bud break ensued by mid-March. Steady rain through the vegetative cycle was balanced with days of brilliant sunshine which helped to grow green, healthy plants. The weather was very fine in May for the flowering period and ideal for the fruit set. As the season progressed there were periods of heat that occurred with some regularity. With plenty of water in the soil profile, the plants did not stress too much and physiological maturity continued at an accelerated pace. Due to the diversity in our vineyard sources, there is normally a natural spread in the pick dates. However, in 2017 there was compression of the harvest and many of the vineyards were ready in a short period of time. The process was nearly complete by the time the intense Labor Day heat wave hit and, thankfully, had concluded before the devastating wildfires in October. Through a Herculean effort in the vineyards and at the winery we were able to pick the grapes at the optimal time and preserve the freshness and acidity of the vintage. The consequent wines show a refinement to the tannin structure which will allow for early consumption but will age gracefully with mid-term cellaring. Through and through, the 2017 is an excellent vintage.

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Reviews & Scores

93 Points

Wine Spectator

Rich and powerful, with a plush texture to the richly spiced plum compote and cherry tart flavors. Dried beef accents show midpalate, leading to a finish filled with savory spice notes. Drink now through 2024. 766 cases made. — KM

96 Points

Wine & Spirits

We tasted a lot of Russian River Valley pinot noir over the course of several days and this one stood out as classical. It’s a wine with both stamina and depths to its flavors, reverberating long after each sip, as if you’d been listening to digitized jazz for a while, then decided to play Stan Getz on vinyl and the sound filled the room in a completely different way. “Coming home to RRV,” I wrote. “This tastes like Rochioli in its richness and layered-soil verve.” It might surprise some rock-head terroirists that a wine grown in layers of sand washed off the river could offer so much distinction, and yet this is one of the most identifiable pinot noirs in California. It’s distinctly beautiful in the cool, balanced ripeness of the fruit Joe Rochioli, Jr., farms and the elegant, fern-green freshness winemaker Jeff Mangahas retains in the wine, the protocols built around Rochioli fruit since 1980—such as foot treading, and fermentation with a local yeast that Burt Williams isolated— seeming to play invisibly into this wine’s stature. A California collectible deserving a place in your cellar. Reviewed by Joshua Greene.

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