Rochioli Little Hill Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
From vines planted in 1972, the 2017 Chardonnay Little Hill has earthy cheese rind, stone and gunflint notes along with delicate notions of toasted hazelnut, white peach, dried white flowers and brioche. The palate is so classy, medium-bodied with intense, honey nut-tinged fruits balanced by juicy acidity and mineral character, finishing long. Rating: 94+
The Rochioli family has been growing grapes on its 136-acre ranch since the 1930s. In 1987, Tom Rochioli created the first Rochioli Estate Pinot Noir which Wine Spectator named “The Best Pinot Noir in America.” The Rochioli Vineyard is situated in a very diverse part of the Russian River Valley promoting diversity in the soil types, proximity to the ocean, as well as the contours of the valley, allowing for morning fog and cool evening breezes.
With three generations of dedication to the land, Rochioli Vineyards & Winery has earned the reputation as one of Sonoma County’s finest wineries. The decades-long tradition of outstanding vintages continues today with wines that consistently receive rave reviews and 90+ scores. Always in demand, always revered and always rated among the best varietals sought after around the world.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.