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Rochioli River Block Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • RP93
14.5% ABV
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • WS93
  • RP94
  • RP95
  • RP95
  • RP92
  • JS94
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is a blend of three shy bearing clones of Chardonnay. Ninety percent of the wine is from the old Wente selection and 10% from Dijon clone 95. This blend is created to capture the finest expression of this site. The wine is aged on the lees for nine months and gives this wine its classic Old World character. Ripe apple, mineral, and hazelnut aromas combine with its balanced finish. It is structured for aging and will reward those with the patience to cellar this wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Chardonnay River Block is made from the Old Wente clone as well as Dijon clone 95. It offers up notes of buttered tangerine oil, lemon grass, white peach, an underlying stony character, and a fresh, full-bodied, rich mouthfeel displaying terrific texture and length. This superb Chardonnay should drink well for 6-8 years.
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Rochioli

Rochioli

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Rochioli, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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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.

Russian River

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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.

Chardonnay

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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 practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

RMI131389_2012 Item# 131389