Rochioli Sweetwater Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
This wine has the classic mineral and baked apple and ripe peach aromas that have a trace of vanilla and roasted nuts. Very rich and complex, this wine has balanced flavors one would expect from this classic field selection and hillside planting. It also provides a firm structure and crisp acidity and has a history of aging well.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Chardonnay Sweetwater vineyard sings of fresh ginger, baking bread, popcorn and toasted almonds over warm apricots, Bosc pears and musk melon scents. Full-bodied, richly fruit and with an opulent oiliness to the texture, it delivers great freshness along with loads of savory layers, finishing very long.
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.
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.