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.
The winery recently published a detailed map of the Estate Vineyard that is required viewing for fans of the winery. The Chardonnay portion of Sweetwater Vineyard was planted in 2000.
Bright gold in color. 14.2% ABV. Stunning nose of tropical fruits, lemon oil and butterscotch. Rich and full bodied with ample acidity. Plush and oily with a sense of minerality. Pear, apple, lemon tart and a kiss of toasty oak on the palate. The finish is long and silky. Glorious Chardonnay that is aging brilliantly. Aubert might lay claim as the best Chardonnay producer in California but Rochioli is not far behind. Best over the next several years.
My rating: 94 points.
The 2018 version of this wine will be released next year.
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.