There are 250 cases of the dark ruby-colored, more elegant, restrained, mineral-dominated 2005 Pinot Noir East Block. Produced from a cooler exposition, it reveals sweet raspberry and black cherry fruit, a crushed rock character, full body, and beautiful length as well as depth. Like most of these single vineyard offerings, it should drink well for a decade or more. Kudos to Tom Rochioli, one of the wine world’s great guys who, without any fanfare, continues to turn out world-class wines of extraordinary aromatic and flavor dimensions. (RP)
*Cellar Selection* From the first Pinot block on the estate (1968), and from an unknown clone sourced from a long-forgotten Napa vineyard. The block is now being replanted. This is the Pinot that established Rochioli’s reputation, and the bottling remains a superstar. The ’05 is very dry, crisp and full-bodied, with a flood of cherry-pie filling, pomegranate, rhubarb, Beefsteak tomato and flashy new oak. It’s young and immature in tannins, and needs cellaring.
Dark red. Complex aromas of cherry, boysenberry, dried flowers and Asian spices, with a bright mineral lift. Suave and creamy, with sweet red and dark berry flavors, a silky texture and outstanding palate coverage. Fresh and pure on the finish, which displays excellent depth, length and a persistent spice note. Rochioli says that this site was planted to "an unknown clone" in 1968 and that it's dying or pretty much dead and will soon be replanted to the West Block clone, which came from Wente. (ST)
*Outstanding* Natural spice notes add considerable nuance to the very pure, airy and refined, even lacy aromas of classic red pinot fruit aromas and this transparency continues onto the sweet, delicious and utterly seductive flavors that manage to deliver both opulence and fine detail on the notably ripe but balanced finish. This is a really lovely effort and certainly worth a look if you can find it.
Exhibits a complex mix of dried cherry, currant, herb and sage flavors that turn to a green tea note on the finish. (JL)
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