Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 450-case 2006 Chardonnay South River Vineyard (100% Hanzell clone) reveals notes of brioche, peach, lemon butter, white currants, and spring flowers. Loaded with fruit, and displaying good definition as well as delineation, it should drink well for 5-6 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright yellow-gold. Assertively perfumed, energetic bouquet of spiced apple, pear, tangerine, anise and iodine; very complex. Vibrant orchard fruit and citrus flavors deliver solid punch and superb clarity, picking up smoky mineral and floral character with air. Closes with outstanding lift and cut, leaving a strong note of orange zest behind. This vineyard is planted exclusively to the Hanzel clone.
Rich and full-blown, with a strong toasty oak character to the ripe pear, fig, melon and hazelnut flavors. Young, intense and still a bit leesy. Yet a little time in the bottle should do the trick. Drink now through 2011.
The Rochioli Vineyard is situated in a very diverse part of the Russian River Valley. Joe Jr. and Tom both believe key factors in growing superb grapes come from the diversity in the soil types, the vineyards’ proximity to the ocean, as well as the contours of the valley, allowing for morning fog and cool evening breezes. Today, the vineyard is divided into several unique blocks, each planted with numerous clones. In the 1990s, Rochioli Winery released wines from five blocks, each displaying distinct characteristics. At that point the Rochioli’s established the Russian River Valley as a petite Côte-d'Or with the ability to produce terroir-driven wines. Because of the diverse terroir across their 140 acres in production, Tom ferments each block separately. While this is a common practice in Burgundy, Rochioli was one of the first in the area to introduce a micro-batch process. He believes in being able to taste unique differences between the diverse soil and clonal diversity that typifies the Russian River estate. Tom closely follows a traditional “hands off” approach to winemaking.
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