Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light gold color. Suave and understated, with a sexy bouquet of tangerine, white flowers, minerals and mace. Juicy citrus and orchard fruit flavors offer excellent clarity and mineral snap, picking up zesty spices with air. A silky, elegant wine, with outstanding finishing clarity and persistence. This vineyard is planted to the Wente clone, from cuttings that Rochioli got from Kistler.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The newest single vineyard offering, the 2006 Chardonnay Sweetwater Vineyard, emerges from a spectacular hillside site planted with an Old Wente clone. It displays a distinctive minerality along with superb notes of white fruits, cold steel, citrus oils, and spring flowers. Reminiscent of a Chevalier-Montrachet from Burgundy, this beautiful, long, concentrated Chardonnay with great acidity should last for 6-10 years.
A rich, fruity, concentrated style, with smoky fig, apricot, honey and butterscotch flavors that are full-bodied and long and persistent on the finish.
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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