May 19, 2006 - Jack

Wine Blogging Wednesday #21
Is My Blog Burning #26

This month's theme is Fabulous Favorites Festival.
Pick a favorite bottle of wine from your cellar and
create/cook a dish that goes with it.
Or a favorite meal and find wines to pair with it.
It is hosted by Lenn of Lenndevours and Alberto of Il Forno.


Our choice is
2000 Rochioli Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $35

paired with
Slow-Roasted Steelhead

Slow Roasted Steelhead

Click Here for Recipe

To me, this is quintessential California and Russian River Pinot Noir, year in - year out. It is also a great food wine.

About the 2000 vintage: Like always, it smells of Russian River Pinot. I find the 2000 to be more fruit-forward than other vintages, particularly the 1999 which we enjoyed last week. (Our last bottles of each, unfortunately!) You can easily tell you're drinking Pinot Noir. Stephen Tanzer really nails it in his description of this wine: “…not especially complex but pure and fresh, with captivating fruit.”

For the 2003, 2004 and 2005 vintages, Rochioli has held the price of this wine at $40 (via mailing list and tasting room (March’06)) – such a great value! If you’re not on the mailing list, you’ll find it at a scattering of wine stores for $50-$100 per bottle. But, you'll find the Rochioli Estate Pinot on quite a few winelists at restaurants in Sonoma County - and often at very inexpensive pricing (for restaurants) - such as $56 a bottle. This is definitely one to order when you visit wine country!

Visitor's Entrance to Rochioli

Rochioli, as of late 2007, has its own website. Rochioli is distributed in the US by Paterno Wines Int’l. Here’s a link to Paterno's Wine Finder.


J Rochioli


Sweetwater Springs Vineyards
Joanne's Tasting Notes:
Nose of fresh tobacco, cherry juice and hints of dried fruit. Rich, slightly velvety texture. Crushed dark cherries with acids on finish. No bitterness in center but hints hiding in the tannins on the clean finish. Lush fruit is nicely balanced. Drinking well now (with opening time) but has lots of time.

Recommended Pairing:
Wild King Salmon and other dishes you would often select pinot noir. My favorite pairing with Rochioli Estate Pinot Noir is probably roast chicken. This is neither a big pinot nor a soft one.

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