A Sonoma Pinot Among a Set of Stellar Christmas Wines

Rochioli Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2007
James Laube
Posted: December 30, 2010

Christmas dinner with serious wine lovers usually brings out the best in food and wine. Fresh Dungeness crab, a popular holiday treat in Northern California, provided the focal point for the main course this year. I dined with friends who popped the corks on several great Champagnes (starting before I got there), including an elegant Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV and a yeasty, doughy Henriot Brut NV (the bottle disappeared so fast I didn’t catch more details). Next came a 2005 Marcassin Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Three Sisters Vineyard, rich and mature, very Burgundian with its minerally earthiness.

That was followed by a lovely California Pinot, a magnum of 2007 Rochioli Russian River Valley. The Rochioli has blossomed into a seamless mix of supple plum and black cherry fruit that was rich yet elegant, which I thought was outstanding (92 points, non-blind) and far showier than when I blind-tasted it and recommended short-term cellaring.

Dessert came in the form of a half-bottle of 2001 Château d’Yquem, a fitting end to the meal. This Sauternes earned a 100-point rating from Wine Spectator, and it showed why, with its pure richness, impeccable balance and deep, layered honeyed flavors with traces of fig, melon, tobacco and apricot.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Rochioli Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2007 (87, $60).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated California Pinot Noirs.

Member comments   1 comment(s)

Juan Pedro San Martin — Coral Gables, Florida —  January 1, 2011 2:05pm ET

The 2006 is drinking great..Thanks for the update on the 2007 as we had stayed away due to your notes.


Would you like to comment?

Want to join or start a discussion? Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!

To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. To learn more about member benefits, take our site tour.

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories