Best of the Best 2013: Domestic Red Wines: J. Rochioli 2010 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Three Corner Vineyard
In Europe, wineries owned and run by multiple generations of a single family are not uncommon, but such legacies are extremely rare in California, where the winemaking industry came to an abrupt halt with the advent of Prohibition. Not long after that social experiment ended, Joe Rochioli Sr. purchased acreage in the Russian River Valley for the purpose of planting a vineyard, and his son, Joe Jr., and grandson, Tom, have continued to cultivate his dream, producing some of the New World’s most exquisite Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their mastery of the latter varietal is deliciously demonstrated in the J. Rochioli 2010 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Three Corner Vineyard (www.rochioliwinery.com, $80), which, in its density and structure, almost resembles a red Rhône. Dark in color and elaborately stratified, this superb Pinot shows an abundance of blackberry fruit, black tea, and anise, as well as traces of peppermint, on its marathon finish.