Rochioli 2008 Russian River sauvignon blanc

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on July 15, 2010:

What the hell is it about wine blogger wannabes who think they know WA wines after tasting a few Walla Walla wines? Look, I know about Leonetti. I also know about Woodward Canyon and L’Ecole No 41 in Lowden. And yeah, that “stink” associated with Cayuse, Waters, and others. But, let’s get real here. Walla Walla wineries exist primarily because of Puget Sound AVA residents. Sure, Puget Sound AVA wineries do not make notable wines with estate grapes, but neither do the Lake Chelan AVA wineries, so what’s your point? With this prolonged recession and so many neophyte winemakers drowning the reputation of Walla Walla wines, I have to wonder how the affect of “free” wine to select wine writers will influence the downfall of the wineries of Walla Walla.

Which brings me to the topic of lame-ass wine bloggers advocating “samples” from wineries. What got me really heated on this topic was a certain winery sending a f*cking case of their wines, including a $55 tempranillo that I HAD PURCHASED, to a trio of losers who recently put their condo up for sale. Listen, I’m all for free wine, heck free anything…but we all know about that religion called “karma.” Take riches one doesn’t deserve and life will equalize by sending a pile of crap their way. One thing I have learned along the way of life…don’t steal from life. Some religions get it but the majority of wine bloggers do not. Free wine is not a right. If you do a video for your blog, get a hint… you’re one ugly f*ck. If you are grumpy or a hosebastard, do us a favor…don’t blog. No one cares about you. And, if you do a wine blog…jeezus kryst, can you make it sound somewhat interesting??? Typos and awkward pictures completely steal your credibility. If you bloggers don’t proofread your crap, don’t expect us readers to do it.

Oh, how I cannot stand it when I encounter a really great California winery. Rochioli Winery was nowhere near my radar until I spent a quiet evening at the bar of Napa Rose restaurant and asked the bartender for a recommendation. Most winos would have been turned off by the $23/glass of the 2006 version of this wine. Not me. I was actually quite intrigued by the bartender’s audacity to recommend such an expensive wine. He must have taken a hint by the gold chains draped glaringly around my neck. I bit and ordered a glass and, hence, my thoughts on California wines veered somewhat closer to sensibility.

Rochioli Winery has been around since 1938, and is in its 3rd generation of winemaking. While specializing in pinot noir, Rochioli also produces zinfandel, gamay, chardonnay and a micro-block of syrah. Rochioli punches out just over 1000 cases of its single-vineyard pinot noirs, while this sauvignon blanc is its sole white offering. While California is known for over-inflated prices for its ultra-premium wines, as a Washington wine aficionado I must admit, this is deserving as a value-conscious bottle that would stand amongst the very best, if not…(sigh) thee best compared to anything Washington can offer presently.

Rated: 92. Value: $30. Paid: $31. Music pairing: “Devil In Disguise” by Elvis Presley. Alcohol: 14.5%. Sources: 40% 1959 planting, 34% clone 376 planted in 2001, and 26% from a 1985  section. Lighter in color than the Angel, but don’t let the bright transparency fool ya. Balanced aromas of citrus and tropical fruits lead to a mélange of ripe green melon, Frank Meyer lemon, valley guava with an ever so slight finish of passion fruit. Stevie Tanzer says “most” of these vines were planted in 1959. Whatever, bud. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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