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Family News: The Rocca Family Vineyards Newsletter

John Taylor
May 1, 2013 | John Taylor

Volume III: May 2013

One Of The Most Beautiful Times In Napa...

Hi Friends!

Spring is here- but it's been so warm one might think summer has   arrived already!  The vines are loving this warm weather, and the buds seem to be growing a few inches a day!  Our vineyard crews have their work cut out for them this spring, trying to keep up with vines that are  growing by leaps and bounds.

As a springtime baby myself, I love it: new life exploding everywhere, birds busy building their nests, gardens being planted, and the promise of a new season capturing our attention.  Dreams of a bountiful and delicious vintage can't help but be on our minds. 

Here at Devlin Road, things are bustling too. Next week our new deck will start taking shape, and landscaping will follow shortly thereafter. Which means we can at last start to plan our Open Houses to celebrate and show off our new digs to all of our loyal friends and supporters.  Watch your inbox for your invitation!   ~ Mary

Notes From The Winemaker:

April is a magical, exhilarating time to be a farmer in Napa Valley.  All of the buds on our vines have pushed out, and they're growing like crazy now.  Some welcome rain during the first week of the month has been followed by glorious, warm-and-sunny spring weather, and the excitement of a new growing season is in full swing.  The main task at hand right now is suckering, or disbudding.  In many ways, this is really Part Two of the important winter pruning process that we talked about last month.  Now that the buds that we left on the vines at that time have become growing shoots, we can see exactly where and how they are positioned to fill in and to produce this year's crop. 

As such, we are once again making our way through the vineyards vine by vine, by hand, to remove any unwanted growth and to give each plant the perfect structure to produce the highest-quality fruit possible.  As I write this we've already made a first pass through our Grigsby Vineyard Merlot and Syrah (always our earliest-pushing vines), and our efforts will continue over the next several weeks.  At the same time, we'll remain vigilant to protect our tender young shoots from the potential spring threats of frost and powdery mildew.

In the cellar, a few of our 2012 wines have finally finished fermenting, and are giving us our most dependable insights yet into the quality and personality of the vintage.  So far, we're beyond thrilled.  The wines are simply gorgeous - deep, complex, and with exquisite balance - and they appear to be fully living up to the enormous potential of the 2012 growing season.  It's going to be difficult to wait until these wines are ready to share with all of you!  In the meantime, we'll be sure to perform numerous and frequent quality-control tastings...

Cheers! ~ Paul

Rocca Family Releases The 2009 Collinetta Vineyards Cabernet!

We are proud to announce the release this month of our Rocca Family Vineyards 2009 Estate Cabernet, Collinetta Vineyard. It's the 4th vintage we've bottled from this site and perhaps the most complete illustration yet of the intrinsic characteristics of this very special vineyard. Like the 2008, the '09 is 100% Cabernet, aged for 20 months in French oak, 80% new. We've bottled only 420 cases of this incredible wine, which has already garnered 90 Points and a Gold Medal at the 7th Annual Cabernet Shootout, and 92 Points in the Purely Domestic Wine Report. You can also watch a terrific video review of this wine by James "The Wine Guy" Melendez by clicking here. 93 Points!

Best of Class and Salute Wine Club Members have already received their shipments, and all remaining stock will now be made available to non-club members who wish to order online. Retail Price: $85.00.

Here and There...

Auction Napa Valley is just a month away and Rocca Family Vineyards is proud to be participating in this important charity event! We'll be featuring a very special lot on the eAuction this year: a 2-night stay at the Grigsby's quaint & cozy guest cottage, a personal tasting and tour with winemaker Paul Colantuoni, and a bottle of all six wines from the 2008 portfolio. To see details and bid on the lot, click here. Be sure to register on the site to place your bid starting May 26th...We're only seven "Likes" away from 500 on our Facebook page! If you're not following us yet, click here and join up! All new Likes are entered into a drawing for a bottle of Grigsby Cabernet Sauvignon...Remember, our new Instagram handle is @RoccaWines. Follow us for great pictures of the vineyards, tasting room and visiting guests!

Time Posted: May 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM
John Taylor
March 26, 2013 | John Taylor

Volume II: March 2013

Spring Has Come to Napa Valley!

Bud Break is happening all over the Valley, and we're waiting with excited anticipation for it to happen within our own Grigsby and Collinetta Vineyards. That said, we're still hoping for more rain. The few showers predicted this week will be most welcome, but the real hope is that we get a lot more before the buds get too active. We'll be heading out into the vineyards early next week to give you a full pictorial, and you can check it out in Family News next month or through our new Instagram account, @RoccaWines. In the meantime, I'll let winemaker Paul Colantuoni give you his update on Spring in the vineyards...

Hello again!  March has arrived, and we've finally finished the painstaking winter process of pruning all of our vines.  The vineyards are healthy, and things are looking great for the 2013 season.  The only caveat is that the months of January and February were unusually dry in Napa Valley, so we're hoping for a nice dose of rain to replenish our reserves before the vines decide that it's time to start growing again.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

While we wait for our new buds to start to push, here's the update on our 2011 and 2012 wines that I promised you in last month's newsletter...

As many of you have probably heard, 2012 was an absolutely superb vintage for Napa Valley.  We couldn't be happier with the quantity or the quality of the harvest -- a very rare double-double in the winemaking world.  As I write this note, none of our 2012s have completely finished fermenting; they're all still bubbling along happily.  Some lots are just getting to the end of primary (alcoholic) fermentation, while the rest are working through their secondary (malolactic) fermentation.  This unusually drawn-out timetable is a consequence of our reliance on the yeast and bacteria provided naturally by the grapes themselves, rather than on commercially available microbes, in making our wines.  While these indigenous creatures tend to work quite slowly and to require diligent monitoring, we feel that they pay handsome rewards in the quality and complexity of the finished wines, their mid-palate weight and finish length, and their fidelity to the vineyards from which they come.

Right now, much of our attention in the winery is focused on preparing our 2011 wines for bottling.  The headline news here is that we're going to be bottling absolutely gorgeous versions of three of our wines -- our Syrah, our Merlot, and our Vespera blend -- while we've made the difficult decision not to produce 2011 bottlings of our Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet, our Collinetta Vineyard Cabernet, or our "little treasure", the Tesorina blend.  The 2011 vintage was one of the most unusual in recent memory for California, with a long, extremely cool growing season resulting in a late harvest.  For early-ripening grape varieties, and for wines emphasizing elegance and accessibility with lower alcohol and tannin levels, this proved to be quite magical. 

Our Syrah has a much spicier, more floral, cooler-climate personality than it has in previous vintages, and the Merlot and the Vespera are beautifully balanced, refined, and delicious.  While the lots that typically make up our other three wines were very good in 2011, we simply don't feel that they're extraordinary enough for us to place them in the company of our other vintages.  We believe that it's the right decision, and we're excited that those three wines will be back, and in glorious form, as 2012s.

Help Us To 500 Facebook Likes And Get A $10 Gift Card

Rocca Family has been a big believer of Social Media from the beginning - we think it's a terrific way to keep you posted on what's going on here and to provide you with a better level of customer service. We also use Twitter and Facebook to offer our loyal customers special offers on wine and events - and as I mentioned, we're now on Instagram, where you can follow us @RoccaWines. 

As I write this, we're at 473 Facebook followers, and we want to get the word out to every one to come join us on our Facebook Page. So here's the deal: We're offering a $10 Gift Card good for any purchase at our online store to anyone who Shares our "Facebook 500" post, PLUS we'll have a drawing for a bottle of our Vespera Red Blend for everyone who "Likes" our page. Here's how it works:

  • Go to our Facebook Page
  • If you're not a Follower yet, click on "Like"
  • Share the Posting at the top of the Page about our Facebook 500 Campaign
  • Send us a Message through the Page that you Shared the Post

And that's it! We'll reply to your Message with your $10 Gift Card, and enter all names in the drawing. Thanks for your help!

(If you Shared the Page already but haven't received your Gift Card, please Message us and let us know...some of you have FB privacy settings that prevent us from seeing who you are!)

Awards Are Pouring In For The 2009 Releases!

As those of you in Rocca's Best of Class Wine Club are aware, we've been releasing the 2009 vintage throughout the year, and the awards and accolades for these wines are already coming in! Here's what we've received so far:

2009 Estate Merlot, Grigsby Vineyard: Gold Medal, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition;

2009 Estate Syrah, Grigsby Vineyard: 90 Points, Wine Spectator; 91 Points, Purely Domestic Wine Report; (To Be Released October 2013).

2009 Vespera Proprietary Red Blend91 Points and Gold Medal, 7th Annual Cabernet Shootout; 91 Points, Purely Domestic Wine Report...and the one we're REALLY proud of...Best of Class for Red Blends, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

See you next month!

Time Posted: Mar 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM