At Rocca Family Vineyards, we believe deeply that all great wines are made in the vineyard. Our winemaker, Paul Colantuoni, and vineyard manager Sergio Melgoza work very closely together, taking tremendous care to ensure that our vineyards produce grapes of the highest possible quality.
In 2009, Mother Nature rewarded their dedicated efforts with the kind of growing conditions they dream of. For the third year in a row, rainfall in Napa Valley was only about two-thirds of normal. This proved to be just enough to keep the vines healthy, while significantly reducing vegetative growth and naturally limiting vineyard yields. Grape clusters were fewer and smaller than in an average year, resulting in increased concentration and depth. From start to finish, temperature conditions were unusually cool, with none of the heat spikes that typically characterize summertime in Napa Valley. As a result, the grapes enjoyed an exceptionally long growing season that allowed them to achieve perfect ripeness while retaining remarkable levels of aromatic expression and fruit purity. Taken as a whole, wines from the 2009 vintage are intensely perfumed, with delicious up-front fruit and gorgeously silky tannins. They also show beautiful balance and grace, giving them considerable early appeal and an irresistible charm.
Our 2009 Grigsby Vineyard Syrah is a perfect example of what makes this vineyard so special: its ability to express its powerful character with remarkable grace and elegance. As suggested by its almost impenetrable purple color, this is a deep, concentrated example of Syrah. The nose is rich and expressive, with waves of dark fruit that call to mind preserves of blackberries, boysenberries, and especially blueberries. Additional notes of violets and lavender, black and white pepper, and dark chocolate provide the refined aromatic complexity that we have come to love from our Grigsby Vineyard. On approach the wine is deep and lush, with effusive ripe fruit that coats the palate. Thanks to an intriguing note of minerality, and to the wine’s bright natural acidity, the flavors remain beautifully focused and balanced. The tannins here are rich and velvety, providing ample structure for the wine’s delicious finish: pure, juicy blueberry fruit, highlighted by a pretty note of vanilla.
Double Gold Medal, 2013 Affairs of The Vine "Romancing the Rhones."
Double Gold/Best In Reserve Class, 2014 Houston Wine Competition;
Our Grigsby Vineyard is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Yountville Crossroad and the Silverado Trail, where the Yountville AVA meets the Stags Leap District. The soil here is a light clay loam, generously sprinkled with small river rocks, on a site that enjoys a very special balance of climate conditions. During the day, warm temperatures and full sun exposure encourage the grapes to develop rich, ripe flavors and polished tannins. In the evening, cooling marine breezes and fog from San Pablo Bay dramatically reduce temperatures in the vineyard, allowing the fruit to retain aromatic complexity, bright natural acidity, and a distinctive elegance. The vineyard is farmed with the highest quality considerations, and the fruit clusters are hand-thinned to prevent crowding or shading for optimal development.
Our goal at Rocca is to make wines that reflect, as fully and faithfully as possible, the unique characteristics of the vineyards from which they come. To this end, all of our wines are made exclusively from our own organically farmed grapes, which we selectively harvest by hand in the cool hours of the night. Once the fruit has been picked, we take an emphatically hands-off, non-interventionist approach to winemaking. This wine was created entirely from Syrah from our Grigsby Vineyard, 44% of which was destemmed as gently as possible, with the remaining 56% left as whole clusters. The fruit was allowed to ferment with the vineyard's own indigenous yeasts, then gently pressed off and transferred into barrels. The wine was aged for 17 months in French oak, approximately 55% new, before bottling in March of 2011.