Rockpile Wine

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The aptly named Rockpile AVA is a remote, high-country growing area, where the unforgiving terrain and soils stress the vines into ripening. The demanding landscape brings out the best in Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it seems less hospitable to man, having yet to attract any resident wineries. Perched at elevations up to 1,900 feet, Rockpile is too far upland for the penetrating fogs that influence other Sonoma appellations. This exposes grapes to more California warmth and sunshine, boosting their ripeness and richness. Only recognized as an AVA in 2002, Rockpile is a northern extension of the Dry Creek Valley AVA. However, Rockpile is not a come-lately area, as it has been the source of intense, highly-defined red wines since 1872. Several of California’s elite ZIN-ophiles make the annual pilgrimage to Rockpile, seeking its exceptional fruit to craft powerful Zinfandels. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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Popular wines made in Rockpile under $20

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Varietals Produced in Rockpile View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Malbec

    History of the grape: Some believe Malbec is named after a Hungarian peasant who spread plantings along the French co...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

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Rockpile on Snooth

  • Boy, what a weekend.  Saturday was spent entirely doing a trip to the ... ... our NY Strip steaks - a 2008 Rockpile Vineyard Paradise Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon and a Virginia wine, the King Family 2012 Montecello Merlo Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel Rockpile Botticelli Vineyard 2009


    These notes from my review of the '08 apply to this '09 offering:Big Rockpile zin. Tons of dark fruit, dried plum, smoke, leather, tobacco with a nice long finish. Lots of body and character. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • v v -- It seems that Total Wine has some 'house labels" (I don't ... nights like that.  The Rockpile Cab, above, looks very interesting.  Why don't you tell us about it?Last night I took Mrs. EMark to a tapas place in Claremont that she's been wanting to try.  It seems that she wasn't that impressed. So, we can scratch that one off the list.  ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Rockpile Winery Mauritson Zinfandel Rockpile Westphall Ridge Vineyard 2011


    Quite dark purple with red edge color. Not the most pleasant nose on first check, but that seems to blow off after a few minutes and I get flowery berry hints. Tame blackberry tastes on the tip of the tongue, but then quickly evolve into a smooth mint sensation without the sweetness. Firm tannin and acid are enjoyable. Im not sure this one is... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • We're on the same page, V V.  Tonight's is in that same vein and ... and ... than the Seghesio Rockpile the other day.  Acid and tannin make it a tad more firm.  This is a wine that will go well with most hearty meals--we're having lasagna, tonight and that should be fine.  I'm thinking, though, that this one would be so great with pot roas Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Emark, we've made an effort to find wine makers using Rockpile zin grapes and so far have really liked the Mauritson, Valdez and Rock Wall offerings.Tonight we finished off the last of a bottle we brought back from our Provence trip. Domaine de la Janasse, a 2012 GSM blend that we purchased for 9.5 euros (what a steal!). This is an absolutely fa... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Seghesio Zinfandel Rockpile Zinfandel 2010


    Fairly dark purply color. Somewhat woody nose with a slight astringency that suggests alcohol. Fairly fruity on introduction to the palateblackberry and, maybe some citrus. Acid hit gives the citrus impression but it might also be compared to stone fruitplum or peach. Some suggestion of spiceclove. Very warm finish, but, to the detriment of... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Emark, couple comments on your recent wines. Yes, you have changed.  ... ... In our allocation from Rockpile, we get a bottle a year or so.  And I've never tasted it (at least not deliberately).  One year I gave it to my partner on the subscription and I took the Port-style wine, and I think I made a gift of it to a Malbec lover another year.... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Rockpile Winery Malbec Rockpile Buck Pasture Vineyard 2011


    Quite a fruity noselots of cherrybut also something of a chemical odor, maybe, alcohol. Still a hint of cherry on the tip of the tongue, but not like the blast that I normally get from California Pinot Noirs. Something of a caramel flavor, but then, some spicyanise/cloveovertones. Then comes some serious tannin. I poured this glass from the ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • I discovered a great wine shop that I should have visited long ago.  I was ... ... Edwards, Anthill Farms, Rockpile, Windy Oaks, Arnot-Roberts, blah, blah.  It was fantastic!  Like being in Disneyland for a kid!   And a great foreign supply as well, but slightly lesser so than the amazing domestics.  I saw wines here that I was pretty sure wer... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Hi everyone, New to the site here, but I thought I would let everyone know about a new Rockpile wine. I started my winery in 2006, and will have Malbec and Petite Sirah specifically from the Rockpile AVA. The only current release I have available is my inaugural release, 2006 Keating Rockpile Malbec (88% Malbec, 12% Cab Franc, 193 cases produ...

    Comment by 107607eric4275 107607 eric4275

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