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

  • Malbec

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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

  • Fox, love that Valdez St. Peter's Church zin, maybe even more than their Botticelli Rockpile.  Is it possible you were tasting the 2012 barrel? I have one bottle left of the 2011 in the wine fridge. Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • ATF labeling laws.  They care where the grapes come from, not where it was ... ... sewer pipe? To me, Rockpile is how it ought to be done:  Too steep and remote for building, perfect for grapes.  Pick 'em and drive them down to the corner of Dry Creek and Lytton Springs Road.  Make insanely great wine, and bring in more grapes from around the ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pahrump Valley Winery (Nevada)


  • About eight years ago, I rented this house on Stinson Beach for a week from ... wasn't Napa), I pulled a Rockpile Jack's Cabin.  Sorry it's kind of blurry.  My take is the Jack's is the most restrained of the Rockpiles.  It's probably no one's favorite, but it's also no one's dog, either.  I think it is underrated.  In any case, it's very reli... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • OT, in general and from personal experience I agree, however we have been told ... especially those from the Rockpile AVA. Not sure if I mentioned this elsewhere but my brother's friend is organizing a group of 10 of us to do the Dry Creek passport weekend in late April. His friend is a member of Mauritson's wine club and has arranged for us t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Mauritson Rockpile Cemetery Vineyard Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very deep blood red color. Big blackberry/brambly Zin nose. Lots of same on the tip of the tongue, followed by citrus-like acid, then a neutralizing hint of earthiness. Quite tame (for Zinfandel) tannin seems to make this an easy one to sip without food, if one was so inclined. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • We finally got the news that we are approved for our planning permit.  Now ... case.)  I packed up my Rockpile Zin, Syrah, and Cabernet and hit the road.And when I got home, I learned I have the permit at last and can start planning the cellar, small workshop, and expanded dining area.  If I keep my eyes on that vision, the moving, dust, expens... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Finally able to exhale (Some...


  • We finished off the Ridge cab last evening while watching the President's ... Cabernet Sauvignon, and Hobo Rockpile Zinfandel), and Sandra had some type of Bordeaux wine.  It was a nice evening with us getting home just as the President walked up to the podium. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Wow, a '10 Pets that's already open? Good to hear.Says the guy who is ... year.  No Ridge/Talty/Rockpile/YourChoiceHere, but for the (quite a bit) less than $10 I paid, really good with our minestrone (really, pistou, the wife says) on a chilly night.  Not too hot, pretty good acids keeping that big blackberry and bramble profile under control... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Seghesio Zin Rockpile 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Fairly big nose showing typical Zinfandel black fruit. Blackberry and black plum with some spicy flavors under the palate. Also, though, I can taste the alcohol. I have to say, though, the lengthy finish is delightful. I think this has gone downhill a bit since I last had it. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • OT, tell me you weren't sick when I stopped by on Sunday!  And get ... ('09 Jemrose, '10 Rockpile) and a bottle of 2011 Jemrose Viognier for my niece.  On Xmas day, it's roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, so I'll take the 6th bottle (or is it 7th?) of Cam Hughes Lot 35 Yountville Cab--we're having one a year from the case to see how it changes-... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • 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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