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

  • 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...

  • Grenache Blanc

    History of the grape: Grenache Blanc is thought to be a mutation of Grenache Noir, more often referred to as just Gre...

  • Syrah

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Petite Sirah

    History of the grape: Petite Syrah is often confused with its parent grape, Syrah, but it has been identified as a se...

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Rockpile on Snooth

  • Rockpile Winery Syrah Madrone Spring Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Light berry fruitblackberry, blueberry, plumbut not sweetish at all. Not a particularly mouth-filling wine. Very sedate tannin. Typical syrah savoriness mid-palate. Mid-length finish that seems to extract a bitter flavor. An OK, but not an aspirational, wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel Rockpile Botticelli Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Something of a barnyard nose, but, thankfully, that does not seem to translate on the taste buds. Very pleasant plum and berry flavor on entryslightly tart. Some dustiness. Some wood. Nice big, mouth-filling wine. Very moderate tannins still hanging around. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • I assume you are referring to the Rockpile Zin, Randy.  That one is quite recent--within the last month. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Rockpile Winery Mauritson Zinfandel Rockpile Westphall Ridge Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Berries and stone fruit. Interestingly, the wine seems full-bodied but it isnt a mouthful. A little salinity. Nice tart acids. Very sedate tannin. There will be no Day 2 report on this wine. It will be gone before the evening is over. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Mauritson Rockpile Jack's Cabin Vineyard Zinfandel 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Plum, raspberry. A little chewiness. Some green wood. Fairly sharp acid may put some off. After a few sips, the fruit is beginning to taste a bit syrupy. An OK Zin, but for the tariff, better is available. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Hmm, are you going to go to work for the Dennys?  And yes, your stepson ... ... said, we drank a 2012 Rockpile Jack's Cabin Zin last night.  Pretty sure it had a really low fill level or something because it was gone very quickly.  Or maybe someone had Coravin'ed off some of it.  It was way too good.  Had it with Bool Kogi (please don't corre... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Day 2 is again in Sonoma, mainly focused on downtown Healdsburg. We ... ... the barrel taste of their Rockpile, both of which sell out to their wine club members.  On to our 2pm appt. at Ramey. Wow, just wow. Four fantastic chards, one of the best pinots we've encountered on this trip, a very interesting syrah and two excellent cabs were waiti... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Sonoma Barrel Tasting with...


  • Great 1st day.  Weather was off and on all day, showers, sun, hail, more ... the years, especially her Rockpile Vnyd Rocky Reserve. Carol and her husband were in attendance, always a bonus to get to talk with winemakers and owners. Started off with a really nice carignanne (70+ yr old vines) that was really nice, with a touch of raspberry. Thr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Sonoma Barrel Tasting with...


  • Rosenblum Zinfandel Rockpile Road 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Big wine, yet smooth and flavorful, The Rockpile Road has never disappointed. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Rockpile Winery Syrah Madrone Spring Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Nice, medium-strength, highly drinkable wine. Blackberry and plum flavors on entry. Something of a dusty sensation, but nothing annoying. I guess I could describe it as earthiness, but that isnt quite it. In fact, it prevents the fruit from tasting syrupy. Nice acid tartness. Quite sedate tannin. No harm in holding this one, but I am happ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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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