2012 Rhapsody by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma

Tonight’s Occasion: 2012 Rhapsody by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma

Grenache (42%) Carignane (38%) Mourvedre (20%) Santa Ynez Valley.

Subtle red cherry, blackberry, subtle raspberries, hint of cocoa, subtle moist earthy wood, mushroom so faint you’d likely miss it. The bouquet is definitely floral in expression. As it breathes, cherries intensify, along with red vines licorice and touch of cedarwood. Red cherry turns to ripe dark cherries.

Body is balanced from front to back. Bright sweet cherries, raspberries are further enhanced by crisp refined caramel reminiscent of neutral French oak. A slightly viscous mouth feel. A touch of sweet citrus develops towards the back reminiscent of Meyer lemon with a drop of honey. By this point the body dissipates completely leaving the palate and lips slightly moist.

I have been following this vintners collection for well over a decade. I think of their tasting room as a library. Always and exercise in wine education. While I mostly obsess over their age worthy Pinot Noirs, it’s always nice to indulge in his vision with other varietals. I highly recommend stopping by our 2020 Winemaker of the Year next time you’re in Sonoma. You won’t be disappointed.

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

Happy 75th Birthday Roger!

Last week I had a chance to sit down and catch up with one of my all-time-favorite Vintners, Roger Roessler of Roger Roessler Wines. On the menu was lunch at Della Santina’s in Sonoma, a family owned and operated Tuscan soul food experience. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend you stop by. To top it off, we were joined by our distinguished host, none other than owner and founder ‘Danny’ who shared endless stories from his upbringing in Italy to his exploits in San Francisco. What a special treat to share a meal with over a century and a half of knowledge and life experience.

We paired appetizers with with a Vermentino from Italy. Main course with 2004 Pinot Noir (La Brisa) from Roger’s private reserve and a Nebbiolo from Langhe!

By age 21, Roger had opened his first restaurant. He spent the following two and a half decades or so in the business of opening restaurants across the country. After accumulating what I would imagine a wealth of experience in the culinary and service industry Roger decided to dive into the wine world and share his passion for Pinot Noir with us. Taking a step back, this now seems like the logical thing to do. Food an all it’s nuance eventually must be paired with Pinot Noir. The highly personalized service and attention to detail carried over from all those years in the culinary and server industry.

I have been following Roessler wines for well over a decade now and can trace my profound appreciation for Pinot Noir back to that first visit to the Roessler tasting room just off the square in downtown Sonoma. I scoffed at the idea that anyone could  pour 16 different Pinot Noirs and they’d be discernible. Boy was my young palate in for the lesson of a lifetime.

Roger is a Vintner in every sense of the word. Roger Roessler Wines, a small boutique gallery winemaker in the truest form. Unshackled by any traditional estate. Over the years he’s sourced grapes from some of the most coveted vineyards as well as other small hidden gems you’ve probably never heard of. He’s also owned a few over the years. Bringing together a small team of passionate individuals around a singular mission – to bring you good Pinot Noirs faithful to their origins.

The Roger Roessler lineup reads like a compendium of Pinot Noir from up and down the pacific coast. A visit to their understated tasting room makes for a nice, focused quiet study. In one stop you can explore the various nuances of this varietal’s expression from one region to another. This is precisely why Roger Roessler Wines was picked as the 2020 Winemaker of the Year. They have played no small part in my journey through wine. I’m pretty sure you won’t be the same after a visit either.

Thank you for bringing us all those great vintages all these years Roger. I look forward to many more! Happy Birthday!

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

2011 Pinot Noir (Red Birds) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma

Tonight’s Occasion: 2011 Pinot Noir (Red Birds) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma CA.

Clear, ruby red color. Bright aromatic nose out of the bottle with lost of raspberry, red cherry and pomegranate. Drooling. Cola and damp earth leather lingers in the background. This my friends, is Sonoma. Swirling vigorously intensifies ripeness, berries, leather and adds a touch of caramel. Just beautiful.

Beautifully balanced body from front to back, greets with a soft symphony of berries and silky mouth feel. A fresh crisp overlay hovers above the palate. I’m not sure what it is but it’s very nice, maybe herbal in nature? Soft, gentle and fluid tannins add structure hardly distinguishable from the body. As it fades, that minty almost eucalyptus freshness emerges marking the transition to finish. Along with cola, this gentle crisp freshness follows through a lingering finish capped by a gentle tannic grip, wet wood and subtle spice tingle.

My goodness. This Pinot Noir is absolutely gorgeous right now! I have perhaps one or two bottles left. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. The 2011 vintage is beautifully embodied here. I have come to appreciate so much about Pinot Noir and its expression of different regions and their terroir, thanks in no small part to our 2020 Winemaker of the year. A visit to their understated tasting room is a must for the enlightened palate. Carefully curated wines from far and wide to help baseline your palate and provide you with a solid reference point. This is why I believe this winemaker is worth following. Their wines easily occupy a quarter of my cellar going back to 2006 vintages.

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

2011 Pinot Noir (Black Pine) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma CA

Tonight’s Occasion: 2011 Pinot Noir (Black Pine) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma CA.

Nose is very shy out of the bottle with hints of dark cherry skins. Swirling vigorously releases a bold leather of damp fine sedimentary soil and wet wood. Hints of sweet cherry and cola linger in the back. A citrus so faint you’d likely miss it.

Body is balanced right down the middle, front to back. Wet wood leather carries forward almost immediately. Dark tart skins also emerge, bringing firm structure. Bitter cola, black berries and black currants paint a dark, dim lit stage. It is dry, somewhat serious in its expression. Earth notes wander about the palate throughout the experience. The body softens slightly as it transitions to finish as dark berries and hints of oak elevate slightly before falling back into the darkness and leaving the palate slightly moist and under the spell of a gentle but crisp tannic grip and spice tingle. As it opens up over an hour or two, subtle caramelization of those tannins lend a subtle pleasing sweetness to the body and suppleness to the mouth feel.

This is a flagship wine by our 2020 Winemaker of the year. Intended to introduce the world to their more limited signature wines. Roessler Pinot tends to be on the medium to full bodied side of the spectrum. This means, unlike traditional Pinot Noir, they actually benefit from cellar time. They tend to age gracefully. I opened the 2010 Vintage a year or so ago and this 2011 vintage is definitely more robust with more years ahead of it. It has had time to integrate very nicely. Both should be a real treat. The newer vintages are even more vibrant and should be very interesting to follow over time. Nicely done guys!

Tonight we paired the Black Pine with a pear, prosciutto, arugula pizza and truffle fries. Delicious!

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

2014 Pinot Noir (3BBL) by Roger Roessler Wines

Tonight’s Occasion: 2014 Pinot Noir (3BBL) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma CA.

Clear ruby color. Gentle, plush, aromatic nose. Earthy notes take center stage with wet wood, damp forest floor, a touch of that all too familiar Sonoma Dirt and Mushroom. As it breathes, slightly ripened cherries creep forward. Swirling vigorously intensifies, fruit and floral notes. A sweet cola makes an appearance. Beautiful!

Body is nicely balanced, greeting with a gentle touch of acidity which is quickly replaced with a smooth, silky, slightly viscous body. Paper thin layers of crisp tannin are laid down beneath layers of thin wisps of cherry cola, faint crisp caramel and viscous leathery essence. Transition to finish is characterized by the emergence of a gentle but firm spice towards the back. Body vanishes, leaving behind slightly bitter cola as crisp, clean tannins assert themselves amidst a gentle warmth.

This 3BBL is a blend of this vintner’s top Pinot from that vintage. Each vintage unique in its own expression. This vintage is a beautiful representation of the greater Sonoma region. It preserves this identity very well in an all around classy expression. If you haven’t explored Roger Roessler wines, I highly recommend them. They make for a great study, a compendium of Pinot Noir from up and down the Pacific Coast. I have been following their wines for well over a decade now.

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

Featuring The Aromatic stemware by Glasvin. Check out their line of Natural Stemware. You can order directly off their website. Use promo code: winesnob for a little discount.

2011 Pinot Noir (Red Birds) by Roger Roessler Wines

Tonight’s occasion: 2011 Pinot Noir (Red Birds – Sonoma Coast) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma, California

Out of the bottle notes of damp forest floor and ripe cherries. As it opens up, the leather and earth notes only intensify. Dark cherry turns plummy. Swirling unlocks subtle bursts of sweet cherry cola. A very faint black licorice emerges in the distance. You’d almost miss it. I absolutely love the way terroir is expressed here. That signature Sonoma dirt really shines through and I cannot get enough of it!

Body has really come of age. It has had time to beautifully integrate. A soft balanced attack quickly ushers a smooth silky body. Light dark plum and berry essence carries over. Leather notes are equally represented. Crisp, restrained tannins provide great structure without dominating the palate. Body and finish are one with a linear fade. As it tapers off, notes of cola re-emerge as tannins reach out, gently clasping the palate rendering it slightly parched. But the real victor here is a gentle spice which grows with a subtle intensity after the finish.

I have been following Roger Roessler’s wine for well over a decade. Their all small batch production offering reads like a compendium of Pinot Noir from all up and down the pacific coast and makes for a great study for the curios and enlightened palate. There are many reasons we picked Roger Roessler Wines as our 2020 Winemaker of the year. This wine is one of them.

To the entire crew at Roger Roessler Wines, thank you for the great wines all these years!

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

2009 Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills) by Roger Roessler Wines

Tonight’s occasion: 2009 Pinot Noir (Clos Pepe – Santa Rita Hills) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma, CA.

Deep clear ruby color out of the bottle. Nose is a little shy with subtle notes of sweet cherry and a touch of berry. Swirling unlocks an unmistakable mushroom leather reminiscent of wet/damp forrest floor on a cold foggy morning. The Santa Rita Hills holds a special place in the heart and I must credit Roger Roessler Wines for introducing this region to me many years ago. This wine has that signature berry expression typical of this region but adds significant terroir characteristics in the form of a rich leather. Clos Pepe is a coveted vineyard and the quality of the fruit shows here.

Body is crisp, clean, perfectly balanced right off the bat. You are greeted by that signature berry typical of the Santa Rita Hills. Medium bodied tannins provide just the right amount of structure. Leather takes more of a back seat. Minerality is more noticeable albeit very subtle and towards the back as it conspires to turn the berries black. This marks the transition to a very gentle, graceful finish, which fades to leave the palate clean, crisp, slightly moist with a distant spice.

This is my last bottle. This wine is absolutely gorgeous. It has had time to integrate and aged gracefully. I cannot think of a more fitting way to end the year – featuring a vintage from the 2020 Winemaker of the Year, Roger Roessler Wines. Thank you for introducing me to so many Pinot from so many different regions.

To the entire crew at Roger Roessler Wines, I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

2017 Pinot Noir (Black Pine) by Roger Roessler Wines

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Pinot Noir (Black Pine) by Roger Roessler Wines, Sonoma, California.

Ahhhh. Just right. Beautiful aromatic nose with berries (my little boy says cranberries), a leather reminiscent of wet sandy forrest floor, black licorice and cedarwood notes.

Body shows a tight balance. Buttery tannins go hand-in-hand with mild acid. Subtle oak, dry fruit accompanies a fairly neutral terroir expression creating a lush mouth feel. A transition to finish with minimal fanfare capped with mild spice and subtle tannic grip reminds you that this typical Roessler Pinot, while beautiful right now, has a bit more in store for you if you are willing to be patient.

Spoil your palate. Stop by the tasting room or order any one of their monthly case deals. Explore artisan crafted Pinot from up and down the pacific coast. He’s done all the homework for you to enjoy. Well done Roger and Company!

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

2016 Pinot Noir by Roger Roessler

 

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Lennox) by Roger Roessler Wines .

Clear, bright ruby red color. Bright nose with lots of cherry, leather undertone which upon closer inspection is definitely more silt like mix of dirt, sediment and sandstone. Definitely reminiscent of that signature Sonoma dirt.
Bright balanced body carries most of the characteristics in the nose forward. In addition a hint plum and black currant on the back provide good structure, composition and contrast to the cherry notes. Once opened up, subtle tannins turn creamy as they transition to a smooth clean finish capped with a hint of spice.

This wine is still young and should only get more nuanced over the next four or more years. As with most Pinot by this vintner, it will be a real gem around the 10 year mark. I just realized I have a case of this particular vintage in my cellar so it definitely didn’t hurt to explore it. My vertical goes back to its inception a few years before. His Pinot Noirs have forever changed the palates of many over the years.

Cheers Roger. Thank you for sharing your passion with us all. 🍷☺️🙏🏽

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.

2008 Pinot Noir by Roger Roessler

Tonight’s occasion: 2008 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands) by Roessler of Roger Roessler Wines.

I have been following this vintner’s work for more than a decade. His style of Pinot lend themselves to long graceful aging. They are absolutely gorgeous wines after about a decade. This is a bittersweet moment to match the bittersweet day I just had. It is my last bottle. I will never indulge in this vintage again.

It has a very rich, aromatic nose full of sweet cherry, caramel/marshmallow, hint of licorice and leather undertone. Each swirl unlocks a burst of aromas. It’s a neat little trick. I’m grinning with every sip. Body is very balanced, opening with a hint of acidity which quickly gives way to a chewy, creamy structure. Transition to a brief finish is seamless. The whole experience quickly fades away from the palate before you have a chance to catch up, leaving you wondering if the wine is trying to tell you something. Very gentle spicy tannic grip lingers long after its over.

Wines like this are the reason I have a cellar. I want to catch it when it is peaking. When a wine is at its fullest expression. This wine is perfect right now. I certainly feel blessed and fortunate right now.

Thank you for always pursuing your passion Roger 😌🙏🏽🍷🍷🍷

Explore more Roger Roessler Wines on WineSnob.