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California offers many choices when it comes to wine country visits…and one of the originals and often forgotten is Livermore Valley.  There is a magnitude of great winery choices and one that is not only well known, but stands out for some of California’s best, unique and collectable Pinot Noirs…La Rochelle Winery. 

dvinewinetime La Rochelle Wine pic 4Owner, Steven Kent Mirassou of La Rochelle, has partnered with some of California’s most renowned Pinot Noir vineyards…(Garys’, Sleepy Hollow, Rosella’s. Londer,  Tondre, Ferrington, Deer Park) They know the specialness of these vineyards and work to allow the terroir to shine through in their wines.  One of the many special Pinot Noirs they offer is the 2009 Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Block A Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. 

The 2009 Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Pinot Noir is drinking beautifully now and should have some good shelf life on it for the cellar rats. It does not need much decanting time…it’s simply that elegant right out of the bottle.  In the glass, the Pinot Noir has a light, clean cherry red color.  Light enough you can see through it and it’s simply beautiful to swirl.  The nose immediately gives off a white pepper spice with cherry fruit and slight hints of smoke. Trailing the end of your swirl and sniff is a light vanilla and a little oak.  On the palate is an orchard of cherries; a bog of cranberries and a little plum note with a great deal of acidity. (which is what you want with a Pinot) Spice and black pepper dance on the tongue with leathery hints of smoke. dvinewinetime La Rochelle Wine pic 3Mild tannins and a long, fruity finish make for this Sleepy Hollow Pinot Noir to be one of pure beauty and elegance!  It’s simply one of the best I’ve had from California.  I paired my bottle with grilled pork chops, a side of sautéed mushrooms and creamed spinach. Wonderful wine with food. 

I’m giving the La Rochelle Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Block A Santa Lucia Highlands 2009 Pinot Noir a FIVE BOTTLE Rating. This is incredible, beautiful, elegant Pinot Noir and with a more than fair price tag of $48.00 ~ there is no doubt in this wine lovers mind, that it will be a crowd pleasing wine you should definitely consider serving at your Holiday table.

Livermore, California. A sometimes forgotten wine country that has been and still is producing wonderful wines and family wine businesses like that of La Rochelle Winery. If you are visiting the Bay Area of California….do not skip Livermore wine country. Better yet…don’t miss visiting La Rochelle Winery, especially if you love your Pinot Noir’s.  They produce many ~ some of the best in fact and the ’09 Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is a sure winner to start with! dvinewinetime La Rochelle Wine pic 1


** Sample courtesy of La Rochelle Winery **