La Rochelle Wines
Out of this… New World… Pinot Noir
For some time now, Chuck Easley, Proprietor of La Rochelle Wines, and Tom Stutz, La Rochelle’s winemaker have considered that perhaps the most interesting, age-worthy, and collectable wine they could offer was not part of their portfolio of over 15 Pinot Noirs. With the 2012 vintage, they decided to break with tradition and create, what is possibly the most extraordinary expression of California Pinot Noir to date.
Historically, the value of Pinot Noir has been based on the uniqueness and rarity of the site and the vintner's ability to express a keen sense of place. The best example is a small domaine in Burgundy that demands the highest price of any wine produced today.
Po·lyph·o·ny is a completely distinctive and revolutionary expression of Pinot Noir. Instead of striving to express the flavors of a specific site, this exquisite wine coalesces the exceptional attributes, from multiple unrivaled vineyards and appellations. The results are more than impressive.
La Rochelle Winery is in the inimitable position to produce small-lot, vineyard designate wines, sourced from 15 different vineyards from 10 different AVA's.
Chuck Easley explained that, while capturing the expressions and flavors of these exemplary sites is La Rochelle’s raison d’être, they have been acutely aware of the rare opportunity, available only to them, to produce an avant-garde manifestation of Pinot Noir. Tom and Chuck both agreed, “It would be silly to not make the best wine possible, just because it doesn’t align with tradition.”
Po·lyph·o·ny Pinot Noir was crafted to combine the extraordinary characters, voices if you will, from a variety of vineyards, to create incredible complexity, harmonies, and longevity that exemplifies what is possible with Pinot Noir in California.
Easley Provided a Musical Analogy:
Think of the grapes as a musical instrument. For this purpose, lets say they are the violin. The grower is the craftsman that builds the violin. The appellation, clones, climate and ultimately the grower’s experience and skill create the grapes that become the instrument.
Think of the winemaker as the musician. A great musician can play a dime-store violin and create something pleasing to listen to. When the same musician plays a Stradivarius, the music is sublime.
Our vision is to provide our winemaker, Tom Stutz, with the grape equivalent of a Stradivarius. With the freedom to select from complementary vineyards, throughout California, Tom has the ultimate instrument available.
In the hands of our Maestro, with more than 40 vintages of experience, the violin/grapes have reached their maximum potential. Each of the beautiful components, or melodies, from each of the individually exclusive vineyards come together to create Po·lyph·o·ny.
Only 50 cases are being released of this inaugural vintage. Allocations are available now.
Po·lyph·o·ny is available for $250 per bottle. La Rochelle Members have priority access to receive an allocation.
Visit La Rochelle Wines
Located in Kenwood, in the Heart of Sonoma Valley, this small family-owned winery specializes in small-lot, single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sparkling wines. Many of La Rochelle’s wines are limited to 175 cases of production, or less, and are sold exclusively to the winery’s members and visitors.
Guests are encouraged to relax with a glass of wine in the outdoor tasting area and enjoy the scenic beauty of Hood Mountain and Sugarloaf Ridge, set amongst olive, walnut and redwood trees surrounding their tranquil koi pond.
Reservations are not required if guests wish to taste at the bar (inside or outside). However, to get the full La Rochelle Experience, make a reservation and reserve your table with a view.
For one of the more intimate and educational tastings available, you may reserve a spot in the exclusive Po·lyph·o·ny Experience tasting, where you will learn about Pinot Noir from the ground up.
During the two-hour Po·lyph·o·ny experience, you will be guided through the development of the wines, starting with vineyard practices, including site and clonal selection, fermentation, barrel aging strategies, blending, and the benefits of bottle aging. You will start your tasting journey with Blanc de Noir sparkling wine. Then dive into an assortment of Pinot Noirs that accentuate the variables available to the winemaker. With the first flight, explore how the yeast that ferments the wine, affects the flavors and texture of the wine. The second flight of the tasting will show how the variety of clones and appellations contribute to the vast differences in wines made from the grape that expresses a sense of place like no other. You'll end up, just as the winemaker does, with quite a few samples of Pinot Noir in front of you, after tasting all of the individual selections. Then, you can try your hand at becoming your own winemaker by blending the unique components to create your own ultimate Pinot Noir! To complete the experience, you will taste the inaugural vintage of Po·lyph·o·ny. This exquisite wine coalesces the exceptional attributes, from multiple unrivaled vineyards and appellations resulting in one of the most interesting, age-worthy and collectable wine expressions of California Pinot Noir.
Po·lyph·o·ny Experience tastings are available twice daily, at 11am and 2pm, by appointment only.
$65 per person, complimentary for La Rochelle wine club members and two guests.
La Rochelle experience tasting is $20 per person.