2019 Rockpile

2019 Rockpile

Wine Information

71% Zinfandel, 29% Petite Sirah

95 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
94 PointsWine Spectator
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
93 PointsConnoisseurs’ Guide
92 PointsWine Enthusiast
91 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media







Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Vibrant aromas of cherry and blackberry. Supple tannins and well balanced on the palate. Juicy finish with hints of brown spice. MB (3/21)

Vintage Notes

Moderate summer temperatures at this hillside vineyard slowed ripening, pushing the onset of harvest into late September. Favorable fall weather allowed us to pick each of the seven blocks over several weeks at ideal ripeness. After fermentation, four were selected for their depth of fruit and sensuous texture. Approachable upon release, this excellent wine will develop over the next five to six years.


Botticelli is a 60-acre mountain vineyard located around 1,200 feet above Lake Sonoma in the famous Rockpile appellation, which sits at the far western reaches of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. The history of Rockpile is a rich one, beginning with the Pomo tribe, pre-1850, which called the region ‘kabe-chana’, meaning place with many rocks. Throughout the early 1900s, the land was largely used for sheep ranches, and not until the creation of Lake Sonoma Reservoir in the 1980s did the property truly emerge as the impressive grape growing region it is today. Shortly after, in 2002, the Rockpile AVA was established. The current owners, Arthur and Susan Biedermann, planted 10 acres of zinfandel and petite sirah in 1997. Due to an inversion layer originating from Lake Sonoma, Botticelli receives ample sunlight throughout the growing season and less fog than nearby regions, leading to the production of high quality wine grapes.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 60 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Late May/Early June
Weather: Rain in 2019 was abundant. Late spring rain each month was consistent, with March receiving the most rain. This allowed the vines to have an ample supply of water to help them through the summer.


Harvest Dates: 29 September – 14 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1˚
TA: 5.67 g/L
pH: 3.85
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap twice daily. Pressed at thirteen days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (15% new, 15% one year-old, 20% two years-old, 20% four years-old, 10% five years-old, and 20% six years-old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel

Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested, grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 1.25 g/L tartaric acid added; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 100 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


OwenBargreen.com: 95 Points “The 2019 ‘Rockpile’ blends 71% Zinfandel with the remainder Petite Sirah. Despite the high percentage of Petite Sirah, this wine screams balance rather than weight or intensity. Silky tannins frame the beautiful core of wild blackberry compote, menthol, Mandarin orange zest and ripe Yakima cherry on the palate. This is exceedingly delicious to consume now, as this has another fifteen years to go.” -Owen Bargreen (August 2021)

Wine Spectator: 94 Points “A handsome red, briary yet harmonious, with expressive black cherry, licorice and grilled anise flavors that gather richness and tension toward fine-grained tannins. Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2031.” -T.F. (March 2022)

JebDunnuck.com: 93 Points “The 2019 Zinfandel Rockpile checks in as 71% Zinfandel and 19% Petite Sirah, all from the Botticelli Vineyard in Sonoma. It has lots of brambly herbs, sandalwood, spice, and orange blossom notes as well as beautiful Zinfandel red, blue, and black fruits. Nicely textured, medium-bodied, and seamless, it’s another riveting Zinfandel from this team that’s ideal for drinking over the coming decade.” -Jeb Dunnuck (July 2021)

Blue Lifestyle: 93 Points “Mostly Zin with a good measure of Petite Sirah, from a sub-appellation noted for Zinfandel, smooth and surprisingly elegant with deep tangy cassis fruit, long and balanced.” -Anthony Dias Blue (May 2021)

Connoisseurs’ Guide: 93 Points “Another lovely wine from Ridge, this one is deep and direct and a bit more on the straightforward side than Geyserville, but it is both tasty and keenly focused at the same time. Its ripe, broad, Zinfandel fruit hints at darker berries, and its texture is both on the supple side and suitably tannic without being gruff. The wine is well-concentrated across the palate and holds well as it ends. It certainly can age for a half-decade, but those who favor the zesty aspect of Zinfandel will not want to wait.” (July 2021)

Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points “A solid structure and tasty black-fruit flavors make this full-bodied blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah ideal for grilled and roasted meat and fowl. Moderate tannins firm up the texture and balance the generous blackberry flavors. Best from 2025.” -Jim Gordon (August 2021)

Vinous: 91 Points “The 2019 Zinfandel Rockpile is a heady, boisterous wine. A rush of wild cherry, hard candy, spice, game, leather, tobacco and mint races out of the glass. This Sonoma Zinfandel is full of character. Bright acids lend notable vibrancy throughout.” -Antonio Galloni (May 2022)

Wine & Spirits: 90 Points + Best Buy “Blending zinfandel (71 percent) with the blueberry-syrup richness of petite sirah, this is a dense red with cranberry-like acidity to corral the pleasant sweetness. There’s a toasted bread note in the end, with oak over stony mineral tannins. For the cellar.” -J.G. (June 2021 Issue)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 89.1

No. of Tasting Notes: 22

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Food Pairings

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