2021 Rockpile

2021 Rockpile

Wine Information

73% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah, 4% Alicante Bouschet

95 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
94 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous
94 PointsZinfandel Chronicles
93 PointsWine Enthusiast







Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Blackberry, cherry, tobacco, terra cotta, cardamom, and cinnamon notes on the nose. Medium-bodied and enthusiastic tannins with notes of licorice, currant, white pepper, forest floor, and inimitable Rockpile minerality. SR (1/23)

Vintage Notes

The Rockpile appellation sits at 1200 feet, overlooking Lake Sonoma. Each of the seven blocks, harvested between September 13th and October 16th, were fermented independently in open-top tanks with two pump-overs daily. Of the seven, five were chosen for the generous fruit, texture, and minerality typical of Rockpile. This excellent wine will delight now and will continue to evolve over the next seven years. SR (1/23)


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 of the Botticelli Vineyard, Arthur and Susan Biedermann, planted 10 acres of zinfandel and petite sirah in 1997. Due to an inversion layer originating from Lake Sonoma, the vineyard 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: 14 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: A dry winter and spring stressed the vines, limiting yields and concentrating flavors.


Harvest Dates: 13 September – 16 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1˚
TA: 5.55 g/L
pH: 3.79
Fermentation: Grapes de-stemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap twice daily.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (11% new and 89% five+ years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel

Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested, grapes; de-stemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 1% water addition; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 89 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 2021 ‘Rockpile’ combines 73% Zinfandel with 23% Petite Sirah and a touch of Alicante Bouchet that were all sourced from the Botticelli Vineyard. Bright red currants combine with tar, salty soils, and shades of rhubarb on the nose. The palate shows a seamless texture with plenty of length and refinement. Elegant throughout the drinking experience, with soft tannins and a great core of red and dark fruits, this one is definitely built to age. Give this at least an hour in the decanter of savoring now. Drink 2023-2038.” -Owen Bargreen (October 2023)

Vinous: 94 Points “The 2021 Zinfandel Rockpile is packed with black fruit, cedar, tobacco, incense, graphite and grilled herbs. This potent, brooding Zinfandel is endowed with tremendous explosive energy. Firm but well balanced tannins wrap it all together. This big, full-bodied Zinfandel delivers the goods.” -Antonio Galloni (October 2023)

Zinfandel Chronicles: 94 Points “Dark crimson in color. Savory nose of red fruits, citrus and flowers. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. The concentration and power are notable. Well balanced. Black cherry, cranberry, pomegranate and earth on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Rest assured that this wine is built for the long haul. Best over the next 6-8 years.” -Tom Lee (September 2023)

Wine Enthusiast: 93 Points “This beautifully balanced and composed wine made from mostly Zinfandel and Petite Sirah seamlessly blends red and black fruits with subtle oak spices on an agile texture of supple, insistent tannins and good acidity. The wine doesn’t yell out for attention but will make many simpatico food pairings. Best through 2030.” -Jim Gordon (November 2023)

Wine & Spirits: 91 Points “A cranberry-scented zin with burly petite-sirah tannins, this dense mountain-grown wine is sitting in its oak, the fruit surrounded by caramel and chocolate notes. Give it a year in the cellar to emerge from the oak.” -J.G. (March 2024)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 89.4

No. of Tasting Notes: 8

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Food Pairings

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