Tasting the Wines of La Rochelle and Steven Kent

We’ve written about the Pinots of La Rochelle in the past, and now we’re back with a broader look at this winery’s production, including Chardonnay and Rose, plus one wine of its parent company, Steven Kent. Is this the beginning of a big uptick in quality from this unsung region (located out in the sticks, east of Oakland)? Livermore hasn’t been a significant region for wine to date, but good things are starting to percolate. Thoughts on Steven Kent and La Rochelle’s latest follow.

2010 La Rochelle Chardonnay Anderson Valley Ferrington Vineyard – Crisp, with distinct pineapple notes and a very buttery nose. Really quite easygoing, but rich enough to stand up to food. Fun vanilla and gingerbread notes on the finish. A- / $65

2010 La Rochelle Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands Rosella’s Vineyard – Bolder and big, very rich with a classic woody/buttery California structure. Stingy with the fruit, but a bit of citrus-inflected tartness shows up on the finish. B / $65

2011 La Rochelle Rose of Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – Pinot-based roses are a rarity, and perhaps La Rochelle’s is a lesson in why. An enticingly fruity nose lends its way not to a lightly sweet summer wine but rather a massively intense acidic monster.  Light berry notes in there, but it’s hefty lemon juice character that you get the most of. B- / $TBD

2009 La Rochelle Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch Campbell Vineyard – Nice balance on this Pinot, with dark fruit and plenty of cinnamon and clove spice lacing the body. Quite tart, with a lingering and lightly sweet finish. A- / $48

2009 The Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley – An ultra-ripe Livermore Cab, bordering on overdone with raisin and prune overtones. Light menthol character on the nose, with notes of tea and cigar box. Pleasant and easy-drinking finish. B+ / $48

stevenkent.com

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One Response to Tasting the Wines of La Rochelle and Steven Kent

  1. Next time you are out there try the wines from Page Mill. Low production, overperforming wines from mostly Livermore grapes.

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