Awards and Accolades
Article From November Wine Advocate: "Quote" Link
THE DRUNKEN CYCLIST
Jeffrey Kralik Ph.D.
2021 We Know Jack Zinfandel Rockpile Riff Raff
Jack Florence Sr. Vineyard, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $78.
Ridiculously B.A.B. Under cork. 91% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah.
When this wine landed on my doorstep, I was beyond excited for two reasons.
One? It was a Zin from the legendary Rockpile Vineyard–high above Lake Sonoma
and Dry Creek Valley, perhaps the most exciting vineyard in Sonoma County for
Zinfandel since maybe Lytton Springs? The second reason? The winemaker is a
legend, James MacPhail, known for his Pinots (and Chardonnays), a Healdsburg
and Northern California mainstay. As for the wine? After a few weeks of a strict diet,
endless calisthenics, and intense weight training, I was finally able to lift the bottle
and pour it into a thirsty stem. Fairly dark in the glass, with oodles of plum and
blackberry on the nose. The spice is present but subtle, as is the herbal component.
On the palate, this wine shines with plenty of fruit, a touch of mocha, and a rather
remarkable acidity that binds the wine together. Yet, this is a pup and it needs time–
not a lot but a good 2-4 years to really reach its potential. Unfortunately, the extra
time will not make the bottle any lighter, however. Outstanding. 93 Points.
93 Rich Cook Sep 19, 2023
We Know Jack, Rockpile – Sonoma County (California) Zinfandel Jack Florence Sr. Vineyard “Rockpile Riff Raff” 2021 ($78):
The name says it all here — if you want a piece of the action from this famed site, you need to know the owner, and I imagine you would
also need to pony up a significant amount of financing per ton. Justice is done to provenance here in a refined style with a mouth
coating texture that carries rich brambly fruit and leaves lingering flavors in satisfying fashion. A well tempered approach to oak aging
keeps the focus on the fruit character while adding complementary spice and vanilla notes. Riff-raff moniker notwithstanding, think of
this as a Cabernet lover’s Zin that retains its soul. Contains 9% Petite Sirah.
93 Rich Cook Sep 19, 2023
WE KNOW JACK! JACK FLORENCE SR. VINEYARD ZINFANDEL ROCKPILE 2021
We Got 94 Points!
Sean Ludford’s BevX.com
Brilliant, dark ruby/purple color. The aromatics are intense, offering scents of blackberry, graphite, and cassis with supporting notes of bramble, slate, and hints of cigar box. The palate confirms the nose delivering a black fruit-driven core with flavors of wild blueberry, raspberry, baking spices, and black tea joining grape skins in the tannins. The finish is long and lingering with chewy tannins. Full-bodied and perfectly balanced with a meaty yet supple texture.
Region: California Appellation: Rockpile Varietal: Zinfandel Retail Price: $78 ABV: 14.75%
Lori was born and raised in Rhode Island, lived in England for ten years and later became a corporate flight attendant for a noteworthy Oregon born and raised CEO. He thought it was important for his staff to be well versed about domestic wine to best serve the executive team. Lori followed his suggestions and developed an incredible palate. Always an altruist, she shared her knowledge and bottles with Mark. An excellent cook, mother and grandmother, family is everything to Lori.
Mark was born and raised in New Jersey. After medical school and training, he settled in Massachusetts for a career in pathology. In 2004, Mark and Lori blended their families. While the kids were occupied at college, they began the first of many trips to California Wine Country. A science geek, Mark began to acquire books about vineyard soil and development, and began to search the MLS listings. After a few aborted attempts, Lori identified the Florence property …. and the rest is history.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ROCKPILE
This greater region of northwestern Sonoma, has been called Rockpile for at least 150 years and has a rich history of hard-working pioneering immigrant farmers and ranchers, indigenous Americans, colorful outlaws, celebrities, and other assorted characters. Insightful accounts can be found online (e.g. https://rockpilegrapegrowers.org/history.html) and Cathy Park’s wonderful book “A Place Called Rockpile.” Our VINEYARD history and accounts are no different!
Rockpile is one of the smallest viticultural areas in planted acres and one of only a few that are defined by a minimum elevation, which is just above our fog line at 800 ft. The region is rugged, remote, and beautiful with both lake and maritime influences providing cooler temperatures, longer hangtimes and slower, more even ripening. It is one of the most acclaimed zinfandel regions in the world.