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Castalia

Owner(s) Terry Bering
Web site www.castaliawines.com
 
Link to this site
Castalia

Terry Bering started out as a gargariste, crafting Cabernet Sauvignon in a friend’s carport in Healdsburg in 1983. His first Pinot Noir came in 1985. After meeting Tom Rochioli, Bering worked the 1988 and 1989 crush at J. Rochioli Vineyards on Westside Road in Healdsburg. In 1990, he left his real estate job to work as the cellar master at J. Rochioli Vineyards. In 1992 he founded his own label, Castalia Wines, based on purchased grapes from the Rochioli Vineyard. Bering is now a hard-core pinotphile, drinking Pinot Noir almost exclusively. Castalia refers to Apollo’s favorite spring on Mount Parnassus in ancient Greece that bestowed drinkers of the spring gifts of poetry and inspiration. Bering produces a single Pinot Noir, sourced in 2006 from Rochioli’s 19-year-old River Block Vineyard and an 18-year-old block planted to West Block clone.

Castalia Wines are available from the website. Simply e-mail Terry Bering with your order. Magnums are available as well.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, 300 cases, $55 (6 and 12 bottle lots sold through the website order form). Released February 2013. Twentieth vintage of Castalia Pinot Noir crafted by Rochioli cellarmaster Terry Bering. Yields were 50% of normal in 2011. 50% Rochioli Vineyard River Block and 50% from a 20-year-old block of the West Block clone planted in another vineyard on Westside Road together with some Rochioli Estate wine. Aged 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very bright spicy cherry aroma which builds in intensity over time in the glass. Ornate cherry flavor with accents of Chinese five-spice, cola, anise and oak, caressingly soft tannins, finishing with hi-tone cherry presence and a juicy acidity. Also tasted from a bottle opened the previous day and the wine showed more body and nuance suggesting that cellaring for at least a year is advised. Try this wine with Cherry Cordial M&Ms - it really works! Very good. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 300 cases, $55. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very bright and spicy cherry aroma which builds in intensity over time in the glass. Ornate cherry flavor with accents of Chinese five-spice, cola, anise and oak, displaying soft tannins, no rough edges, and finishing with a hi-tone cherry presence and juicy acidity. More body and nuance the following day from a previously opened bottle. I would suggest cellaring for a year. Very good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, 300 cases, $55. I have been a long time fan of the Castalia Pinot Noirs produced from Rochioli Vineyard fruit by winemaker Terry Bering, the cellarmaster at Rochioli. This wine is 50% Rochioli River Block fruit and 50% from a 20-year-old block of Rochioli West Block selection planted in another vineyard on Westside and Rochioli Estate wine. Aged 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Terry told me his wines need time to evolve and I found this to be the case. I first tasted the wine last February and thought it was very good but not extraordinary then. My recent tasting found the wine had blossomed into something very special and it is certain to be one of my 2013 All-Americans. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of Bing cherries, strawberries, spice and musk which literally jump out of the glass over time. The flavor of cherry syrup caresses the palate with complimentary notes of spice and vanilla. The classy, lush fruit is perfectly buffered by ripe tannins and brought to life by bright acidity. The lengthy finish is simply gorgeous. Quintessential Russian River Valley richness, yet sleek, balanced and refined. Score: 96. Reviewed October 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $55. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Deep, dark aromas of boysenberry jam, plum reduction sauce, spice, oak and tobacco. Enticing middleweight flavors of black cherries and dark berries, displaying the plush, vivid fruit that the Russian River Valley is famous for. Impeccable balance with well use of oak accents, offering restrained tannins, good length, and easy drink ability. Continues in the tradition of consistently excellent wines crafted by Rochioli cellarmaster, Terry Bering. California through and through. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.95% alc., pH 3.57, 352 cases, $55. 40% Dijon 115 and 667 for the first time. 50% River Block and 50% Flax Vineyard West Block clone. Perfect growing season with enough warm days to achieve optimum ripening. Aged 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple robe. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir with typical bright aromas of Bing cherries, red raspberries, dark red roses, and exotic spice. Delicious and polished on the palate with a generous endowment of cherries jubilee, ripe strawberry, raspberry and plum flavors wrapped in well-mannered tannins with a cherry cola and spice box finish that lingers, slipping off the back of the palate and leaving an overwhelming impression of luxury. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $50. So your not on the coveted Rochioli mailing list and you want some Rochioli wine. Look no further. Terry Bering, the long time Cellar Master at Rochioli, crafts superb Pinot Noirs from Rochioli fruit that you can actually buy. I have raved about the last few vintages in past issues. This is a no-brainer my friend. · The nose entices with fresh aromas of cherries and berries with a hint of brier patch and baking spice. Moderate in weight, this wine flaunts a delicious core of redder fruits with underpinnings of bread crust and spice. Flawless and harmonious, this silky beauty really shows off its breeding. A sophisticated wine with a top hat personality Reviewed April 23, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.5% alc., pH 3.56, 354 cases, $50. 50% River Block and 50% Flax Vineyard. Warmer growing season. Unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Gorgeous nose of vivid black cherry and black raspberry perfume complimented by oak. Mature black cherry flavors flood the palate with interesting notes of cherry cola, oak spice, umami and red Jolly Rancher lingering on the amazing finish that seems to last an eternity. Definitely ripe flavored. Perfect oak integration and well matched tannins. Similar to the 2009 vintage. Irresistible. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 326 cases, $50. Aged 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Effusive aromas of cherries, berries, mocha and minerals jump out of the glass. Delicious black cherry fruit which grabs your attention and lingers like a romantic kiss. Richly fruited and highly nuanced with hints of earth, tea, herbs and oak. The perfect harmony of optimally ripe fruit, vital acidity and refined tannins. The wine was opened in the morning and was even better later in the day. A dreamy wine of great charm. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.3% alc., pH 3.49, 326 cases, $50. 50% River Block and 50% Flax Vineyard West Block clone. Perfect growing season. Very small yields. Aged 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is striking with vibrant aromas of crushed black cherries, berry jam, and mocha. The palate is rich, long and pure with a generous amount of black cherry and plum fruit accented with notes of tea, cola, clove, cherry skins and herbal oak. Still youthful with the balance and structural bones to age. Liquid nobility. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 328 cases, $50. · The nose is brimming with black cherry fruit accompanied by subtle dried herbs, smoke and char. Restrained but generous dark red fruits, especially black raspberry, coat the mouth and are complimented by stylish oak spice. The wine sports a refined mouth feel and the right touch of acidity. An engaging Pinot Noir of the highest quality and one that Apollo would have surely enjoyed. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 328 cases, $50. · The nose is brimming with black cherry fruit accompanied by subtle dried herbs, smoke and char. Restrained but generous dark red fruits, especially black raspberry, coat the mouth and are complimented by stylish oak spice. The wine sports a refined mouth feel and the right touch of acidity. An engaging Pinot Noir of the highest quality and one that Apollo would have surely enjoyed. Reviewed May 7, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.3% alc., pH 3.53, 328 cases, $50. 9 barrels of River Block and 5 barrels of Flax Vineyard West Block clone. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry tart, bacon, straw bale, forest floor and oak. A very silky wine on the palate with generous flavors of grilled stone fruits and toasty, smoky oak. Nicely structured and balanced with mild finegrain tannins and some aromatic persistence on the finish. My only nit is that the fruit is somewhat drowned out by oak-derived flavors. Good (+). Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2005 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.88% alc., pH 3.58, 327 cases, $45. Very large crop and very hot the second part of harvest. River Block fruit had bad fermentation. Bottles from this vintage have been very uneven. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is more savory than fruity with scents of brier and Provencal herbs. A solid, but not spectacular wine that offers a modest amount of dark red Pinot fruits with an underpinning of savory herbs (herbal but not herbaceous) and subtle oak with a dusting of tannins. Good (+). Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2004 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard West Block Second Pick Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (cleanskin, unreleased)

All second-crop. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose offers up aromas of mixed dark berries, smoke and oak. Tasty core of dark raspberries, blackberries and Hoison sauce with noticeable oak in the background. Light in weight relative to other vintages tasted in this vertical and seems a little dilute next to the other bottlings. Still, the wine has plenty of charm and picks up interest over time in the glass. Very good. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2004 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.18% alc., pH 3.53, 320 cases, $45. First year with no second-crop and first year of fruit from Flax Vineyard West Block clone. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass, apparently unfiltered. Impressive aromatic intensity with scents of red berry cobbler, candied cherry and mocha. A plethora of darker red and black fruit flavors with a slight roasted quality, finishing with great length and a hint of citrus peel. Silky textured with gossamer tannins. Very good. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2003 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc. (no honest alcohol), pH 3.51, 309 cases, $40. Same vineyard composition as 2002 vintage. Warm growing season. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very enticing aromas of pie cherries, berry jam, red candies and a hint of mocha. The wine attacks the mid palate with a vengeance, serving up layers of black cherry and dark red berry fruit set off by hints of cola and sassafras, lingering on the finish for nearly a minute. Beautiful balance, restrained tannins and light on its feet. Finesse with power. Slightly less weighted than the 2002 vintage, but a highly praiseworthy wine in its own right. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2002 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc. (no honest alcohol or pH), 323 cases, $40. Composed of 60% River Block first-crop and 40% West Block second-crop. Perfect season. A 96 pt wine. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex and alluring nose offering scents of black cherries, sweet pipe smoke, mocha, gingerbread, leaf and underbrush. Intensely flavored with a dense core of black cherry and cranberry fruit. Dreamy soft on the palate with supple tannins and impeccable balance. So fresh and lively, hard to believe the wine was 9 years old. Finishes with a memorable fruit-driven persistence. An amazing, orgasmic experience. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2001 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.44% alc., pH 3.58, 317 cases, $35. Same vineyard blend as 2000. Warm summer, cool September so harvested later. · Denser and took longer to develop. More structured, French-like. A-. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »

2000 Castalia Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.94% alc., pH 3.64, 300 cases, $35. 50% River Block first-crop and 25% each of River Block and West Block second-crop. · Wellstructured with full flavors. B+. Reviewed October 4, 2011 ARTICLE »