Adam Franscioni is the third generation of his family to farm in the Central Coast; he now works alongside his father, Gary, in the Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards that he planted in 1996. There are three distinct single vineyards under the family's umbrella: Rosella's, which is the oldest, Sierra Mar and Soberanes. In addition, the Franscioni family co-owns the Garys' vineyard with the Pisoni family. Most of the fruit they grow is sold to many of the most highly regarded wineries in the State, so the names of their vineyards are familiar to almost all California wine lovers, especially pinot aficionados. Adam also manages sales for Roar and he told me that while the low yields of 2011 were "obviously frustrating, commercially," he and his father are extremely pleased with the wines, which he calls "typical in our style for flavor but more elegant and drinkable early."
2011 Roar Wines Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
91pts (55% new French oak): Bright ruby-red. Sexy, oak-spiced aromas of red fruit compote, spicecake and floral oils. Sweet raspberry and vanilla flavors are lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity and show very good depth. Closes tangy and long, with resonating spiciness and sneaky, fine-grained tannins that provide gentle grip.
2011 Roar Wines Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Santa Lucia Highlands
92pts Deep ruby. Smoky red and dark berries, cherry pit and a hint of anise on the intensely perfumed nose. Pliant blackberry and blueberry flavors provide impressive palate coverage and pick up a floral nuance with air. Suave, supple and expansive, with very good finishing power and gentle tannic grip. This is surprisingly lively for such a substantial pinot.
2011 Roar Wines Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
92pts Deep ruby. High-pitched red fruit and floral scents are given depth by notes of licorice and mocha. Spicy, incisive and pure, offering intense raspberry and spicecake flavors and a touch of blood orange. Powerful yet lithe and precise, with excellent finishing clarity and persistence.
2011 Roar Wines Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
92pts Vivid ruby-red. A powerfully scented bouquet displays ripe red and dark berries, cola, candied rose and vanilla, with a smoky overtone. Broad, palate-coating black raspberry and cherry-cola flavors of impressive depth are lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity. Distinctly rich but surprisingly energetic on a lingering finish that echoes the cola and dark berry notes.
2011 Roar Wines Chardonnay Sierra Mar Santa Lucia Highlands
91pts Bright gold. Musky pear skin and Meyer lemon scents are complemented by notes of vanilla and anise, with a smoky nuance coming up with aeration. Fleshy and expansive on the palate, offering ripe pear and nectarine flavors that are lifted and braced by juicy acidity. Closes smooth, smoky and long, with slow-building spiciness and a hint of iodine. Distinctly rich but very energetic.
2011 Roar Wines Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands
90pts Deep red. Fresh cherry and dark berry aromas are complicated by notes of cola and woodsmoke. Chewy and precise on the palate, offering bitter cherry and blackberry flavors and an zesty note of peppery spices. Closes smoky and long, with a hint of bitter chocolate and youthful tannic grip.
"All American Chardonnay" Cover story and cover photo featuring ROAR 2010 Sierra Mar Chardonnay, 95pts., Editor's Choice." :
SEE ARTICLE >
This is a set of sublime, elegant wines from Gary and Rosella Franscioni at Roar. The Franscionis own a number of vineyards, including Rosella's, Sierra Mar and Garys' (with the Pisoni family), all in the Santa Lucia Highlands. In addition to making their own wines, the Franscionis also sell fruit to a number of small, artisanal wineries. The Franscioni's latest project is Sierra Mar, a dramatic hillside vineyard with multiple exposures and one isolated, striking plot that looks like a setting for an opening scene in a James Bond movie.
ROAR: The Lion of Monterey County Vintners SEE ARTICLE >
A Mighty ROAR SEE ARTICLE >
"Gary and Rosella Franscioni are the dynamic couple behind ROAR. Given the fact that they are probably the most respected grape growers in Monterey County's Santa Lucia Highlands, it should come as no surprise that their own wines are somewhat sensational." - Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online
Gary Franscioni’s small output burnishes Santa Lucia’s name in a big way. SEE ARTICLE >
S.F. becomes the new Wine Country : In February, guests mingled by the fireplace in the Presidio Clubhouse as more than a dozen wineries poured their wares. Such wine charity events are routine, though with $17,000 raised, this was modest by Napa Valley standards. SEE ARTICLE >
"Brilliant Pinot Noirs" : "The splendor of these Pinot Noirs was never more evident than in the blind tasting of great Burgundy grand crus and California Pinot Noirs held for 125 Pinot lovers at the Culinary Institute of America in October, 2006. At that event a 2004 ROAR Pinot Noir blew away all the competition from Burgundy. ROAR's 2005's are brilliant follow-ups to their exquisite 2004's." - Robert Parker
California Pinots To Rival Burgundies : "Roar is a rare success story when it comes to producing world-class, rich pinot noirs from the slopes of the Monterey County's Santa Lucia Highlands. You're going to hear a lot more about Roar." - Robert Parker
Top 30 Pinot Noir Wineries : "Monterey County is one of the most exciting outposts on the California Pinot Noir frontier, and one of its most impressive producers is ROAR."
Rosella Franscioni called "An Icon in California Winemaking" : SEE ARTICLE >
Rosella's Vineyard named Vineyard of the Year! : "A few months ago, in our coverage of Pinot Noir, the best wines all came from Rosella’s Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The property belongs to Gary Franscioni (who is also a partner with Gary Pisoni in Garys’ Vineyard)."
Soledad's ROAR winery wins taste test - Garys' Vineyard takes top honors SEE ARTICLE >
from COASTAL GROWER, Spring 2006:
Rosella's Vineyard: High-Flying Wines from Down-to-Earth People. SEE ARTICLE >
Swoon-inducing Pinot Noirs meet grape leaf-wrapped dolmas SEE ARTICLE >
Two Wild Guys Grow California's Hottest Grape SEE ARTICLE >
SEE ARTICLE >
2002 "Best California Pinot Vintage Ever" : "Adding thrill to the Pinot hunt is that many of the hottest wines come from newcomers - Loring, Melville, Kosta Browne, ROAR, McPhail and Sea Smoke." - James Laube
2001 Roar Releases : "The debut releases from Roar in particular offered uncommon richness and depth of flavor, but you'll have to move fast on these"
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