As I begin to compose my thoughts for this letter, I remember back to that now-famous line, uttered so perfectly by Sean Connery throughout his career, as his character in the 007 series would introduce himself; “Bond, James Bond”. I think of that phrase every time I hear that a new release of this wine is headed my way. “ROAR, ROAR WINES.”
ROAR Pinots need absolutely zero introduction for the initiated. They come to us from the rolling hills of the Santa Lucia Highlands region of the Central Coast – Monterey to be quite specific – and they are quite simply, as Parker so perfectly points out, “Among the finest produced in California”. From the very first review of these tremendous and full-bodied Pinots ever offered by the Wine Advocate, the world has waited in line for a chance to purchase these singular efforts from the gracious Franscioni couple.
The wines of ROAR Vineyards – so named as to pay homage to the screaming winds that blow through the hills and valleys of this region, originating from the coast – are made by Gary and Rosella Franscioni along with their good friend and wine-maker Gary Pisoni, to bring to light the very best attributes of this part of California. These are powerful Pinots, rightly so, and yet they retain the elegance that Pinot Noir is so famous for. Meeting the people behind the wines will completely, as is so often the case, explain the wine you’ll find in the bottles.
What’s more, the names of the vineyards these folks are behind as farmers and proprietors are equally as famous as a source for world class wines in many other folks hands as well. A bottle of Pinot Noir carrying the Garys’, Rosella’s, or Pisoni vineyard designations, when bottled by an ever-increasing number of fine producers in California, is as close as one can come to a guarantee of a tremendous wine. The assistance these 3 people have offered to so many folks, in their attempts to produce world-class Pinot Noir, is truly heart-warming.
Today, we have just a small offering (minuscule, to be precise) from this tremendous estate to offer all of you. As is the case with ROAR, the wines are consistently offered for sale — and completely sold out — before the reviews are printed by the wine writers. If you look at the previous vintage’s notes, however, you’ll understand the reason behind the quick and consistent sell-through.
Just as a final note, here are some words from the experts on this amazing estate:
“Wow! I was blown away by these Pinot Noirs from Roar. They all reveal unbelievable complexity, richness, and the extraordinary potential that exists in the Santa Lucia Highlands for this varietal.
[It] reminds me of a beautifully ripe top vintage of Grand Cru Corton from the Cotes de Beaune.
This brilliant Pinot Noir is among the finest produced in California.”
— Robert Parker, covering several offers from ROAR
“Gary and Rosella Franscioni, third generation farmers in the Santa Lucia Highlands, are proprietors of Roar Wines, proprietors of Rosella’s Vineyard and partners with Gary Pisoni in Garys’ Vineyard.
With the Roar Pinots, they set out to capture the pure character of the Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards that they are so intimately familiar with….
The Franscionis are perfect proof that an artisan’s wines are a true reflection of the person. Like their wines, Gary and Rosella are beautiful, classy people.”
— Gregory Walter, PinotReport