2008 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
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“…Precise, mineral-driven aromas of pear, spicecake, iodine and wet concrete, along with a sexy floral aspect…” 91 pts – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, May/June 2010
The 2008 vintage came close to being ideal, with steady, moderate temperatures punctuated by only one heat spike around Labor Day. Most of our appellation Chardonnays were harvested in the first half of September except for the Martinelli Charles Ranch, a new vineyard for us, which came in the second half of September.
Our appellation Chardonnays are given less new oak—33% percent in 2008—and spend less time in barrel—twelve months–than the single-vineyard Chardonnays, but otherwise are made identically. We press the whole clusters for delicacy. Native-yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging in barrel 12 months, it is fined for clarity and texture in tank during the following harvest. This wine was then bottled without filtration in January, 2010.
38% Martinelli Vineyards, 35% from four different Dutton ranches, 15% from Rochioli Vineyards, 9% from the King Vineyard off Piner Road, and 3% from Green Pastures Vineyard (a 40-year-old Wente vineyard back Felta Creek Road). Goldridge loam and gravelly soils give a crisper mouthfeel to Russian River Chardonnays compared with their Carneros counterparts