2010 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
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2010 was a lovely, cooler vintage which excelled in producing our style of Chardonnay—a perfect balance of old world style and new world fruit. These grapes started coming in the last days of September, with the Charles Ranch finishing on October 22. Thus, our trademark bright acidity and freshness are particularly apparent this year.
Our appellation Chardonnays are given less new oak—twenty to twenty-five percent—and spend less time in barrel—twelve months–than the single-vineyard wines, but otherwise are made identically to them. This includes whole-cluster pressing for delicacy, native-yeast barrel fermentation, aging sur lies with bâtonnage, and full native malolactic fermentation. After spending the following vintage in tank, these 2010’s were bottled without filtration in March 2012.
Thirty-eight percent from six different Dutton ranches, 20% from three different Martinelli vineyards, 20% King, 10% Rochioli Vineyards, 7% Ritchie young vines, and 5% from Green Pastures (a 40-year-old Wente vineyard at the end of Felta Creek Road). A slightly warmer climate compared with our more coastal sites results in an earlier harvest from these vineyards and a somewhat richer texture and flavor than our Sonoma Coast bottling.