2011 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
2011 was the coolest vintage in many years, one which was chased into the winery by a series of rainstorms. In fact we made less of this blend this year since two of our vineyards didn’t ripen and were not harvested for us. Those that came in, however, produced our style of Chardonnay—a perfect balance of old world style and new world fruit, albeit leaner than in warmer vintages.
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 2011’s were bottled without filtration in February 2012.
Thirty percent from three different Dutton ranches, 29% from three Martinelli vineyards, 14% King, 10% Rochioli Vineyards (with Allen), 8% Forchini, 3% Green Pastures (a 42-year-old Wente vineyard back Felta Creek Road), and this vintage we declassified a bit of Hyde (6%) into the Russian River blend. Normally, a slightly warmer climate compared with our Sonoma Coast sites results in an earlier harvest from these vineyards with a somewhat richer texture and flavor than our Sonoma Coast bottling—but that difference is less pronounced this vintage.