2012 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
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“Supple and broad on the palate, offering concentrated pit and orchard fruit flavors and a jolt of smoky minerals.” – Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, May 2014
The 2012 growing season was close to ideal with temperate and steady temperatures that produced a long, moderate growing season with extended hang time and even ripening. The 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.
Our appellation Chardonnays are given less new oak—18% percent in 2012—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 and stabilized in tank during the following harvest. This wine was then bottled without filtration in February, 2014.
Coming from special vineyard sites, our Chardonnays show great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. Typically, the climate is cool and the soil vigor low, producing graceful yet vibrant wines.
Our 2012 Russian River Chardonnay is 35% from four different Dutton ranches (Hansen, Perry, Mengle, Sebastopol); 17% from Martinelli’s Laughlin Road Vineyard; 15% from King Vineyard; 11% from four Rochioli vineyards (Allen, Mid-40, River, Hill); 9% from Forchini Vineyard; 5% from Hudson Vineyard; 4% Ritchie Vineyard; 3% Green Pastures (a 42-year-old Wente vineyard back Felta Creek Road); and 1% from Hyde Vineyard.