Every year, vintners learn a crucial lesson: no two vintages are the same. 2010 was a brutal growing season. A cool, gray summer gave way to blistering heat waves in September, followed by torrential rains. Early on, mildew and botrytis were a threat all season because of the chill. Many growers, already worried the grapes weren’t ripening, dropped crop and pulled leaves, opening up the canopy for sun exposure and better air flow. Then the heat came and scorched a lot of grapes. Though yields were down, the quality was surprisingly good; the alcohol levels were slightly lower than usual, but wines have nice texture and balance.
This 2010 Chardonnay is savory and elegant. Aromas of pears and apples accompanied by white flowers and spices fill the glass, with flavors of pear and melon and a touch of minerality, finishing with notes of vanilla and butterscotch. This wine was barrel fermented and aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels; imparting a rich mouth-feel and toasty vanilla components. The great acidity from a Russian River Valley designation, along with integrated oak tannins will allow for this Chardonnay to be cellared for up to four years. But why wait when it’s so good right now?
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Varietal Composition: Chardonnay (100%)
Harvest Dates: September 21, 2010
Bottling Date: July 8, 2011
Case Production: 280