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Carneros Reserve 2009

2009 proved to be a mild, relatively cool growing season. Without much frost nor many heat spikes, the lack of rain (2/3 of normal for the third consecutive year) did not present any challenges. Overall, the vintage provided extended hang time for the grapes without excessive ripeness, leading to forward, bright fruit with mature flavors and tannins.

The Chardonnay grapes for this wine were grown in the Carneros region, where soils are dense, shallow, of low to moderate fertility, and high in clay content. While the soils lead to low yields, the region’s maritime climate allows a longer growing season; the end result is balanced color, flavor and acidity in the harvested grapes. This Chardonnay is produced from the Rodgers Creek Vineyard in northwestern Carneros, where the expression of the fruit tends to be more exotic and concentrated.

After whole-cluster pressing, the Chardonnay juice was barrel-fermented in French oak barrels and aged sur lie for 22 months. During this period, the barrels were routinely stirred to increase yeast contact and add richness; the wine did not undergo the secondary malo-lactic fermentation. One– and two-year-old French oak barrels were used. Prior to bottling, the wine received minimal filtration and fining to preserve the fresh fruit flavors.

Tasting Notes
This Chardonnay features bright, concentrated citrus, pear, cantaloupe and pineapple fruit, with a good balance of French oak to add richness to the palate. The wine lingers on the palate, and has the structure and acidity to provide for good longevity.

Press & Acclaim
90 points, Best Buy - 2008 Vintage
"Earthy notes add a savory tone to this citrusy chardonnay. Delicate, orange-scented fruit keeps it light and completely dry. For roast salmon."
- Wine & Spirits, December 2010 Download PDF

87 points - 2007 Vintage
"Distinctive spicy citrus-grapefruit flavors merge with green apple in this crisp, medium-bodied white, gaining complexity on the finish. Drink now through 2012."
- J.L., Wine Spectator, June 30, 2009

89 points - 2007 Vintage
"A very nice Chardonnay for drinking with grilled salmon or chicken. It’s light and delicate, with pleasant flavors of citrus fruits, pears and vanilla and bracing minerality. Really likeable for its balance."
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine, February 2009 Download PDF

Critics Silver - 2007 Vintage
"Little green; soft low intensity fruit.  Light finish."
- Gerald D. Boyd, Critics Challenge International Wine Competition 2009

2007 Vintage
"This wine offers a somewhat opulent apricot– and peach-tinged chardonnay aroma with just the right amount of oak and flavors to match. It’s a big wine that somehow avoids the grotesqueries so common to California wines of this mass. I recommend it, especially to those who want their chardonnays big and bold but not out of kilter, a testament to the Carneros microclimate’s possibilities."
- Jon Christensen, The Columbus Dispatch, November 8, 2005 Download PDF

Highly Recommended - 2007 Vintage
"Medium-light yellow; pleasant, floral, nutty, citrus and green apple aroma with hints of vanilla; medium-full to full body; crisp, lemony, nectarine and green apple flavors; firmly structured. Highly recommended."
- California Grapevine, December 2008 - January 2009 Download PDF

Technical Data:
• Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
• Appellation: Carneros
• Alcohol: 14.1%
• TA: 0.60 g/100ml
• pH: 3.59
• Oak Aging: 22 months
• Oak Cooperage: French oak
• Bottling Date: November 9, 2011
• Production: 288 cases

Download tasting notes PDF

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