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Spring Release Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Winemaker’s Notes

This year’s Russian River Chardonnay is certainly the richest we have bottled since its 2004 equivalent, yet underneath all this concentration lies powerfully taut acidity that lengthens and harmonizes the wine beautifully. The wine’s aromas are lively, floral and citrus-infused and give way to a palate that overflows with natural fruit extract which is a product of these low yielding mature vines. In the cellar we opted to block a third of the malolactic fermentation in the face of so much richness in order to preserve some of the tautness that the ‘greener’ Malic acid brings. Similarly, we avoided lees stirring to prevent the wine becoming ponderous or heavy. In the list above you will recognize the stellar line-up of vineyard sources from which this wine hails. It’s blended from all the vineyards we source from and is thus the quality barometer for our efforts each vintage. At its core, lie three mature Dutton Ranch hillside vineyards that offer classic Green Valley baked apple flavors and broad texture. Pungent tropical fruit intensity comes from Heintz which blends perfectly with the Burgundian richness of Hansel. Hyde brings pure power and structure, while Ritchie is all about sweet orchard fruits and honey. Lastly, the thirty nine year old vines at Searby complete the blend with exotic muscaty fruit and an intriguing beeswax aromatic component.

Light green/yellow color. Multi-layered aromas of lime zest and white flowers then cantaloupe, an edge of ginger and some exotic lychee. Initially zesty grapefruit on the palate followed by wonderful fruit richness with a core of baked apple, sweet lemon honey and nutmeg. Great snappy acidity balances the long oily-rich finish. Serve no cooler than 55 degrees to ensure full flavor development. Drink between release and 2013.

Andy Smith

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16% Charles Heintz Vineyard

12% Dutton Ranch Hansen Hill Vineyard

7% Ritchie Vineyard

6% Hyde Vineyard

Harvest Date

September 4th through October 8th


Russian River Valley


Wente, Rued & UCD 108

Age of Vines at Harvest

25 years

Barrel Aging

Barrel aged sur lie for 15 months in 40% new French oak and two months settling in tank


3290 cases of 750mL
96 cases of 1.5L
16 bottles of 3L