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2007

Chardonnay

Ulises Valdez Vineyard
Russian River Valley

Our fourth vintage from Ulises Valdez vineyard is masculine in structure and bursting with aromas of Fuji apple and crème brûlée. This chardonnay is forthright, vibrant and full-bodied, opening with well-articulated flavors of ripe pear and stone fruit and accented by hints of guava and yeasty bread. Fruit and custard notes are enhanced over a long finish by lively acidity and subtle, well-integrated oak. Alcohol 14.7%

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94 points Wine Advocate

“The 2007 Chardonnay Ulises Valdez possesses a caramelized, candied, nectarine, peach, and pineapple-like character with a smoky, hazelnut note, very good acidity, a full-bodied, powerful mouthfeel, and underlying minerality. This elegant yet substantial Chardonnay should drink well for 4-5 years.”
Robert Parker Jr.

92 points International Wine Cellar

“Pale yellow. Powerfully scented bouquet of orange sherbet, toasty lees, smoked meat and Anjou pear. Fleshy citrus and orchard fruit flavors are underscored by dusty minerals and anise. With air, this gains weight and develops a sexy floral quality that carries through the impressively persistent, smoky finish. ”
Stephen Tanzer

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Harvest Date September 21 & 22

Growing Season The 2007 growing season was preceded by a mild, dry winter. Bud break came early and set a crop of tight clusters of small berries. Summer brought warm, even temperatures through veraison. Several heat spikes in August suggested that crush might begin early but temperatures cooled in early September, allowing ample time for phenolics as well as sugars to reach optimum levels. The result was a slow, steady harvest of exceptional quality, with wines showing great intensity and structure.

Winemaking

• Hand-harvested grapes
• Whole cluster, direct to press, cold
• Barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts; 4 months to completion
• Concurrent, spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrels
• Aged 16 months in French oak barrels; 64% new
• Aged sur lies; biweekly bâtonnage
• Unblended, unfined and unfiltered; bottled January 2009