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2008

Chardonnay

Ulises Valdez Vineyard
Russian River Valley

The lively character and bright acidity of the 2008 vintage are a perfect complement to this wine's assertive personality and rich, creamy texture. Crystalline pale straw color accompanies enticing aromas of Granny Smith apple, citrus and orange blossom that carry through over a viscous, firmly-structured palate. Notes of lemon custard and white flowers add complexity, with oak playing a supporting role. Subtle impressions of nutmeg and minerals lengthen an elegant finish. Alcohol 14.5%

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94 points Wine Advocate

“Outrageously tasty, it reveals caramelized tropical fruits such as oranges and pineapples intermixed with brioche, crème brulee and hazelnuts.  Deep, rich and full-bodied, this authoritative Chardonnay is classically Californian with a nod to French structure and minerality.  Consume it over the next 4-5 years.  ”
Robert Parker Jr.

92 points Wine Spectator

“Creamy-textured, rich and layered, with a smoky oak edge to the ripe fig, melon, apricot, tangerine and crème brûlée notes. Full-bodied, ending with a long, persistent finish that repeats the core flavor themes. Drink now through 2016. ”
James Laube

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Harvest Date September 24

Growing Season 2008 began with an exceptionally dry spring and early bud break. Frosts in April significantly lowered cluster counts. Weather stabilized and warmed through summer, with warmer temperatures continuing through harvest. A smaller crop of high quality fruit was able to ripen fully and evenly, developing an excellent balance of sugars and acid. Overall, the 2008 wines are bright and expressive with well-articulated flavors.

Winemaking

• Hand-harvested grapes
• Whole cluster, direct to press, cold
• Barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts; 7 months to completion
• Concurrent, spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrels
• Aged 16 months in Damy and François Frères French oak barrels; 61% new
• Aged sur lies; biweekly bâtonnage
• Unblended, unfined and unfiltered; bottled January 2010