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2009

Chardonnay

Ulises Valdez Vineyard
Russian River Valley

Characteristically bold, yet refined in texture and seamlessly integrated, this opalescent, pale straw chardonnay is seductively aromatic with white flowers, stone fruit and lime rind. A tautly structured palate is creamy and layered with flavors of Fuji apple, yeasty brioche, meringue and ginger. This intense weave of flavors persists over a crisp, lingering finish accented with wet stone and citrus. Alcohol 14.3%

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94 points Wine Spectator

“Beautifully crafted, rich and layered, with a steady life or creamy fig, juicy peach, honeydew, honeysuckle, anise and light toasty, vanilla-laced oak strutting its stuff on the finish, where the flavors are long and persistent.  Drink now through 2018.”
James Laube

94 points Wine Advocate

“Big, bold and beautiful.  The explosiveness of these Wente clones comes through loud and clear.  Layers of fruit build effortlessly towards a textured finish laced with smoke, licorice, honey and butter.  ”
Robert Parker Jr.

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Harvest Date September 18

Growing Season 2009 began with an abundance of spring rain followed by mild, steady summer temperatures that set the stage for nearly ideal pinot noir and chardonnay growing conditions. The well-set fruit ripened slowly allowing for an excellent balance of sugars and acids to develop. The resulting wines can be characterized as elegant and rich with profound depth and structure.

Winemaking

• Hand-harvested grapes
• Whole cluster, direct to press, cold
• Barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts; 6 months to completion
• Concurrent, spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrels
• Aged 13 months in François Frères and Remond French oak barrels; 67% new
• Aged sur lies; biweekly bâtonnage
• Unblended, unfined and unfiltered; bottled January 2011