2014 Russian River Chardonnay
The grapes for this wine came from a vineyard just outside of Windsor. On a west-facing slope, with great breezes and afternoon light, the elevation is perfect for Chardonnay. Windsor Oaks Vineyard grows 18 different varietals on 710 acres of vineyard. Many different microclimates result in areas perfect for growing everything from Sauvignon Blanc to Petite Sirah. Crossing three AVAs -- Russian River, Sonoma Coast, and Chalk Hill -- the fruit is situated perfectly to make stellar wines.
The 2014 vintage was an interesting one. Early bud break, a hot, dry growing season, and exceptionally early harvest in some areas caused some concern over the physiological ripeness of the fruit. But a cool, damp front moved through the Sonoma countryside in early august and gave us a few more weeks on the vine. All in all, it was a good, if condensed, year for grapes in Sonoma.
We strived to make this wine a representation of our favorite Chardonnay from the region. Dumol makes some stunning vineyard designate Chards and Pinots, and we followed their house protocol. 100% Barrel fermented, 50% new oak, 50% Puncheon, 25% Russian Oak, full malolactic, followed by 15 months sur lie. The wine was racked for the first time to tank only 1 week before bottling, giving it the maximum time with lees contact for richness and texture.
This is one gorgeous Chardonnay. The oak is seamlessly integrated with the fruit. Full on the palate with lemon cream, honey, apple and spice, a silky long finish with notes of vanilla and hazelnut. I love this wine served around 47 degrees to bring its fullness and aromas to light. Still crisp with acidity, this is a food friendly Chardonnay, drinking so beautifully right now, but I suspect it will only get better over the next 2-5 years. If you love Chardonnay, do not miss this wine. I think it’s my best ever.