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Spring Release Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Winemaker’s Notes

In contrast to the early and dry 2004 growing season and harvest, 2005 saw heavy late spring rains followed by a cool extended ripening period that pushed harvest well into late fall. As a result, our 2005 RRV Chardonnay is one of precision and finesse, yet shows plenty of trademark rich honeyed fruit and creamy texture. 2005 also brought a new source to the 2004 vineyard mix – the Martin vineyard a fifteen year old planting in the heart of the Green Valley district planted to an Old Wente selection on a steeply terraced west-facing hillside. The vineyard's free-draining Goldridge soils produce small berries of great mineral and flint intensity and a broad nuanced texture – a great new addition. Chardonnay crop levels were naturally elevated after the small 2004 harvest and wet spring and the cool harvest conditions offered fruit maturity at slightly lower alcohol levels. In the cellar these wines fermented to dryness quickly and yielded the lowest residual sugar level of any previous RRV release. The Malolactic fermentations were paradoxically the slowest we have yet encountered – they didn't finish until July 2006 – which together with increased lees stirring, added an additional layer of texture to balance out the prominent acid backbone the individual lots displayed.

Pale lemon yellow. Powerful aromatics of intense citrus, smoky hazelnut and fragrant honeysuckle. Initially taut and mineral-driven, with air the wine opens to reveal penetrating flavors of citrus oil, sweet limes and richer nectarine. Excellent depth and texture on the mid-palate is balanced by vibrant acidity that provides focus and structure to the lengthy, full-flavored finish. This is an age-worthy RRV bottling that shows the coolness of the growing season in its flinty minerality, but has the concentration to develop in honeyed richness for 5 to 7 years in a cool cellar. Serve between 55 and 60 degrees to ensure full flavor development

Andy Smith

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Harvest Date

September 22nd through October 27th


Russian River Valley


Old Wente, Robert Young & UCD 108

Age of Vines at Harvest

23 years

Barrel Aging

Barrel aged sur lie for 15 months in 50new French oak


3120 cases of 750mL
66 cases of 1.5L
12 bottles of 3L