Sonoma Coast Vineyards Gold Ridge Hills Chardonnay 2010
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
With a diverse range of aromatics, it's the citrus and tropical fruit that stand out. Hints of fresh green apple linger as it opens. The toast and spice components are in the early stages of reaching full integration. There are emerging elements of a creme brûlée-like richness on the palate, surrounded by a silky acid matrix. It is showing zesty lemon and fresh pear with a center core of tropical white fruit and sweet tangerine. The aging potential for this wine should be exceptional, given the bright acidity and complex fruit profile.
Wine Enthusiast - "This winery has a good track record for producing rich, opulent Chardonnays. The cool 2010 vintage was beneficial, yielding a low alcohol wine with extraordinary rich tropical fruit flavors and bright, graceful acidity. It saw a majority of new French oak, lending it a note of buttered toast, but the underlying wine is so big, it easily handles that weight.
Sonoma Coast Vineyards
Sonoma Coast Vineyards produces handcrafted wines from the Extreme Sonoma Coast, a unique cold-climate growing area west of the Russian River Valley, a mere five miles from the Pacific Ocean, on the far western reaches of the Sonoma Coast Appellation. The potential for this region to produce wines of exceptional depth and complexity inspired founders John and Barbara Drady to join forces with acclaimed winemaker Anthony Austin and introduce their first vintage in 2002. Low yields of mature fruit with high levels of natural acidity, intense flavors and remarkable complexity result from the long, cool growing season, where harvests may extend into early November. View all Sonoma Coast Vineyards Wines
About Sonoma CountyRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.