Cartlidge & Browne Chardonnay 2001
Chardonnay from California
The majority of the fruit for the 2001 Chardonnay came from two different parts of the Sacramento River Delta region. The largest lot (44%) was harvested at between 23.5° and 23.8° Brix from vineyards just east of Lodi, while a further 38% was harvested at between 23.5° and 24.4° Brix from the Clarksburg area west of the river. The balance of the blend (18%) came from three vineyards in the Russian River region of Sonoma County. All but 21% of the wine was fermented in barrel - the Russian River portion entirely in French oak, the Lodi portion entirely in American oak and the Clarksburg portion in a combination of 70% American and 30% French oak. Barrel stirring (batonage) was performed on 40% of the barrel fermented lots and all saw between 3 and 6 months of lees contact. 92% of the wine completed malolactic fermentation.
Extremely aromatic, this 2001 Chardonnay offers luscious tropical fruit flavors with ripe citrus highlights. The intense fruit is backed by toasty oak and creamy malolactic notes. Well balanced with a smooth, rich texture on the palate, the wine will be delightful as an accompaniment to light pastas, chicken and seafood or by itself as an aperitif.
Cartlidge & Browne Winery
About Other California
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few.
Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
It'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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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.