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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Davis Bynum Chardonnay 2006
Davis Bynum Chardonnay 2006
(search item no. 100341)

PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Davis Bynum chardonnay is driven by vineyard sites. The eastern parts of Russian River Valley, nearing Highway 101, tend to be slightly warmer than the very cool western reaches. While maintaining ample crispness due to balanced acidity, the additional warmth pushes the flavor profile toward tropical and the mouth-feel to a round texture that is at once lush, but with a clean lingering finish.

"Winemaking in Russian River Valley is a true pleasure. No other region outside of Burgundy stamps as distinct a signature pinot noir and chardonnay. I see my job as winemaker to naturally guide the fruit through the fermentation process, maturing the wine in the finest French oak barrels, all the while retaining the authentic flavors of the region." – Gary Patzwald, Winemaker

My Notes:

Additional wines from Davis Bynum:

About Davis Bynum:

The Davis Bynum Winery story begins in 1951 when Davis Bynum, then a young newspaper man for the San Francisco Chronicle, bought 50 pounds of grapes from Robert Mondavi and made 3.5 gallons of petite sirah. "It wasn't a great wine," says Davis, "but then we drank it all before it was six months old!"

In 1971, Davis acquired vineyard land in the Napa Valley, near St. Helena. After unsuccess-fully attempting to build a winery on the property in 1973 (due to a moratorium on new winery construction by the Napa county planning commission), the Bynum Family -- Davis' wife Dorothy, son Hampton and daughter Susan -- purchased the 83-acre River Bend Ranch in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. On the property was a 1950's hop kiln which the Bynum Family converted into the winery and permanent home. "A friend convinced us to come over to the Russian River Valley. You can grow better grapes there anyway," Bynum chuckled.

In the first few years of operation at the new winery, grapes were hauled over from Napa and crushed along with local Russian River Valley fruit. This ended when the Napa property was sold off in 1976. During this period, the Bynum Family made their first pinot noir -- the 1973 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir from the Rochioli Vineyard was the first ever pinot to carry a Russian River designation.

Today, Davis Bynum Winery crushes about 250 to 275 ton of grapes annually (which makes about 15,000 cases of wine), bottling premium varietals under the Davis Bynum label. It is still family oriented: Davis oversees the vineyards and finances, though he now leaves winemaking decisions in the capable hands of Gary Farrell. His son, Hampton, oversees the daily operations at the winery as well as sales, and is responsible for product development. During harvest, Hampton helps with winemaking. Dorothy, Davis' wife, oversees the landscaping and a building improvement program.