Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2007
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
The 2007 vintage started off with a very dry spring, which tended to make for smaller clusters, smaller berries, and less canopy overall. The growing season was about as perfect as you would want, with warm afternoons and cool evenings, and a complete lack of hot or cold spells. With no weather problems at harvest time, few are surprised with the exceptional quality of this vintage, which will likely go down as one of the best in recent years.
Barrel fermentation in new and seasoned French oak added toasty vanilla and spice complexities, and during 9 months of barrel ageing, we regularly stirred the "lees" in barrel, which gives a certain fullness and creamy texture on the palate. Encouraging malolactic fermentation added additional character, and in the glass the wine is both creamy and crisp, with abundant fruit character, mineral, and toasty oak flavors. Enjoy over the next 1-3 years.
Wine Enthusiast - "This is a great price for a Chardonnay of this sophistication. It satisfies for the butter-cream, buttered toast and vanilla richness to the pineapple and pear fruit, yet is balanced with crisp acidity and minerally elegance. Drink now."
Rodney Strong Vineyards
Founded by wine industry pioneer, Rod Strong, in 1959, Rodney Strong Vineyards is now owned by the Kleins, a farming-based family that prides itself on land stewardship and a relentless push for superior wine quality from Sonoma County. After purchasing the company in 1989, Tom Klein began the endeavor that today brings together excellent vineyards, the industry's finest winemaking equipment, and exceptional talent. The winery farms and sources grapes from vineyards throughout Sonoma County, focusing on Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill. Rodney Strong Vineyards is best known for its estate-bottled and vinyeard-designated wines, and is also recognized for their sustainable and Fish Friendly Farming, dedication to solar energy production and coming carbon neutral in 2009. View all Rodney Strong Vineyards Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated 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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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.