Souverain Alexander Valley Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
The 2008 growing season started off drier than usual with normal rainfall the first two months of the year and then little rain in the spring months. The area experienced a very warm July and August which allowed for fully ripe fruit, but harvest decisions were critical to success. The Chardonnay grapes were picked when they had nicely concentrated varietal flavors and balanced acidity.
This classic Alexander Valley Chardonnay offers vibrant aromas of fresh lemon, yellow apple and white peach. On the palate the wine has a nice viscosity and creamy texture with flavors of lemon, stone fruit, clove and a hint of minerality. The wine has vibrant acidity and a long, lingering finish.
Wine Spectator - "I like a full-bodied California Chardonnay with my scampi, and I often look for a value, since the wild shrimp is such an investment. Recently, the Souverain Alexander Valley 2008 proved a nice fit with the meal. The white was vibrant and fresh, yet creamy and toasty, with intense flavors of spicy lemon and peach. I rated it 89 points, non-blind..."
Winemaker Ed Killian has been making wine in California's Alexander Valley for 25 years. he knows the vineyards in the valley inside and out and understands which blocks will give him the fruit he is looking for to create Souverain's signature style. Souverain's 120-year-old estate in the Alexander Valley is the primary source for grapes for the illustrious portfolio of Souverain wines. Killian consistently produces outstanding wines that represent the best of Alexander Valley, including an Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the flagship Winemaker's Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. View all Souverain 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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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.