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New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code MARCHNEW30

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Migration Russian River Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    14.1% ABV
    • WW91
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    • WS87
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    14.1% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Offering all the richness and complexity that has made Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley famous, this wine displays inviting aromas of lemon custard, crème brulee, vanilla and light caramel, as well as hints of acacia blossom and honeysuckle. On the palate, the mouthfeel is smooth and appealing with great mid-palate weight and seamless acid from start to finish. Citrus abounds throughout with lemon and orange peel eventually giving way to a long finish with subtle notes of toasted almond. Made with 100% Chardonnay.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Migration, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    2011 Russian River Chardonnay
    Since crafting its premiere vintage of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir in 2001, Duckhorn Wine Company's Migration has earned acclaim for a refined and compelling style of winemaking that seamlessly balances vibrancy and finesse.

    Embodying the lush elegance of cool-climate California winegrowing, Migration's exploration of the great Burgundian varietals began in Anderson Valley where Duckhorn Wine Company cultivates four estate Pinot Noir vineyards, spanning 207 vine acres. Shaped by the valley's cool nights, fog-shrouded mornings and mild, sunny afternoons, this world-class fruit became the core of Migration's stylistic identity — producing sophisticated wines with abundant fruit and bright acidity.

    Building on what Migration had already achieved with Pinot Noir, making Chardonnay in a similar style became a natural next step. In 2008, Migration produced its first Chardonnay, using fruit from elite vineyard sources in the Russian River Valley. Representing the first Chardonnay in Duckhorn Wine Company's 30-year history, this highly anticipated wine was released in the spring of 2010, and along with the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, will form the cornerstone of the Migration portfolio.

    Today, guided by winemaker Neil Bernardi — a cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialist — Migration has taken flight. Defined by the idea of movement, Migration is dedicated to going beyond its original home and exploring Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from California's finest cool-climate appellations. "Traditionally at Duckhorn Wine Company," says Neil, "the character of a particular wine is deeply connected to a specific place or region. Migration offers a different paradigm. We are starting with a clearly defined style and exploring how that style can be expressed in different winegrowing regions, which is a fascinating prospect."

    Russian River

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    A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, The Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river which flows through the region. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

    Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, further from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.


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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    CAR27872_11_2011 Item# 123164