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J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 2005

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The growing season of 2005 saw a return to more typical Monterey vintage weather – foggy mornings, warm days with temperatures not exceeding 85 degrees, and windswept cool afternoons and evenings. This proved quite a relief to our harvest crew who had been through two consecutive hellish vintages in 2003 and 2004, which finished with heat waves requiring non-stop picking. Heavy winter rains and cool weather in the early spring prompted a March bud break with slow vine growth until late spring. When set appeared in late May, we saw an abundance of baby clusters, but had little idea of the record vintage to come. The anticipated hot spell during harvest never materialized, and instead, ripening came gradually in 2005, which allowed us to pick each vineyard block at its optimum of flavor development and acidity. Harvest began on September 15th and concluded on October 17th. The combination of California Chardonnay clones (numbers 4 and 5) produced final harvest chemistries of 24.4 degrees Brix with 8.3 grams per liter of acid – an ideal balance of ripeness and acidity. The 2005 Riverstone Chardonnay exhibits the best that Monterey has to offer, enticing peach and citrus fruit character, toasty complexity from barrel fermentation, and refreshing acidity.

    Chardonnay

    The 2005 vintage marks the nineteenth year of production of our J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay, from our vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County. Each year, starting in 1995, we have experimented with and have incorporated higher percentages of traditional Burgundian production techniques into Riverstone, until the desired complexity and end-results were achieved (reaching 60% in 2000). The result is a complex and nuanced Chardonnay with an abundance of Arroyo Seco fruit, with subtle barrel fermentation and malolactic character. The vines are grown primarily on Elder loam soils underlain by "riverstones" deposited over thousands of years from the Arroyo Seco River, allowing a four-foot rooting zone that keeps the vines' vegetative growth and fruit in balance. Additionally, the cool climate and winds of the Salinas Valley extend the growing season and retain the natural grape acids and intense varietal character of the Chardonnay.

    Critical Acclaim

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    J. Lohr

    J. Lohr Winery

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    J. Lohr Winery, , California
    J. Lohr
    Founded more than three decades ago by Jerry Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines crafts an array of acclaimed wines from estate grapes. Still guided by Jerry today, this pioneering estate vineyard program is comprised of almost 3,000 acres of vines in Monterey County, Paso Robles and Napa Valley. From this palette of world-class fruit, J. Lohr handcrafts three tiers of award-winning wines – J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series and J. Lohr Cuvée Series. In addition to its signature brands, J. Lohr offers numerous flavorful wines under the Cypress Vineyards, ARIEL (non-alcoholic) and Painter Bridge labels.

    The home of Port—perhaps the world’s most popular after-dinner drink, the Douro region of Portugal is one of the world’s oldest delimited wine regions, established in 1756. Less well-known but often of excellent quality are the region’s dry table wines, both red and white. The vineyards of the Douro, set on the slopes surrounding the Douro river (known as the Duero in Spain), are among the steepest in the world, necessitating the use of terraces in much of the region. This often requires grapes to be harvested by hand—a labor-intensive process. The climate here is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and cold winters. There are three sub-regions of the Douro—Baixo Corgo, the mildest and wettest, Cima Corgo, where many of the best producers are situated, and Douro Superior, the hottest and driest. The best sites, typically with schist-based soils, are reserved for Port production, while table wines are usually grown on granite.

    While more than 100 indigenous varieties are approved for wine production in the Douro, there are five primary grapes that make up most Port and table wines. Touriga Nacional is the finest of these, prized for its deep color, tannic and concentrated structure, and floral aromatics. Along with Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain's Tempranillo) helps to provide the backbone to these wine and adds bright acidity and red fruit flavors. Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca help round out the blend with their soft, supple textures. Tinta Cão, a fine but low-yielding variety, is rarely planted but still highly valued for its ability to produce excellent, complex wines. Rosé Port and table wines are produced from the same varieties, while whites are generally crisp, mineral-driven blends of Arinto, Viosinho, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, and an assortment of others.

    RWC442883_2005 Item# 88440

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