Alderbrook Winery Chardonnay 2009
Not only does the estate vineyard receive the afternoon heat that is typical of Dry Creek Valley weather patterns, but the cool night air creeping up the Russian River Valley from the Pacific Ocean produces evening and early morning fog, cooling the vines. Alderbrook's vineyard enjoys the luxury of extended "hang time." This produces more mature fruit resulting in rich, full-bodied flavor characteristics: qualities which are ultimately apparent in the wines.
"The blend of climates is a gift, and our estate vines benefit tremendously from the unique weather conditions," says general manager, George Christie. Our incredible location at the junction of these two appellations gives us the perfect raw materials for wine making."
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. 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, farther 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.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.