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Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Chardonnay 2010

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE90
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is Russian River Valley Dijon clone Chardonnay in its purest and most unaltered form. Aromas focus on green apples and pears with hints of lime zest and vanilla. It is medium bodied on the palate with apple, pear, stone fruit and a touch of minerality preceding its crisp and vibrant finish. Clearly a wine built for food and an ideal candidate for another few years of careful cellaring.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This Chardonnay is made in a leaner, lower alcohol style. In place of the fat, rich fruit of some Chards you'll find a tart minerality, with the citrus and peach flavors containing hints of sweet green peas. Gains extra points for elegance.
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Alysian

Alysian

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Alysian, California
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Gary Farrell sold his very successful "namesake" brand in 2004 with ambitions of "returning to his roots" as a true artisan producer of extremely limited production Pinot Noir wines. In 2007, he partnered with longtime colleagues, Bill Hambrecht and Denise Sanders, to create the ideal winemaking environment for the production of small lot, ultra-premium wines from the cooler reaches of the Russian River Valley. Consistent with Gary’s "no compromise" approach, he equipped his new Westside Road (Healdsburg) facility with the finest tools obtainable; precisely what we would expect from the winemaker who promises to "eclipse" anything he has previously produced during his three decades of winemaking.
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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 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.

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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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

BVWALYCHCL95_2010 Item# 137484