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Alysian Taurin Block Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    14.1% ABV
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    14.1% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Purchased and developed by Gary & Debbie Farrell in 1999, Cresta Ridge Vineyard is highly coveted for its cool, Green Valley location and highly desirable Goldridge soils. The "no expense spared" approach to development, included matching devigorating rootstocks with low-yielding clones and close vine-spacing; "stressing" the plants into producing small quantities of very high quality fruit. This project has proven successful, with 90+ rated wines commonplace year after year from this vineyard. Gary selected fruit from his favorite section of the vineyard (Taurin) Block) for this release.

    Bearing the Cresta Ridge designation preempts lofty expectations … and this wine delivers. Signature minerality combines seamlessly with fresh lime and green apple to create a wine which is exceptionally vibrant, while also expressing great depth, intensity and length. Subtle background notes of oak and lees quietly enhance the near-perfect fruit contribution of this exceptional Russian River Valley / Green Valley property.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Alysian

    Alysian

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    Alysian, Russian River, Sonoma County, 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.

    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.

    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.

    CNC784161_2008 Item# 108932