Au Contraire Russian River Chardonnay 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Au Contraire range of wines comes from top vineyards in appellations known for their stellar style and quality, including the Russian River Valley, Carneros and the Sonoma Coast.
Au Contraire Chardonnay is harvested from the heart of Russian River Valley to the western edges of Green Valley bordering Sonoma Coast. This area has an ideal climate with fog influences and cool nights, providing an extended growing season and grapes that maintain their natural acidity and showcase the purity of the terroir.
A blend of Sonoma Coast vineyards from Sebastopol to the Fort Ross Seaview AVA overlooking the Pacific make up Au Contraire Pinot Noir. These warmer vineyard sites sit above the fog line, delivering a cool climate style Pinot Noir with highly concentrated fruit flavors.
The charming French expression, Au Contraire, was often used by the beloved founder of Palm Bay International, producer of Au Contraire wines, David S. Taub, usually preceding an insight that took a turn from conventional wisdom. His son, President & CEO Marc D. Taub, fittingly adopted his father’s favorite saying to dedicate this brand to him to honor his 50 years in the business and his passion, vision and leadership.
Outstanding quality is guaranteed by legendary California enologist Tom Hinde and his experienced team of viticulturists. Tom’s expansive career in California wine spans three decades and brings with it a breadth of industry knowledge. He is involved in every aspect of the growing and winemaking process.
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.