Balletto Winery Russian River Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
Balletto Winery Russian River Chardonnay 2018  Front LabelBalletto Winery Russian River Chardonnay 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Balletto Winery Russian River Chardonnay 2018

  • W&S93
  • WW92
750ML / 13.3% ABV
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  • W&S90
  • W&S92
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3.8 11 Ratings
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3.8 11 Ratings
750ML / 13.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Russian River Valley Chardonnay is complex and elegant, showing its cool-climate heritage with concentrated flavors and texture, and it shows just enough bright citrus tones and acidity to balance its perfect weight and savory components. This is a serious Chardonnay. Slight tannins accentuate and compliment the finish, making it one of those Chardonnays that draw you in for the next sip. The wine opens with warm savory aromatics and is followed with lemon and pear in the background. It’s distinctly Chardonnay. New oak has been used sparingly to enhance the wine with subtle tones, rather than dominate it.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
The Balletto family farms 16 vineyards in the Russian River Valley, mostly in the Sebastopol Hills and the Santa Rosa Plains, many of them parcels they converted from vegetables to vines in the 1990s. While they sell most of their fruit, they keep some for their own bottlings, including this chardonnay. It’s a wine of simple beauty, opening to lemon and sweet pear flavors, the sunny fruit in the foreground. The acidity softens from apple-scented malic tension to hints of freshly churned butter, but it’s the lovely fruit that lasts.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of
COMMENTARY: The 2018 Balletto Chardonnay is generous and elevated with a lasting finish on the palate. TASTING NOTES: This wine excels with aromas and flavors of ripe fruit and lightly toasty oaky notes. Enjoy it with steamed Dungeness crab in a savory cream sauce. (Tasted: March 22, 2022, San Francisco, CA)
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Balletto Winery

Balletto Winery

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Balletto Winery, California
Balletto Winery Winery Video
John Balletto began farming in 1977 at the tender age of 17. He had just graduated from high school and due to the untimely death of his father, gave up what looked like a promising college football and track career. With $200 in the bank and five acres in Sebastopol, California, John began farming produce with help from his mother, Hazel.

The Balletto Family has over 600 acres in the Russian River Valley and select 10% from many different clones and soil types to make their wine. They feel fortunate to sell the remaining 90% of their grapes to other wineries. In July 2010, the Balletto Family was honored being awarded the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Farm Family of the Year.

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Russian River Valley Wine

Sonoma County, California

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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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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.

CWL33000518_2018 Item# 834251

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