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Buehler Russian River Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE89
14.1% ABV
  • WS89
  • W&S89
  • WS88
  • WE87
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • WS88
  • W&S90
  • WS88
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Buehler Russian River Chardonnay is born from two vineyards within the Russian River appellation: Wood Vineyard, located on River Rd and River Vineyard, located in the heart of Sonoma's Russian River Valley on East Side Road. The floral, mineral, and lime aromas and steely structure of the River Vineyard are complemented by the peach and apricot aromas and more fleshy structure of the Wood Vineyard.

Buehler's winemaking philosophy remains the same since they first introduced the Russian River Chardonnay in 1993: less intervention is better in dealing with a delicate variety like Chardonnay. Winemaking techniques including sur-lie aging, lees stirring, full malolactic fermentation, and the measured use of some new French oak are employed to bring you this delicious rendition from Sonoma's premier chardonnay appellation.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 89
Wine Enthusiast
Easy to like this wine for its rich lemon meringue pie, butterscotch, vanilla and toast flavors. It's good, tasty and satisfying in the Chardonnay way, at a fair price.
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Buehler

Buehler Vineyards

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Buehler Vineyards, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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John Buehler, Sr. and his son, John, began the renovation of the property that would become Buehler Vineyards in 1971. Located six miles east of St. Helena and nestled in the mountains above Conn Valley, Buehler Vineyards encompasses some 300 acres of Napa Valley hillside terrain. After a quarter of a century of growing grapes and over 20 years of winemaking from those vines, their focus remains on varietals that are best suited to this site: Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.

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.

MNC9719F_2011 Item# 120193