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Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WE91
  • WS91
14.9% ABV
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • CG90
  • WS92
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • RP90
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14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 1996 vintage of this wine was ranked #9 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1998

Our 2009 Chardonnay is rich, concentrated and structured. The aromas and flavors feature white peach, golden delicious apples, vanilla and crème brûlée. The palate is rich and concentrated with spice and toasted oak while fine natural acidity keeps the wine in balance.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
KUDOS TO CHALK HILL for one of the drier, more subtle Chardonnays on the market. They've controlled the ripeness, reining in the tropical fruits to retain minerality, and allowing acidity to provide crispness. Nonetheless the wine impresses for opulence and complexity.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Rich and complex, with spicy melon, honeysuckle, fig, apricot and nutmeg flavors. Full-bodied, retaining its focus on the long, smoky, full-bodied finish. Drink now through 2015. 15,000 cases made.
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Chalk Hill

Chalk Hill Winery

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Chalk Hill Winery, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards and Winery was purchased recently by Bill Foley, proprietor of Foley Family Wines, who will continue the time-honored traditions that Fred Furth began. Founded in 1972 by Fred Furth, the Chalk Hill Estate encompasses 280 acres of carefully positioned vineyards, including the valley floor, hillsides, and ridge tops of a 1300 acre estate. Perpetuating the time-honored traditions of the first land grant pioneers, the Chalk Hill Estate operates as a family farm with the daily tasks of sustainable viticulture flowing seamlessly through the growing season and ultimately to estate bottled wines. Chalk Hill is the only 100% estate winery in the Chalk Hill AVA nestled within the Russian River Valley. The passion for meticulous viticulture has resulted in elegant, world-class wines.

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.

HOR83600_2009 Item# 109707