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Chalone Estate Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • WE91
14.5% ABV
  • WW93
  • W&S90
  • D93
  • WS87
  • WS92
  • WS92
  • WS88
  • WE88
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Capturing the distinctive characteristics of our unique terroir, our Estate Chardonnay holds fragrant aromas of ripe pear, green apple, hazelnut, vanilla and baking spice. Bright fruit flavors glide across a lithe and supple midpalate, balanced by toasty oak and a creamy texture. The vineyard's limestone soils leave a distinct footprint with a crunchy rock minerality that persists through the middle and holds the finish. The fine balance of vibrant acids with weightier oak influences makes an excellent match to rich, creamy foods such as soft cheeses and chicken dishes with heavier sauces.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Great price for a Chardonnay of this quality. It's dry and crisp, yet very rich in fruit, showing tiers of pineapples, tangerines, nectarines and peaches, girded with a fine minerality. Distinguished and elegant, it will hold over the next 3–4 years.
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Chalone

Chalone Vineyard

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Chalone Vineyard, Central Coast, California
2009 Estate Chardonnay
Perched high on the western slopes of the remote Gavilan Mountain Range on Mount Chalone, 1,800 feet above California's Salinas Valley, Chalone Vineyard represents a singular convergence of terroir and winemaking. Originally planted in 1919, the vineyard's ability to yield benchmark Chardonnay was discovered when Chalone Wine Group co-founder, Dick Graff, made his first vintage there in 1966. The time-honored Burgundian techniques he introduced complement the fruit's character to create the bouquet and flavors that are Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay's hallmarks. Chalone Vineyard's other estate-grown wines are equally distinctive. Chalone also produces Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Blanc and Chenin Blanc.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

ALL5536149_2009 Item# 108855

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