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Chasseur Graton's Choice Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WW90
14.1% ABV
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  • WS90
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Youthfully firm, this Chardonnay has the structure and zest, but with an extra layer of suppleness. The first aromatic impressions are of apple skins, fresh pears, Fuji apples and lemon curd; which all seem to float above a sub-layer of toasted nuts and minerals. Preserved lemon, apple and pear flavors dominate on the palate, with a good supply of toasty, nutty and minerality accents in support. This is an age-worthy bottling, and unsurprisingly, the finish wants a bit of airing to fully express itself at this stage.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Chasseur is a pretty special producer and is making some impressive wines. Fashioned after the Burgundians, the wines have so much character and breed. Majority Partner and Winemaker William Hunter knows what he is doing. The '11 Graton's Choice Chardonnay is a powerful wine, with elements of sweet oak and ripe core fruits; lots going on here. A fine match with rotisserie chicken, yum! (Best Served: 2015-2018)
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Chasseur

Chasseur

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Chasseur, California
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Chasseur Wines is dedicated to small lot, hand-crafted wines in the old French tradition with emphasis on vineyard designates. Our small size (presently about 2,700 cases) allows complete control over the winemaking process, therefore, enabling us to produce the finest wines the fruit has to offer. We are pursuing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay's final and possibly finest frontier, Sonoma's 'West County'. Still in its renaissance this area is composed of the western edge of the Russian River Valley and beyond, known as the 'true' Sonoma Coast. This area is in and around the townships of Sebastopol, Freestone and Occidental.

Our goal is to be among the pioneers to develop the potential of this area. Please explore our web site to learn more about how we make these wines from grape to glass. We offer all these wines, especially the smaller lots which may not make it to the retail shelf or the restaurant wine list through the winery.

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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.

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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.

HTRHUCHGC1_2011 Item# 137442