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Dom. St. George Chardonnay 1998

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Winemaker Bob Fredson sources STG Chardonnay from a small viticultural Area that is virtually synonymous with "Chardonnay." Chalk Hill is a subappellation of some 1000 acres within the Russian River Valley. Chardonnay, the predominant grape here, is rooted in well-drained white souls which derive their color from volcanic ash, not chalk as once thought. The summer fog and cool nights are especially conductive to full development of Chardonnay character. All the grapes for STG Chalk Hill Chardonnay were harvested by hand from a single vineyard. The wine was fermented in 60-gallon barrels and remained in the barrels from several weeks to add complexity; 80% of the wine then underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged in barrel sur lie for six months before being filtered and placed in new oak barrels for additional maturing. The wine has distinctly fruity aromas, creamy texture and full body, with attractive oak complexity.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Dom. St. George

    Domaine St. George

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    Domaine St. George, Sonoma County, California
    The Domaine Saint George vineyards date back to 1928, when Giovanni Cambiaso found an ideal tract of land in Sonoma County above the Russian River and planted a vineyard. Since then the soils and microclimates of Sonoma County have been discovered to offer ideal growing conditions for premium wine grapesThe Cambiaso Winery, founded in 1934, was renamed the Domaine Saint George Winery in 1986 following the introduction and extraordinary popularity of that brand. The vineyards were replanted in 1995 to select clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In outstanding vintages, an estate-bottled Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from the "home" vineyard, a wine that typically sells out upon release. The 1994 vintage of this STG Russian River Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was named "The Best Red Wine of the Year" by the noted syndicated wine writer Jerry D. Mead. The vineyards at Domaine Saint George have a history which parallels that of Sonoma County as a source of world-class varietal wines.

    Sonoma County

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    Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

    Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

    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.

    CPA74419_1998 Item# 9544