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Flat front label of wine

Eric Kent Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2013

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WS93
14.2% ABV
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Rued clone from Stiling Vineyard gives the blend its exotic signature each year, bringing delicate notes of jasmine and almond supported by lavish flavors of baked pear, quince and tropical fruits on the textured yet energetic palate. Offering stylistic counterpoints, Clone 4 from just a mile down Vine Hill Road provides vibrant green apple and a mineral note, while the Robert Young clone from the Petaluma Gap completes the ensemble with rich baked apple and extra body on the gently creamy finish.

Lovely on its own or as a complement to the meal, we think this is a perfect way to start (or finish) an evening. If you were excited by the 2012, you'll find the 2013 marches lockstep with it in quality and character. While forward and generous enough young, our Chardonnays do quite nicely with 3-6+ years on them. So go ahead and give one a try this summer, but consider putting some down for future gratification as well. The optimum window for this wine may truly begin about a year from now.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Deliciously rich and creamy, with tiers of white peach, apricot, melon, citrus and apple flavors. Folds out and offers depth and length, maintaining focus on the long, layered finish.
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Eric Kent

Eric Kent

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Eric Kent , Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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Eric Kent is a self proclaimed “hyper-enthusiastic” wine geek since college (writing volumes of tasting notes and spending all of his disposable income on wine), it wasn’t until age 33 that Eric worked his first harvest. He had a single goal in mind: to someday hold up a bottle of world-class wine and say to himself, “I made this.”

"Today I’m fascinated to discover that my goal is never-ending… the pursuit of making fine wine goes on forever. Each vintage brings new challenges and triumphs, more discoveries and deeper desires. Palates evolve, knowledge grows, new vineyards beckon, ideas flow. It’s really about the journey after all." -Kent Humphrey

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 which flows through the region. 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, further 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’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.

SPREKCHRRC13C_2013 Item# 145519