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Flat front label of wine

Fritz Shop Block Chardonnay 1997

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Shop Block Vineyard at Dutton Ranch is perhaps the most famous vineyard in all of Sonoma County due to it being the first Chardonnay vineyard planted in Sonoma County. The chardonnay clone is the highly prized Old Wente Clone which features tiny grape clusters, small berries and extremely complex intense fruit. Our 1997 Shop Block is a brilliant wine with deep silky and buttery tones. It's rich with lemon, citrus and melon flavors with creamy vanilla and sweet clover. This elegant treasure is one that is loaded with layer upon layer of graceful, luscious flavors. The finish is toasty and lingers seductively on the palate. This is definitely for those who like to savor and contemplate the finer things in life.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Fritz

    Fritz Underground Winery

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    Fritz Underground Winery, Sonoma County, California
    Guided by his vision of creating a small family winery specializing in handcrafted, limited-edition, wines, Arthur "Jay" Fritz built a radically designed subterranean facility high upon a hill in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. With offerings from both the Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys, Fritz is particularly distinguished for their vineyard designated Chardonnays.

    Sourced from some of the most sought after parcels in the Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys, these single-vineyard wines reflect consultant Helen Turley's signature approach of extreme vineyard management and artisan winemaking.

    The exceptional benefits of unique terroir represented by discreet blocks of vines, combined with quality-driven vineyard practices, result in extraordinary fruit. The winery's unusual three-tiered gravity flow design virtually eliminates pumping and ensures juice devoid of harsh phenolics. Over 200 linear feet of caves stretch into the hillside, providing ideal aging conditions for the reds.

    The commitment to quality, from vineyard to bottle, is the hallmark of Fritz 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.

    PIM73601_1997 Item# 17381