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Girard Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WS87
  • WE87
13.9% ABV
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  • WE88
  • W&S90
  • W&S89
  • RP90
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13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

To obtain a balanced, food-friendly Chardonnay, we source our fruit from the cooler areas of the Russian River Valley – the majority of our Chardonnay comes from Dutton Ranch. The cooling, marine-layer influences enable our fruit to be picked with a high level of acidity, resulting in a bright, fresh and food-friendly wine.

The French oak aging on our 2009 Russian River Chardonnay, offers up wonderful aromas of citrus, tropical fruit, vanilla and crème brûlée. On the palate, there's a rich, creamy texture from sur lie aging that's balanced with surprising acidity that enables the wine to pair very well with pork, chicken, fish and salads; but we're confident you'll also enjoy our Russian River Chardonnay by itself.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 87
Wine Spectator
Combines ripe tropical fruit, with hints of green pineapple and touches of citrus. Clean, pure, moderately ripe and complex. Drink now through 2014. 8,065 cases made.
WE 87
Wine Enthusiast
Here’s an oaky, ripe Chardonnay for those who like these strong, direct hits. It’s powerful in tropical fruit, citrus, pear and green apple flavors, with a creamy overlay of buttery oak. Drink now.
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Girard

Girard

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Girard, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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Thirty years after first planting its vineyards, Girard continues to produce wine reflecting the quality that has made Napa Valley the most famous New World wine growing region in the world. Napa’s rise to fame was punctuated by a renaissance that began at the same time Girard was setting down its own roots.

Today, Girard is experiencing a similar rebirth of sorts. Longtime California vintner Pat Roney purchased the winery shortly after the new millenium. Pat’s career in wine began as a sommelier at Chicago’s renowned Pump Room. Later he returned to his native California, where he ultimately became president of Chateau St. Jean, in Sonoma Valley.

At Girard, Pat continues a tradition of making Chardonnay and Cabernet-based wines. But he is also expanding Girard’s varietal focus to Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, grown on century-old vines that dot the Napa countryside. As it has been in the past, Girard’s goal is to highlight the flavors of Napa Valley and its rich, ripe grapes. A small portion of the winery’s portfolio also comes from grapes grown in Sonoma’s upscale Russian River Valley, where cool weather offers ideal conditions for Chardonnay.

With the right grapes from the right locations, Girard offers a lineup that features both power and finesse—key words in California wine.

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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.

GZT1998015_2009 Item# 108596