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J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay 2005

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The growing season of 2005 saw a return to more typical Monterey vintage weather – foggy mornings, warm days with temperatures not exceeding 85 degrees, and windswept cool afternoons and evenings. This proved quite a relief to our harvest crew who had been through two consecutive hellish vintages in 2003 and 2004, which finished with heat waves requiring non-stop picking. Heavy winter rains and cool weather in the early spring prompted a March bud break with slow vine growth until late spring. When set appeared in late May, we saw an abundance of baby clusters, but had little idea of the record vintage to come. The anticipated hot spell during harvest never materialized, and instead, ripening came gradually in 2005, which allowed us to pick each vineyard block at its optimum of flavor development and acidity. Harvest began on September 15th and concluded on October 17th. The combination of California Chardonnay clones (numbers 4 and 5) produced final harvest chemistries of 24.4 degrees Brix with 8.3 grams per liter of acid – an ideal balance of ripeness and acidity. The 2005 Riverstone Chardonnay exhibits the best that Monterey has to offer, enticing peach and citrus fruit character, toasty complexity from barrel fermentation, and refreshing acidity.

    Chardonnay

    The 2005 vintage marks the nineteenth year of production of our J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay, from our vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County. Each year, starting in 1995, we have experimented with and have incorporated higher percentages of traditional Burgundian production techniques into Riverstone, until the desired complexity and end-results were achieved (reaching 60% in 2000). The result is a complex and nuanced Chardonnay with an abundance of Arroyo Seco fruit, with subtle barrel fermentation and malolactic character. The vines are grown primarily on Elder loam soils underlain by "riverstones" deposited over thousands of years from the Arroyo Seco River, allowing a four-foot rooting zone that keeps the vines' vegetative growth and fruit in balance. Additionally, the cool climate and winds of the Salinas Valley extend the growing season and retain the natural grape acids and intense varietal character of the Chardonnay.

    Critical Acclaim

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    J. Lohr

    J. Lohr Winery

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    J. Lohr Winery, , California
    J. Lohr
    Founded more than three decades ago by Jerry Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines crafts an array of acclaimed wines from estate grapes. Still guided by Jerry today, this pioneering estate vineyard program is comprised of almost 3,000 acres of vines in Monterey County, Paso Robles and Napa Valley. From this palette of world-class fruit, J. Lohr handcrafts three tiers of award-winning wines – J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series and J. Lohr Cuvée Series. In addition to its signature brands, J. Lohr offers numerous flavorful wines under the Cypress Vineyards, ARIEL (non-alcoholic) and Painter Bridge labels.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    RWC442883_2005 Item# 88440

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