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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

    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.

    Santa Barbara

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    With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog...

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    With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

    Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes...

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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.

    RWC442883_2005 Item# 88440

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