Lewis Cellars Sonoma Chardonnay 2021
A soaring, sensational wine the 2021 Sonoma Russian River Chardonnay is our best in years. Shot-through with citrus and tropical fruits, blossoms and exotic spices the fragrance is sublime. Casting a wide arc of vibrant fruit, mineral intrigue and vivid detail the wine comes full circle with a superb succulent finish.
In 1992 Debbie and Randy Lewis established a small family winery in Napa Valley and were later joined by their son Dennis in 1999. Total production is approximately 9,000 cases annually of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
They are literally hands-on in every aspect of vineyard management, winemaking, sales and distribution, and they thrive on this challenge and the relationships they ultivate in the process. It is their continuing goal to create world-class wines.
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.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.