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Flat front label of wine

Merryvale Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 1998

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • W&S91
0% ABV
  • WE90
  • WE91
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Chardonnay was grown in the vineyards of Dutton Ranch in the cool, foggy Russian River Valley of western Sonoma County. Floral notes of apple and peach combine in the aroma with a hint of vanilla and spice from barrel fermentation in French oak. Seven months on stirred lees has added to the wine's seamless texture.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
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Merryvale

Merryvale Vineyards

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Merryvale Vineyards, Sonoma County, California
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Merryvale Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery dedicated to passionate winemaking and the fine art of living well. For the past 25 years Merryvale has been turning exceptional Napa Valley grapes into world class wine. Merryvale is world renowned for rich, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the iconic Bordeaux-style red blend, Profile, and our everyday drinking, fruit driven brand, Starmont. Merryvale's historic building was the first winery built in the Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, and has become a must see attraction for visitors to the valley.

Merryvale is committed to protecting and preserving the environment through conservation, renewable energy and sustainable farming practices at our three estate vineyards. Merryvale has received Napa Green Vineyard, Napa Green Winery and Bay Area Green Business certifications.

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 nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both 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 and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. 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.

NDF703114_1998 Item# 13053