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Mia's Playground Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    13.89% ABV
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    13.89% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Pouring a light blonde color, this Russian River Chardonnay has a velvety, tropical nose, full of banana leaves and Tahitian vanilla. Very expressive on the palate, flavors of custard and mango prevail with notes of pineapple, pear, and a touch of tangerine rounding out the experience. In the mid-palate, more nutty nuances come through, such as almonds and macadamia nuts, as well as a fleshy marshmallow quality. This complex, silky white wine finishes with just a hint of subtle woodiness, a result of the skillful integration of oak in the crafting of this wine. The complexity of this Chardonnay is an excellent blend of the classic Burgundian and Californian styles, and represents some of California's finest winemaking.

    Summer seafood is a welcome pairing with this wine; try a grilled Chilean sea bass with a mango salsa. A fruit salad with heirloom peaches would be a nice accompaniment to the wine's zesty, underlying acidity, or an arugula and pecorino salad would make a light meal full of delicious, contrasting flavors.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Mia's Playground

    Mia's Playground

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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.

    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.

    YNG745220_2008 Item# 109118