Moniker La Ribera Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
Certified “Fish Friendly Farmed” and “Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing”. Vegan.
In the late 1990s, the Thornhill family's dream was to bring their far-flung family together in one beautiful place we could call home. After years of searching, the family decided Mendocino County, California was that special place, and in 2002 they moved to La Ribera, a benchland vineyard in the heart of the Ukiah Valley.
La Ribera is a 1.5-mile long property situated on the eastern banks of the Russian River in the southern Ukiah Valley. One hundred and fifty acres are planted in vines, with the original plantings dating to the early 1950s. The river and its abundant riparian zone exert a cooling influence that tempers summer heat and helps retain acidity and freshness in the grapes.
Attention to the needs of each vine results in more concentrated and expressive fruit, and La Ribera’s diversity of soil types allows us to precisely match an array of varietals—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Syrah—with their ideal soil profile. The result is high-quality wines boasting intense varietal character.
Through the wines, winemaker Greg Winter and the Thornhill family have worked to display the ultimate expression of their devotion to Mendocino County's breathtaking beauty, rich wine culture and friendly, hard-working people. They represent the best of their family and the singular appeal of one of the world's finest and most distinctive winegrowing regions.
A large and diverse appellation within California’s North Coast AVA, Mendocino is home to several smaller sub-regions—most notably the Anderson Valley. This scenic region, with rolling hills covered in redwood forests as well as vineyards, is one of the world’s top producers of certified organically-grown grapes. Due to wide geographical and climatic variation, a vast array of wine styles can be found here.
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.
Tasting Notes for Chardonnay
Chardonnay is a dry, white wine. When Chardonnay grapes are planted on cool sites, the resulting wine's 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 Food Pairings for Chardonnay
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 Secrets for Chardonnay
Since the 1980s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy this lighter style.