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Pine Ridge Stags Leap Chardonnay 1999

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    ORIGIN: We are proud to continue harvesting fruit from one of the few chardonnay vineyards remaining in the Stags Leap District. Our chardonnay is grown on the cooler east and north facing hillsides from a planting of clones from the research station in Dijon, France, as well as the Corton Charlemagne Burgundian clone. The Corton clone dates from 1964, one of the oldest plantings of chardonnay in the Napa Valley.

    VINEYARD: San Pablo Bay marine influences combined with the unusual geography of Stags Leap District provide moderate temperatures, foggy mornings, and warm late afternoons throughout the growing season. This unique climate results in slow, even fruit development on the east and north facing sites of our vineyard and enhances the cool growing conditions found in the Stags Leap District. Three different soil types, Perkins gravelly loam, Boomer gravelly loam, and Kid loam, typify the shallow topsoil that overlays the igneous and rhyolitic shale of the upland slopes of this vineyard.

    WINEMAKING: Pine Ridge estate-bottled Chardonnays are 100% barrel-fermented, 100% malolactic, and aged in contact with their yeast lees. After hand sorting, the grapes were whole cluster pressed. The juice was racked to new, heavily-toasted French oak barrels for native yeast and malolactic fermentation. Aged on the yeast lees for nine months to add creamy, yeasty flavors and texture, the wine was bottled in July 2000.

    TASTING NOTES: Silky layers of tropical fruits surface with a hint of creamy oak throughout the long, smooth finish in this medium-full bodied, bright yellow Chardonnay. Enjoy now or cellar for five to ten years.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Pine Ridge

    Pine Ridge

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    Pine Ridge, Napa Valley, California
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    In 1978 , a remarkable vineyard took shape alongside a deep pine forest that climbs the western hillside of Napa Valley’s storied Stags Leap District. Today, nestled in a small valley along the Silverado Trail, the carefully maintained and terraced slopes of Pine Ridge Vineyards blend gracefully with the natural rise and fall of the land. Year after year, the wines of Pine Ridge carry a sense of this place and its history. Continuity, balance and meticulous craftsmanship are inherent in the wines and deeply embedded in the winery's heritage. Each vintage reflects the distinct characteristics of the appellation and a focused commitment to refinement that reaches across the years, from the founding of the winery to today.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

    The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    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.

    PBC2282242_1999 Item# 38829