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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 and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more 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’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.

    PBC2282242_1999 Item# 38829