Riverbench Estate Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
Riverbench Estate Chardonnay 2015 Front LabelRiverbench Estate Chardonnay 2015 Front Bottle Shot

Riverbench Estate Chardonnay 2015

    750ML / 13.2% ABV
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    750ML / 13.2% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Are you constantly let down by Chardonnay? Does the thought of ordering it off a menu scare you, for fear you'll end up with a glass of sad, watery something that tastes like it's been left out too long? There's nothing more depressing than a flabby Chardonnay, and it's Riverbench's humble opinion that too many winemakers cover up the gorgeous nuances of this lovely fruit. Before you write off the varietal for good, show this wine some love. This Estate Chardonnay, which has a true balance between fruit flavors and an appealing buttery note, really is that good.

    Enjoy it with gourmet mac and cheese (a hint of bacon would complement the oak nicely!) or grilled trout.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Riverbench

    Riverbench

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    Riverbench, California
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    Situated on the southeastern edge of the Santa Maria Valley, the northernmost AVA in Santa Barbara County, the vineyard originally consisted of 220 acres of Chardonnay and 55 acres of Pinot Noir. Riverbench continually evaluates the vines as they age, replanting as necessary. In 2008, they committed themselves to their premium sparkling wine program. We continue to work hard making wines that are inspired by Champagne in France. In 2015, they added the third great grape varietal famous in that area, Pinot Meunier, to our vineyard. We anticipate incorporating these grapes into our sparkling wine blends beginning in 2017.

    Riverbench vines are planted on the Santa Maria Bench, which is made up of alluvial soils. These soils are formed of sediment deposited by flowing water thousands of years ago, and contain particles of clay, silt, sand and gravel. They are extremely fertile because of their medium to fine textures; yet they are shallow in depth which allows for a great growing medium. The rocky benchland provides excellent drainage and in turn allows us to define growth without a large amount of outside input. Sandstone filled with fossils and remnants of ancient sea life, along with large rocks and river cobble, can be found all over the property, reminding us of the history of this ancient riverbed.

    Winemaker Clarissa Nagy is known for her elegant and sophisticated winemaking style, and for her appreciation for fruit that comes from the Santa Maria Valley. She continues to refine Riverbench wines each vintage, and adds her own unique twists to the portfolio.

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    A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.

    Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.

    HNYRIHCYE15C_2015 Item# 163902

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