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Flat front label of wine

Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • CG93
14.4% ABV
  • WS92
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • WS92
  • W&S91
  • WS93
  • CG90
  • WS94
  • CG93
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3.0 1 Ratings
14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Frequent stirring of the lees during barrel aging added a creamy texture to an already full-bodied wine, making for a rich, plush mouth feel, balanced with vibrant acidity. Powerful aromas of spiced apple, pear, and pie crust join minerally lemon-cream and toasty oak on the palate, adding up to a compelling and thoroughly satisfying experience for true chardonnay lovers.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 93
Connoisseurs' Guide
Even if still very young, this deep and very well-filled offering is already starting to show a real sense of layered richness, and its fresh, nervy nose of citrus, stones, sweet oak and spice is followed up by lengthy, mouthfilling, ripe-apple flavors that are filled out by notes of crème brûlée. As well-balanced as it is so very rich, it is a wine of serious potential and will not reach its full potential for several years.
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Rodney Strong

Rodney Strong Vineyards

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Rodney Strong Vineyards, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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Founded by wine industry pioneer, Rod Strong, in 1959, Rodney Strong Vineyards is now owned by the Kleins, a farming-based family that prides itself on land stewardship and a relentless push for superior wine quality from Sonoma County. After purchasing the company in 1989, Tom Klein began the endeavor that today brings together excellent vineyards, the industry's finest winemaking equipment, and exceptional talent. The winery farms and sources grapes from vineyards throughout Sonoma County, focusing on Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill. Rodney Strong Vineyards is best known for its estate-bottled and vineyard-designated wines, and is also recognized for their sustainable and Fish Friendly Farming, dedication to solar energy production and becoming carbon neutral in 2009.

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 which flows through the region. 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, further 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’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.

CAR652589_08_2008 Item# 106764