Simi Russian River Reserve Chardonnay 2009
To make our 2009 Reserve Chardonnay, we turned to our own Goldfields Vineyard in the Russian River Valley where complexity in fruit structure, aromas, and flavors comes from planting a variety of field selections and clones originating from some of California's oldest and best Chardonnay vineyards. We also brought in fruit from neighboring Dutton and Tilbury vineyards, which like Goldfields are made up of the sandy Goldridge and Huichica soils for which the Russian River Valley is famous. By vineyard, the breakdown is 76% from Goldfields, 18% from the Dutton family—one of the county's oldest grape growing families—and 6% from Tilbury.
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For over 140 years, SIMI has been producing world-class wines and is one of the oldest continuously operating wineries in California history. Founded by brothers Giuseppe and Pietro Simi, who immigrated to California from Italy, SIMI has been making wine in Healdsburg, California since 1876. Isabelle Simi, daughter of Giuseppe, took over management of the winery for over 70 years and today, her spirit of determination continues to drive the female led winemaking team. Simi produces quality wines sourced from the best of Sonoma County and crafts a range of remarkable offerings. SIMI’s Sonoma County-designate wines include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc and delivers true-to-fruit expressions of Sonoma every vintage. SIMI’s Reserve tier offers distinct Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Cabernet Sauvignons from noteworthy Sonoma sub-AVAs and single vineyard designates including the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley.
The winemaking team at SIMI is led by Lisa Evich. Lisa began her career at SIMI, spending nine years with the winery before diversifying her experience with positions at Pine Ridge and Arrowood. SIMI welcomed her home as winemaker creating world-class wines. The one word that Lisa would use to describe SIMI wines is "timeless." Through meticulous care and attention in both the vineyards and the winery, she works to maintain the timelessness of both SIMI and Sonoma County.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. 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, farther 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.
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.