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Simi Russian River Reserve Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    14.5% ABV
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    14.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Our 2009 Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay, medium straw in color with an alluring golden edge, offers forward fruit with minerality that is lifted and framed by sweet oak notes and spice. On the nose, look for toasted brioche, honey, smoky notes, lemon curd, grilled pineapple, lychee fruit, green apple, pear, apricot, and a subtle perfume of honey and orange blossom. Flavors lead with a focused entry of vibrant fresh fruit: green apple, peach, and pear with a structured finish of zesty citrus and juicy pineapple—all of which are tied together with mineral notes. Stunning when paired with New England clam chowder, roast chicken with root vegetables, or grilled salmon with risotto.

    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.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Simi
    Simi, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    Video of winery

    In 1876, brothers Giuseppe and Pietro Simi began making wine in San Francisco from Sonoma County grapes and eventually planted vineyards near Healdsburg. Simi's historic stone cellars were built in 1890 and are still used to age the wines. Today, Simi is recognized as a leader in innovation and experimentation with a history of over 125 years of cutting-edge winemaking.

    Their Alexander Valley vineyards possess some of the most diverse soils of any wine-growing region. Years of geologic activity – from an ancient mudflow to the meandering Russian River and Mayacama Creek – has created numerous distinct soil types and a range of microclimates. Here they grow the red Bordeaux varietals for their Reserve Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for their Sendal.

    Their Russian River Goldfields vineyard is planted to field selections chosen from the oldest and best Chardonnay vineyards in California. The combination of diverse clones and the cool, Russian River Valley climate produce Simi’s distinct Reserve Chardonnay.

    Simi's winemakers focus on site-specific winemaking and use the most modern advances in vineyard management, fermentation and blending to best express the personality and flavors of each vineyard site.

    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 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.

    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.

    RRM67401_2009 Item# 111968