Simi Russian River Reserve Chardonnay 2015
The 2015 Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay has a beautiful light straw color with a golden edge. The wine opens with exotic sandalwood and cardamom with toasted bread, lemon zest, green apple, nougat, stone fruit, and mineral with savory notes of smoke and lush cream and lovely tropical fruit. The palate is weighty with vanilla, toast, stone fruit, pineapple, citrus, Granny Smith apple, and red delicious apple with hints of nutmeg and smoke. This Reserve is rich with mouthwatering acidity, good structure, and a long finish of sweet tropical fruit and grilled pineapple. It reflects the best of what Russian River Valley fruit can offer: rich, complex wines with depth and agility and a freshness that wakes up the palate.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Since 1904, SIMI Winery has never been without a female winemaker on its staff. It began with Isabelle Simi who ran the winery for sixty-six years (1904-1970), to the first and second female graduates of the esteemed Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis (MaryAnn Graf and Zelma Long) and continues to this day with Director of Winemaking Susan Lueker. A scientist at heart, Susan fell in love with winemaking from her first enology class. In her words: “I loved the vineyard, the interaction with the people, nature and science”. Susan joined SIMI in 2000, and today she carries on Isabelle’s legacy while creating wines with harmony and a true sense of place that promote the unique beauty and diversity of 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.