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Chateau Souverain Sonoma County Chardonnay 2002

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • WS89
  • WS87
  • WS89
  • WE92
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • RP88
  • WE85
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Number on 18 Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2004!

Brilliant light yellow-straw color with an open aroma reminiscent of fresh nectarine and spicy apple pie - classic varietal characteristics for Chardonnay from cool climate growing areas. Barrel fermentation in French oak coupled with full malolactic conversion has yielded a multi-faceted wine, adding aromas and flavors of fresh toast, cream and honey to the primary fruit. Modest acidity and medium-full body help drive an overall impression of richness in the lingering finish.

"High-toned fruit and toasty oak aromatics are enticing, matched by ripe, rich, complex layers of fig, apricot, ripe pear and creamy, toasty, marshmallow-scented oak. Dink now through 2005."
-Wine Spectator

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
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Chateau Souverain

Chateau Souverain

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Chateau Souverain, Sonoma County, California
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Winemaker Ed Killian has been making wine in California's Alexander Valley for 25 years. he knows the vineyards in the valley inside and out and understands which blocks will give him the fruit he is looking for to create Chateau Souverain's signature style. Chateau Souverain's 120-year-old estate in the Alexander Valley is the primary source for grapes for the illustrious portfolio of Souverain wines. Killian consistently produces outstanding wines that represent the best of Alexander Valley, including an Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the flagship Winemaker's Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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.

SWS95241_2002 Item# 61509