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Sticks Chardonnay 2004

Chardonnay from Yarra Valley, Australia
  • JH94
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Winemaker Notes

Number 2 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

The color is a brilliant light straw with vibrant green hues. The bouquet possesses nectarine, peach and savory oak characters. The palate is clean and dry with tropical fruit flavors and a crisp zesty finish.

"Former Aussie rules footballer-turned-winemaker Rob (Sticks) Dolan, brought the wheel full circle when he (and others) bought, and renamed Sticks, the Yarra Ridge winery where he was once the winemaker. This is a great example of unpretentious Yarra Valley chardonnay style, fruit-driven with nectarine, honeydew and citrus, line and length its foundation."
-James Halliday

Critical Acclaim

JH 94
Australian Wine Companion

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Sticks

Sticks

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Sticks, , Australia
Sticks
Winemaker Rob "Sticks" Dolan crafts these wines from fruit grown on premium vineyards in Victoria's Yarra Valley. Rob Dolan's career began in South Australia, where he learned the art of making wine from the ground up. He developed and refined his skills under the instruction of two of Australia's most distinguished teachers. It was during this time that the budding winemaker and towering sportsman, known as "Sticks", was also a dual premiership player for the Port Adelaide Football Club.

In 1991, Rob Dolan became the winemaker at Yarra Ridge. The small family winery provided Rob with the opportunity to experiment, which enabled him to hone his winemaking skills. His efforts were immediately recognized on the international show circuit. Rob proceeded to plant his first "Sticks" grapes in the mid 1980's. The goal at Sticks is to provide today's drinker with immensely satisfying wines at affordable prices.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles...

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision...

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

ARD995193_2004 Item# 82776

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