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Stuhlmuller Vineyards Alexander Valley Estate Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • WS91
  • RP91
13.9% ABV
  • RP90
  • WW90
  • WS90
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4.3 6 Ratings
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4.3 6 Ratings
13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This medium-bodied wine offers an alluring orchard-fruit nose of ripe peach, and pear, as well as notes of lemon candy, honeysuckle and wet stone minerality. The lovely fruit continues on the palate, where it is accentuated by harmonious acidity, subtle oak and hints of lemon cream and sweet thyme.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 91
Wine Spectator
The 2015 Chardonnay Estate exudes pronounced pineapple, guava and baked apricot notes with suggestions of candied ginger, brioche and butterscotch. Medium-bodied with a very sexy satiny texture, it has bold, ripe tropical fruit and spice flavors, off-set by plenty of freshness and finishing with great length. This is great value for a wine with this level of expression and depth!
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chardonnay Estate exudes pronounced pineapple, guava and baked apricot notes with suggestions of candied ginger, brioche and butterscotch. Medium-bodied with a very sexy satiny texture, it has bold, ripe tropical fruit and spice flavors, off-set by plenty of freshness and finishing with great length. This is great value for a wine with this level of expression and depth!
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Stuhlmuller Vineyards

Stuhlmuller Vineyards

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Stuhlmuller Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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Stuhlmuller Vineyards is tucked into a unique river bench and hillside location in the southwestern edge of the Alexander Valley where three of Northern Sonoma County's top appellations come together, virtually a stone's throw from Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley. After selling grapes to a number of area wineries, in the mid-90's Fritz Stuhlmuller decided to put the family's name on a label, working with winemaker Kerry Damskey to produce small lots of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from 150-acres of estate vineyard. The cool climate and varied soils and exposures create Chardonnay with classic Alexander Valley tropical characteristics plus crisp citrus/apple notes and a distinctive mineral touch. The Cabernet Sauvignon adds hints of sage and bay leaf to the region's rich cherry, black fruit and cocoa. In 2000 a new winery was built on the property, a vest pocket gem sized precisely to handle the small amount of fruit the Stuhlmullers select from special blocks for their own wines.

Alexander Valley

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Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.

In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.

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.

OPC75516_2015 Item# 336164