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TOR Durell Vineyard Chardonnay 2016

  • RP95
  • JS94
  • WS93
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP95
  • JD95
  • JS94
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tor’s block of the Durell vineyard is on the “Sand Hill” section of the vineyard, looking down on the Sonoma Valley. The soil is Goulding clay loam, mixed with diatomaceous earth, and millions of years ago, it formed a sand bar reaching into the prehistoric lake that covered the town of Sonoma. Tor favors the Wente clone in this vineyard, which is a selection of plant material that sets a small crop with small berries. The result is a high skin-to-flesh ratio and great concentration of varietal character. The single new barrel cooper used is Saury. The 2016 Tor Chardonnay Durell Vineyard is closed on the nose, giving lemon peel, grapefruit, slate, white peaches and baking bread aromas. Full-bodied, it's rich, satiny and spicy in the mouth with a long, savory finish.
JS 94
James Suckling
A chardonnay with dried apples, hints of yogurt and cream. Full-bodied, creamy and velvety-textured. Balanced and juicy finish. A little tight now. Drink in 2019.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Heavily oaky, toasty and smoky, leesy too, folding in with fig, melon, apricot and charry oak notes, ending full, deep and persistent. Drink now through 2023.
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TOR

TOR

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TOR, California
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We make great wines simply because we love making them. Wine is irresistible, it is fun, and it is about sharing passion, good fortune and community. TOR exists today because of the relationships we’ve cultivated over decades with mentors, grapegrowers and friends. This is indisputable: Tor knows a great vineyard. Less is always more when it comes to bottling some of the best grapes on the planet. In the tussle between the will of nature and the winemaker – our work is staying out of the way.
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Sonoma Valley

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Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley is home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery.

It is also one of the more geologically and climactically diverse districts. The valley includes and overlaps four distinct Sonoma County sub-appellations, including Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley. With mountains, benchlands, plains, abundant sunshine and the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific, this appellation can successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and most notably, Zinfandel all thrive here. Ancient Zinfandel vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit, which in turn make some of the Valley's most unique wines. These can also be made as “field blends” (wines made from a mix of grape varieties grown in the same vineyard) along with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet.

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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.

RAE101006_2016 Item# 507186