2015 CHARDONNAY Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
Spell Chardonnay Russian River is sourced from vineyards located less than a mile west of the town of Graton in Sonoma County. Dutton Sullivan Vineyard was planted in 1982 to a heritage selection of Wente Chardonnay on its own rootstock. With its proximity to the Pacific Ocean the growing season of warm, sunny days followed by cool, foggy evenings allows for a slow and even ripening. The extremely small clusters and berries grown at this vineyard produce wines of remarkable flavor and texture.
A hazy golden-green color introduces aromas of ripe green apple skin, peaches, orange oil, red velvet cake, and reductive crushed rocks. A creamy blend of lemon curd, green apple, ripe pear, stone fruit and toasted oats sweep across the palate. Extremely soft and seductive on the palate, the finish is heightened by bright acidity and savory minerality. More concentrated and fruit forward than previous vintages this should be another exceptional wine. Enjoy now over the next 2 – 4 years.
Harvest Dates: September 10, 2015
Vineyard: Dutton Sullivan Vineyard
Oak: 100% French; 33% new oak, 33% twice used and 33% older
Bottled: February 3, 2017
Cases Produced: 150
- The Corkscrewer Report, Johannes Marlena Score: 93
From an unfiltered straw-gold haze in the glass—to the bright citrus on the nose, as well as pie crust and honeysuckle—to a quiet touch of oak and orange marmalade on the palate—and ending on a very clean and bright finish, this is great artisanal Chardonnay. The fortitude of fruit-forwardness and elegance of structure are classic bearings of fine Russian River Valley Chardonnay, while the sense of balance achieved and delightful freshness is the art of the winemaker. Aesthetically, there’s very discriminating restraint on show here, and that adds a high level of class to a very approachable wine. Drink now or age for a decade, it’s all good.
- International Wine Report Score: 91
This bright golden colored Chardonnay wine begins with heady aromatics reminiscent of creme brulee, heavy whipping cream, pineapple upside down cake and lemon blossom. Showing excellent mid-palate weight this reveals rich flavors of hazelnut, golden delicious apple, pineapple and vanilla cream. The long and creamy finish lingers. This is a superb effort by talented head winemaker Andrew Berge. I can see this Chardonnay picking up lovely secondary characteristics over the next decade. (Best 2017-2026) – April, 2017 (OB)
- Prince of Pinot - Rusty Gaffney Score: 88
Sourced from the Dutton- Sullivan Vineyard located near Graton and planted in the 1980s to a heritage selection of Wente Chardonnay on its own rootstock. Aged in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Very shy aromas of buttery citrus. More expressive on the palate, with flavors of yellow apple, nectarine and lemon. Nicely balanced, with good acid integration and brightness.