2011 J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay

VINTAGE
2011 joins 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2010 as the coolest vintages of the last twenty years. These years are characterized by either El Niño or La Niña Pacific Ocean influence, with above-average rainfall and unseasonably cool summers. Despite the challenges that cold weather can bring, such as increased mildew and botrytis pressure, these cold vintages have produced outstanding varietal definition in our Chardonnay and White Riesling in the Arroyo Seco. Maturities in our Chardonnay came slowly, with harvest commencing on September 26th. After a few days of picking in our ripest blocks, we decided to stop and wait an additional ten days for other parts of our vineyard to reach optimum ripeness, pushing the final days of harvest into November. The Chardonnay showed ripe apple, citrus and nectarine flavors with high levels of natural grape acidity. As a result, we incorporated higher levels of malolactic fermentation to balance the acidity in our 2011 Riverstone Chardonnay, creating a wine with intense varietal character, palate weight and palate-cleansing acidity.

VINEYARDS
The vines for our J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay are grown primarily on Elder loam soils underlain by “riverstones” deposited over thousands of years by the Arroyo Seco River. These stones allow a fourfoot rooting zone that keeps the vines’ vegetative growth and fruit in balance. Additionally, the cool climate and winds of the Salinas Valley extend the growing season and retain the natural grape acids and intense varietal character of the Chardonnay.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Appellation Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition (Blend) 100% Chardonnay
Harvest dates September 26 - November 4, 2011
Brix at harvest 24.3°
Vinification  
   Malolactic 50% in barrel
   Maturation Aged 8 to 10 months in barrels from new to fourth fill.
Barrels were stirred every two weeks until pump-out
   Barrel type American, Hungarian and French oak
Bottling chemistries  
   pH 3.57
   Total acidity 0.67
   Alcohol 13.55
   Residual Sugar 0.39%
   
Cellaring Drink now, or cellar up to 5 years

 


WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
This elegant Chardonnay has an attractive pale strawyellow color. The aromas are of nectarine, pear and apple, combined with a perfumed roasted hazelnut and butterscotch bouquet from the barrel fermentation and sur lie aging. The flavors are very soft with ripe pear, tangelo citrus and vanilla toastiness, producing layers of complexity with a silky balance of fresh fruit acidity and palate weight.
Jeff Meier, Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
Pair with dishes such as lobster pappardelle with chive butter, grilled late summer vegetables and creamy butternut squash soup.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
A full-bodied Chardonnay with a balance of fruit and oak toastiness and a palate-cleansing acidity.

Price: $14.00 750ml
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