2012 J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay

2012 continued the trend of very cool years, which began two years earlier. As such, 2012 began with even colder winter--and earlier spring temperatures- -than 2011. Fortunately, unlike 2010 and 2011, the Arroyo Seco was blessed with favorable weather from bloom to fruit-set, and dry weather from April through October, ensuring a healthy crop and decreased mildew pressure. The vintage appeared to be trending late until a short but substantial heat wave from September 30th through October 2nd ushered in the 2012 Chardonnay harvest. Heat events on October 17th and 18th pushed the remaining unpicked Chardonnay blocks to the finish line with the final load coming in November 2nd. With uniform ripening throughout the home ranch, we harvested nonstop to ensure each block was picked at its optimum ripeness. The frenetic pace was a challenge that tested vineyard and winery staff alike, but the results were well worth the sacrifice.

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 four foot 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.



Appellation Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County, CA
Composition (Blend) 99.5% Chardonnay, 0.5% other white
Harvest dates October 2nd to November 2nd, 2012
Brix at harvest 24.8°
   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 3.60
   Total acidity 0.66 g/100ml
   Alcohol 13.90% by volume
   Residual Sugar 0.50 g/100ml
Cellaring Drink now, or cellar up to 5 years


This elegant Chardonnay has bright hues of yellow straw. Rich aromas of pear, apple and lemon custard combine with notes of roasted hazelnut, vanilla and toasty oak. The flavors are very soft with ripe pear, apple and cream ending with a lingering toasty oak finish. Barrel fermentation with sur-lie aging adds layers of viscosity, depth and complex flavors that marry well with the Chardonnay’s natural acidity and bright fruit.
Jeff Meier, Winemaker

Halibut with lemon butter sauce, boudin blanc with mustard sauce, grilled vegetables, pumpkin curry or butterscotch pudding.

A full-bodied, balanced Chardonnay with flavors of pear, apple and cream, ending with a lingering toasty oak finish.

Price: $14.00 750ml