2009 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1077079 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright gold. Wilder and more pungent than the Sonoma Coast bottling, displaying scents of poached pear, porcini and white truffle, along with floral and spice nuances that pick up power with air. Deeply concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors are energized by tangy acidity. A smoky note comes up on the finish and lingers tenaciously. This comes across like a California version of a premier cru from Chassagne-Montrachet.  (6/ 2011)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Firm, with a taut flintiness to the green apple, spice and floral notes, gaining depth and finesse. Loamy earth aftertaste. Drink now through 2018.  (6/ 2012)

89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Chardonnay Russian River Valley is a bit rounder and softer than the Sonoma Coast bottling. This is all texture, depth and finesse from the very first taste. Dried apricots, light floral honey and pistachio are some of the notes that wrap around the creamy, inviting finish. The vineyard sources include Dutton, Martinelli, King, Rochioli and Green Pastures. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017. David Ramey is one of the few California winemakers who thinks in terms of structure, not just flavor, something that sets him apart from many of his peers. All of the wines I tasted at Ramey’s cellar just outside Healdsburg were terrific. I also sampled a number of older wines, all of which have held up very well. Best of all, most of the wines remain very fairly priced considering the quality of what is in the bottle.  (2/ 2012)

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Price: $32.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5