2011 Allen Vineyard Chardonnay

Russian River Valley Allen Vineyard
RELEASE PRICE $55 Past Release

Winemakers Notes

I feel this may be one of the best Allen Chardonnays I have crafted since becoming the winemaker in 1998. The cool growing season really added to the […]

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Technical Notes

TA 0.64g/100mL
pH 3.32
Alc. 14.4%
Sugar residual sugars...
Barrel Description 31% new; 15% 1 year; 15% 2 years; 39% 3+ years
Barrel Aged 17 months
Technical Notes PDF

Winemakers Notes

I feel this may be one of the best Allen Chardonnays I have crafted since becoming the winemaker in 1998. The cool growing season really added to the complex aromas of Gravenstein apples, white nectarines, cream soda and baking spices. Those same aromas carry through on the palate along with a richness that leaves your mouth feeling clean and refreshed from the wonderful acidity. Rich and full of classic Russian River Valley flavors that are long and elaborate on the finish. Aging this wine for 3-5 years will only add to its complexity.

Harvest Notes

The 2011 vintage was marked by another cool year that produced wines with tremendous purity and depth. Similar in many ways to 2010 – without the extremes – it had very low yields and below average cooler weather. But, the growing season in 2011 was much more consistent with gentle warming days and very cold summer nights. As a consequence, the vintage produced wines with incredible purity, remarkable acid and tannin balance, while expressing the uniqueness of each individual site and region. The winter months brought abundant rainfall and kept the soil moist and cold.Bud break was delayed until the last week of March. Cool and overcast spring weather allowed for a slow growth cycle of the vines and likewise delayed flowering by a week to ten days. It rained several times at the end of May and early June, which affected the berry set and shattered many clusters — up to 20% of the berries on a cluster did not set. The rain also created protracted flowering and therefore a wider range of berry maturity. This type of flowering is similar to what typically happens in coastal vineyards. With a wide range of berry development with respect to flavor and tannin, the resultant wines exhibit a tremendous amount of depth and complexity. The cool spring gave way to beautiful and mild weather in early summer and the lighter crop was able to mature at an even pace. In late August, the fog rolled in a little heavier than normal, which slowed down ripening a small amount. Harvest commenced on September 7th, and continued at an even pace until the remainder of the grapes were harvested just prior to the early October rains. Overall, yields were down in almost every vineyard – almost 25% lower in some cases. The 2011 vintage may initially be remembered for the lower yields, but it will be defined by some incredibly site-driven and expressive wines. The signature of this vintage is one where the wines have bright fruit qualities, sound acidities and elegant tannin profiles. It is truly a vintage worth seeking.

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Reviews & Scores

92 Points

Light yellow-gold. An expansive, intense perfume summons mango, peach, honey, jasmine and aresinous herbal quality. Deeply concentrated and powerful, offering ripe orchard and tropical fruit flavors and a bracing jolt of lemon curd.

93 Points

Wine Enthusiast

The wine shows the fine acidity of the vintage, but also intense flavors of green apples, Asian pears and oranges. Oak brings luscious, balanced notes of vanilla and toast. A gorgeous, sumptuous wine that should drink well for the next six years. — S.H.

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