2011 Drake Estate Vineyard Chardonnay

HOLD
DRINK
2014-2020 OPTIMAL DRINKING WINDOW
Russian River Valley Drake Estate Vineyard
RELEASE PRICE $65 Past Release

Winemakers Notes

The aromas of white peaches and nectarines fill your glass along with honeysuckle flowers, citrus rinds and sweet caramel. On the rich, mouthwatering palate, flavors of lemon curd, […]

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Technical Notes

TA 0.70g/100mL
pH 3.52
Alc. 14.2%
Barrel Description 31% new; 15% 1 year; 23% 2 years; 31% 3+years
Barrel Aged 16 months
Technical Notes PDF

Winemakers Notes

The aromas of white peaches and nectarines fill your glass along with honeysuckle flowers, citrus rinds and sweet caramel. On the rich, mouthwatering palate, flavors of lemon curd, peach cobbler, ginger and toasted vanilla bean explode in your mouth. A textural Chardonnay with wonderfully bright acidity that has a long and refreshing finish. Not cloying at all, it has a powerful presence that remains graceful with food — a wonderful wine for fresh salmon. Will age well for 3-5 years.

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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