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Recently Tasted California Chardonnay

2016 Metzker Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.2% alc., 275 cases, $65. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Lovely aromas of lemon, white flower blossom and complimentary oak that are quite seductive. This is a wine from happy grapes, showing vivid flavors of lemon, white peach and toast. The texture is suave, there is a congenial grip of acidity, and plenty of aromatic fruit on the very long finish. Still terrific when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle the following day. Score: 95

2016 Sojourn Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.3% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.64, 450 cases, $48. Released spring 2018. Old Wente clone from both old vines planted in the 1990s and young vines planted in 2009. Whole cluster pressed, native yeast fermented, and aged in French oak barrels, 40% new.75% malolactic fermentation. Bottled unfined. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Scents of citrus fruits, warm nuts and brioche. Sleek and slightly oily on the palate with well-defined flavors of lemon, pineapple, and grapefruit with oak in the background. Energetic, with good vitality and a mouthwatering finish. Score: 92

2016 Morgan Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.24, TA 0.70, 914 cases, $42. Vineyard certified organic in 2002. Clones are Wente 4, Dijon 96 and 95 and Hillside. Whole cluster pressed, fermented in French oak barrels, 15% new and a combination of one and two-year-old barrels. 90% malolactic fermentation with lees stirring. Aged 10 months. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Inviting aromas of lemon oil, salted yellow apple, lemongrass and fig. Discreet body and intensity, offering enticing flavors of citrus, apple and honey. No intrusion of oak in this wine. Suave but not viscous on the palate, with a bright, clean finish. Score: 92

2016 Dutton Estate Kyndall’s Reserve-Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.33, TA 0.66, 906 cases, $42. Released May 2018. This wine is named for Joe and Tracy’s oldest daughter who works at the winery. Select lots from Dutton Palms (Wente clone), Sebastopol (Robert Young clone) and Mill Station (44-year-old, dry-farmed, heritage clones) vineyards. Whole cluster pressed, 40% concrete egg and 60% oak barrel fermentations with twice monthly lees stirring. 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 42% new. The wine was cold stabilized and filtered prior to bottling. Winemaker Terry Adams. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of lemon curd, whitefleshed fruit and seasoned oak. Discrete richness and noticeable ripeness, with flavors of Golden Delicious apple, lemon butter, toast and caramel. Slightly oily in the mouth, with a lemon-infused finish. Score: 90

2016 Morgan Highland Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.22, TA 0.72, $28. Fruit sourced from Double L Vineyard (30%), Tondre Grapefield, Leavens Vineyard, McIntyre Vineyard and Quail Vineyard. Dijon 93, 96, 76, Wente 4, 15, 17 and Musqué clones. Grapes were whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented. Partial malolactic fermentation. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 26% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of lemon peel, white grapefruit, peach, candle wax, flint and toast. Clean flavors of lemon-lime, pear and dried herbs. A bit shallow on the mid palate but with good acidic verve and a quenching finish. Score: 89


2017 Dutton Estate Kylie’s Cuvée-Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

14.5% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.72, 826 cases, $27, screwcap. Released May 2018. First release by the winery’s new winemaker, Bobby Donnell. Named after Joe and Tracy Dutton’s middle daughter., a recent graduate from University of Arizona who will be assuming her new role as Dutton Estate Brand Ambassador. Grapes are harvested from Dutton Ranch’s sustainably farmed Shop Block and Mrs. George vineyards. The musqué clone was specially chosen from Shop Block and Mrs. George vineyards. Shop Block fruit was aged in neutral French oak barrels (50%) and Mrs George fruit was aged in stainless steel tanks (50%). The two lots were then blended together after 4 months. This wine carries the Sonoma County logo and “sustainably farmed grapes” on the label as part of the new initiative from the Sonoma County Winegrowers Association. · Moderately light golden yellow color with slight carbonic fizz in the glass. A grassy, herbaceous style of Sauvignon Blanc, combining aromas of fresh hay, gooseberry and chalk with flavors of grass, green apple, lime, subtle peach and herbs. Sleek in the mouth with bracing acidity. Score: 90

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