The Russian River Valley AVA is located on 155,000 acres in Sonoma County, California. Situated on the Russian River, the appellation was granted AVA status in 1983 and has over 10,000 acres currently under vine. The soil of the Russian River Valley varies by region. Layers of volcanic ash and eroded bedrock have created a sandstone that cover most of the region. Near the Russian River itself, there is alluvial soil, and in the northern most region, clay soil is abundant. The variety of soils gives the Russian River Valley a great range in the profiles of its varietals. The Russian River Valley's feature characteristic is its cool climate, generated by fog and coastal breezes due to the valley's proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The area features varietals known to grow well in cool climates. The region is best known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production.
With flavors of green apple, pear, and melon, this rich and lightly-oaked Chardonnay is the perfect complement to fish, chicken, and foods with cream-based sauces and becomes increasingly elegant as it warms in the glass.
Grapes for this wine come from two Sonoma vineyards: one from southern Sonoma County in Carneros and the other from the Russian River area. Carneros is the cooler climate, with wind and fog prevalent conditions, meaning longer growing time, higher acidity and leaner fruit, while Russian River fruit tends to be riper and fatter in style. By blending fruit from the two distinctive areas, this wine results in high acidity and clean, crisp fruit leaning toward green apple and citrus, but with a nice, plump mid-palate of pear and melon.
The Russian River Valley is blessed by a myriad of microclimates – however, the unifying characteristics are foggy mornings and evenings that cool off hot summer days in the vineyard. The result is an extended growing season that allows grapes to fully ripen while keeping their fresh, vibrant acidity. This climate is a perfect showcase for Sauvignon Blanc – the grape is at once both plush and tropical as well as pleasantly invigorating – the best of both worlds.
Pale straw gold in color, the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is bracingly fresh on the nose. Notes of gooseberry, kefir lime, sweet ginger, and white pepper give way to more tropical fruits like pineapple and lychee with time in the glass. The result of an extended drought, this vintage shows great concentration and precision on the palate with a laser-like focus on bright citrus, candied orange, and green papaya. Juicy and penetrating, the finish lingers and cleanses with final notes of key lime and stony minerality.
CHRISTINA’S VINEYARD, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
Pinot Meunier is one of the three grape varieties used to produce traditional Champage where it brings richness, body and longer aging potential to sparkling wines. Rarely bottled on its own, this varietal shines in the cooler climate of the Russian River Valley, where the loamy Goldridge soils and cooling coastal fog create the perfect microclimate for this unusual varietal.
The 2018 Pinot Meunier sets itself apart from Pinot Noir immediately with its bright violet red color bordering on magenta. The vibrant color carries over to the nose, where the fruit notes practically jump from the glass. Ripe, bright red cherry, raspberry compote, cranberry and soft cinnamon are supported by aromas of sweet tobacco and wet rocks. On the palate, you can see why this varietal is used to bring complexity to sparkling wines: rich, vibrant red fruit flavors are bolstered by steely acidity that brings the wine into immediate focus. Soft, plummy tannins round out the mouth and counter the acidity, bringing everything into balance. Though drinking beautifully upon release, those with patience will be rewarded by cellaring the bottling 4‐5 years after vintage date to allow the immediate “baby fat” to mellow and give way to secondary notes of jam, leather and forest floor.
Composition: 100% Pinot Meunier
Harvest Date: October 19, 2018