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(12) - 2013 Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, 750ml
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2013 Estate Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
The 2013 Estate Chardonnay is signature cool climate, foggy Green Valley in an exceptional vintage. It represents seven individual blocks on the estate giving it wonderful complexity with a silky texture.
By nose: great complexity with touches of pineapple, melon, green apple, kiwi, and yeast.
By mouth: minerality, pineapple, lime, and a gentle mouth feel (a result of extensive batonnage). Our Estate Chardonnay is a classic food wine. Try it with roasted cauliflower and cannellini bean salad, thyme - roasted chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes and a salad of baby greens, smoky ham and corn chowder. Salmon rillettes on buttered brioche would be a perfect hors d’oeuvre.
Artisanal Winemaking: All of our Estate Chardonnay is handled 10 tons (one press lot) at a time. Only as the grapes arrive at the winery do we decide how to treat them. 100% of the Chardonnay grapes were pressed as whole clusters, just as we do with sparkling wine. Frequent lees stirring or ’batonnage’, at least three times a week for at least seven months contributes to the complex flavors.
Precision Winegrowing: At Iron Horse "Estate Bottled" means that the winemaking begins in the vineyard. Our location in Green Valley represents the very best soil, climate and aspects for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Our goal is to grow the best wine grapes through what we call "precision winegrowing." All pruning, canopy management, irrigation and cover crop decisions are determined on a block-by-block (and sometimes even vine-by-vine) basis, considering both the vintage at hand and the long-term needs of the land.
For Sparkling and Still Wine, Precision Harvesting is Key: Our only rule is to make the best wines we can. We wait until harvest to decide sparkling or still, as the only difference is the brix level (or the amount of sugar in the grapes, less for sparklings, more for still). Then winemaker David Munksgard considers berry size (bigger is better for sparklings, smaller for still), the health of the canopy, clone selection, even small details such as the relative dampness of the cover crop can make a difference. If necessary, parts of a single block may be picked on different days.