2009 Rodney Strong Chardonnay Reserve

Year: 2009
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 90
Connoisseurs' Guide: 93
White Wine
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100% chardonnay 100% fermented in French oak barrels (26% new) 100% malolactic, aged 13 months

"A rich, creamy style that features ripe fig, peach and honeydew melon, with broad, expansive texture and good length. Retains its elegance and finesse, ending with a smoky roasted marshmallow note. Drink now through 2018. 2,723 cases made." (WS)

"Rodney Strong’s 2009 Chardonnay Reserve is a gorgeous wine laced with apricots, tangerine, mint, flowers and spices. The aromas and flavors are given additional dimensions of volume through aging in French oak barrels (26% new) and full malolactic fermentation. Though quite lush at first, the wine finds its minerality and focus on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.

Rodney Strong has retained the services of David Ramey to consult on their Reserve program, and it shows in the quality of these wines." (WA)

"Over the last several years, we have been favorably impressed with Rodney Strong's Reserve Chardonnays, and this latest opus continues the winery's string of successes. It leads with a deep, well-fruited nose of juicy apples, crème brulée and subtle notes of sweet blossoms, and it follows with like-minded flavors that show fine youthful vibrancy tied to optimal ripeness. Its firming acidity keeps it as fresh as it is rich, and there is little doubt but that it will age famously. Reviewed: April 2012" (CG)

Winery Notes:
Visitors to the winery often ask what "Reserve" chardonnay means to us. It's simple. Reserve translates into the winemaking team's careful blend of individual wines made from time tested, meticulously farmed sections of some of the very best vineyards in Russian River Valley. Each lot is vinified separately in our finest barrels, and shortly after completion of malolactic fermentation, select lots are assembled in tank to facilitate flavor integration, and returned to barrels to complete the aging process. The final selection is literally is a matter of taste.

Our Reserve chardonnay is created in a small lot winemaking facility, our "winery within the winery." Under the direction of consulting winemaker David Ramey, we employ cutting edge techniques such as whole cluster pressing, "double dry" barrel fermentation, and unfiltered bottling. With small tanks and equipment sized for the most discriminating vineyard selection process, our facility is truly state of the art, and represents the Klein family commitment towards producing the finest wines possible.

The 2009 vintage started much like the previous two, with a dry spring that was mild enough to keep the frost away. The heart of the growing season was cool to warm without incident, ideal for ripening the cool-loving chardonnay vineyards that blanket the gentle rolling hills of Russian River Valley. Picking began on September 11th, with all our reserve chardonnay grapes harvested by the 26th.

Frequent stirring of the lees during barrel aging added a creamy texture to an already full-bodied wine, making for a rich, round mouth feel, balanced with vibrant acidity. Powerful aromas of spiced apple, pear, and pie crust join minerally lemon-cream and toasty oak on the palate, adding up to a compelling and thoroughly satisfying experience for true Chardonnay lovers.