2009 Rusack Chardonnay Reserve

Year: 2009
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 90
Wine Enthusiast: 91
White Wine
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"Succeeds with a mix of subtle flavors and light oak, offering notes of creamy fig, honeysuckle, melon and mineral, with a complex, detailed finish. Drink now through 2016. 326 cases made." (WS)

"The 2009 Chardonnay Reserve is quite a bit fresher and more vibrant than the Santa Barbara County bottling. Bright notes of citrus, lime, crushed rocks and green pears run through this vibrant, beautifully delineated Chardonnay. The 50% new oak barrels are barely noticed, if at all, in this superb white. The pointed, chiseled finish is truly exceptional. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.

I was very impressed with the Chardonnays and Pinots I tasted from Rusack. The Syrahs appear to be works in progress, but given the level of the best wines here, I see no reason why they can’t be of similar quality. Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later." (WA)

"($32) Vivid yellow. Intriguing aromas of pear, nectarine, white flowers and iodine, with a smoky overtone. Expansive orchard fruit flavors stain the palate and pick up a spicy quality with air. The iodine and floral notes linger on a long, penetrating finish." (IWC)

"Made the same way as the winery’s previous reserves, with ripe, lush fruit that was barrel fermented in half-new oak and aged sur lies. It’s a very rich wine, elaborate in pineapple jam, lemon tart, crême brulée and buttered toast flavors. Opulently powerful, but could use greater elegance and finesse." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Long before Chardonnay was widely produced throughout the United States, a small band of vintners from Santa Maria were experimenting with this classic varietal. They discovered that Santa Maria’s long, cool growing season and maritime influences create Chardonnays of greater dimension. Our Reserve reflects these qualities, and is tinged with the scent of Fuji apple, Meyer lemon, and fresh pineapple.

The grapes for our Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay Reserve came from the famous Bien Nacido and Sierra Madre vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley appellation. After being pressed and settled. the juice was barrel fermented in a mixture of new (50%) and older French oak barrels. After primary fermentation was completed, the Chardonnay then went through total malolactic fermentation. Then we stirred the lees over a 4 month period and then let everything settle down for a total of 9 months in barrel. The wine was bottled unfiltered on July 9, 2010, released Spring of 2011. Only 338 cases were produced.