2017 Raeburn Chardonnay

Year: 2017
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Country: USA-California
Connoisseurs' Guide: 87
James Suckling: 90
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
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"GOOD VALUE, Fairly sparing in richness and only grudgingly revealing a bit of clean, but quiet fruit on the nose, this one from Raeburn surprises by being decisively fruity in the mouth with a slight trim of creamy oak and an enlivening lemony note to its easy-to-like, sweet apple flavors. It is a Chardonnay for the here and now and will not benefit from further age, but Chardonnay it most definitely is and it comes at an entirely comfortable price. Reviewed: June 2019" (CG)

"Bright and very primary on the nose with attractive, poached pears. The palate has a very neat and fresh array of pears and melon with a subtly chalky edge. Drink now." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Raeburn is an Olde English term which means the river where one goes to drink. So it’s fitting that Raeburn’s expressive, beautifully balanced Chardonnay begins in the heart of the Russian River Valley where some of the world’s finest Chardonnay grapes are grown. Ripe, luscious and delicious, let Raeburn take you to the river to share a laugh with friends, enhance your favorite meal or just let the day fall away.

The Russian River Valley is cooled by daily fog off the Pacific Ocean located a few miles to the west. Nearly every evening, fog flows up the Russian River channel and east through the Petaluma Gap producing diurnal temperature swings ranging from 35° to 40° F. Nature’s air conditioning allows our Char- donnay to ripen slowly while retaining its bright, natural acidity.

2017 was a bit of wild ride. Heavy winter rains brought relief from a multiyear drought and caused flooding in many low-lying areas. An early bud break and late summer heat hastened the grapes’ ripening. Labor Day weekend was quite warm which helped achieve ideal brix levels. All our grapes were harvested and inside the winery well before the start of the tragic North Bay wildfires.

Raeburn Chardonnay shows an array of complex fruit tones ranging from pear and Gravenstein apple to nectarine. The fruit is beautifully complemented with toasted oak, vanilla and hints of Crème Brûlée with a balanced and elegant finish.

Our Chardonnay is hand-picked at dawn from several Russian River Valley vineyards to maintain ideal brix levels of 24° to 24.5°. Once at the winery, we whole cluster press the fruit and gently rack into French and Hungarian oak barrels for fermentation. A quarter of the juice is held aside to ferment and age in stainless steel and the two lots are blended at the time of botting. This yields an elegant layering of toasty, vanilla overtones with bright fruit flavors and a graceful, sophisticated finish.