2007 Alexander Valley Reserve Chardonnay
This voluptuous wine begins with aromas of ripe pear, plum, Meyer lemon, vanilla and buttered popcorn. On the palate, a core of Asian pear, yellow fruit and spice dominates, accentuated by layers of hazelnut and lemon custard. Throughout, integrated oak and a beam of stony minerality balance the lush, round fruit.
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Stuhlmuller Vineyards is located at the southern edge of the Alexander Valley, where it converges with two other highly regarded Sonoma County appellations, Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley. On its eastern edge, the 150-acre vineyard borders the Russian River. Situated in a unique location that is part river benchlands and part hillside, the vineyard benefits from its alluvial gravel soils and the more rocky soils that comprise the hillside sections of the vineyard.
The 2007 Reserve Chardonnay is crafted around a core of 35-year-old Gauer Upper Barn clone plantings and a careful selection of more youthful, 15- to 20-year-old plantings. The Gauer clone fruit produces low yields, with signature flavors of Asian pear and spice.
The 2007 growing season was an excellent vintage for Chardonnay. A nice warm spring, and two early-season heat spikes in mid-June and early July helped set the stage for a relatively early harvest. Our Chardonnay harvest coincided with a heat spell in late August and concluded the second week of September. The overall quality was exceptional, with clean, pure-fruit flavors and refreshing acidity at lower alcohol levels.
Crafted to reflect the power and sophistication of our vineyard, this wine brings together our three finest lots of Chardonnay, with the core being a prized lot of 35-year-old Gauer clone fruit. The majority was fermented in older 900-gallon French oak casks. Indigenous yeasts were used, and the wine underwent 100% spontaneous malolactic fermentation. All oak for aging was French (40% new), and the wine aged on the lees. In total, the wine spent 14 months in barrel/cask, and a year in bottle.