2006 Riva Ranch Chardonnay
This Chardonnay has a rich, golden color and aromas of ripe apple, vanilla, butter, and pear. It has a luscious mouthfeel with flavors of vanilla, guava, and butterscotch and a long, smooth finish.
Arroyo Seco is widely regarded as one of the best places in California to grow Chardonnay. Riva Ranch is the name of the Wente family’s vineyard in Arroyo Seco, where we have been growing Chardonnay since the 1960’s. Wente Vineyards was the first California winery to produce a wine labeled as Chardonnay in 1936. Today, many of the great Chardonnay vineyards in California are planted with the Wente Clone. Riva Ranch is presently planted to three Dijon clones and two Wente clones: clone 2A which had been originally selected for it’s intense varietal character and low yield, and clone 4, a second generation Wente clone. The cool growing season and the deep gravelly soil ripen the Chardonnay perfectly, creating a natural balance of sugar and acid.
90% of this wine was barrel fermented, with the balance in stainless steel. After primary fermentation, the wine was allowed to naturally undergo malolactic fermentation.
The wine was aged sur lie for 12 months in new American oak barrels. Battonage, the stirring of the barrels, was performed monthly.