2018 Dehlinger Winery Chardonnay Estate Unfiltered
2018 Dehlinger Winery Chardonnay Estate Unfiltered, Russian River Valley, USA
95 Points Wine Enthusiast,
This is a bright, effusive, estate-grown, unfiltered white, delineated by high-toned acidity and gorgeously floral aromatics. Planted originally in 1975 to heritage Wente clone Chardonnay by owner/winemaker Tom Dehlinger, its generosity of fresh apple and pear ride a voluptuous, balanced texture that’s wholly satisfying, before meeting deeper hues of spicy, exotic tropical tones on the finish.
Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted. Although the most highly regarded expressions of the variety are those from Burgundy and California, many high-quality examples are made in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America.
Describing the flavors of Chardonnay is not easy. While many Chardonnay wines have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety’s intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices such as clove and cinnamon. Extended lees contact while in barrel imparts biscuity, doughy flavors. Because of this high level of winemaker involvement, Chardonnay has become known as the “winemaker’s wine”.
Russian River Valley, one of the United States’ top-ranked wine regions, is located at the heart of Sonoma County, California. It is one of California’s coolest and foggiest AVAs creating a perfect climate for producing highly acclaimed wines from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Russian River which gives the AVA its name is the second-largest river within the nine-county Greater San Francisco Bay Area. It is named after the Russian-American Company, whose explorers charted the river in the early 19th Century (eventually founding the Fort Ross colony a few miles north of the river mouth). Today, the region is home to a number of Sonoma’s top wine producers, including Kosta Browne, Williams Seylem and Paul Hobbs