2003 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

"Powdered sugar and orange zest elicit reminiscences of candied rind. Upon noting fresh dough, and cracked walnuts, the mind is drawn to the sweet rewards of baking experiments gone right. The slowly dissipating aromas of limoncello are the taster’s aperitif." – Erin Green, Winemaker November 2011

"This Chardonnay is produced from Kent Ritchie’s vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Often a late ripener, the weather in 2003 allowed for maximum hang time and flavor development. With lots of honeyed extractive notes, lemon crème and diverse citrus flavors, this wine has a wide spectrum of flavors with great depth." – Erin Green, Winemaker September 2005

Composition

100% Chardonnay

Vineyards

  • Ritchie Vineyard

Critics

93 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #157, February 2005

The 2003 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast (basically made from an old Wente Chardonnay clone of 30-year-old vines planted in the Ritchie Vineyard) is great stuff. A full-bodied, honeyed nose of pastry, lemon butter, and orange marmalade is followed by a wine with wonderful stuffing, richness, texture, full body, and a Burgundy-like minerality.

90 Points

James Laube, Wine Spectator, June 2005

A well-oaked style. Nicely done, with lots of creamy vanilla wood flavors wrapped around a center of ripe apple and pear fruit. Finishes with a splash of pineapple and guava, which is the most fascinating aspect.

90 Points

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May/June 2005

Hazy, full yellow-gold. Superripe aromas of pineapple, apricot, lemon cream and exotic spices. Concentrated, thick flavors of tropical fruits firmed by an edge of acidity. Began a bit salty and phenolic but grew fresher and showed more minerality as it opened in the glass. A bit edgy on the aftertaste.

Winemaking

Winemaker:
Erin Green
Alcohol:
14.9%
Harvested:
September 24 to October 13, 2003
Bottled:
August 16, 2004
Released:
October 1, 2005

The whole-cluster grapes were barrel-fermented on native yeasts and aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 11 months. The wine also progressed through 100% malolactic fermentation and was neither fined nor filtered.

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