Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay
Localization: Russian River Valley, California, USA
Tasting Notes: This Estate Chardonnay is a classic expression of the Wente clone, given its minerality and freshness juxtaposed with the comforting aromas of baking spices and rising yeast. This wine is fermented in French oak barrels, aged on the lees one year, and bottled unfiltered to retain maximum flavor and optimize mouthfeel.
96 Points - Wine Enthusiast: Impressive in salty pineapple and an underlying richness of crème brûlée, this wine remains balanced within its luxurious layers, with persistent freshness throughout. Unfiltered, it offers structure, graceful elegance and length, while being cohesive on the finish
The Domain: Dehlinger’s estate vineyard is located just north of Sebastopol, 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The vines are dry farmed in goldridge fine sandy loam. The vineyard is trained to an Open Lyre system—a split canopy which optimizes light and air exposure. Our Estate Chardonnay is blended from three oldvine Chardonnay blocks. These heritage vines are grafted to Wente clone.
Today, Dehlinger produces a single Estate Chardonnay bottling each vintage, originating from our eight acres of Chardonnay vines planted between 1975 and 1988. These old vines, grown in the region’s classic goldridge series soils, are grafted to the California heritage “Wente” clone, which produces small clusters and berries and has a notable minerality and almost oily viscosity.
Dehlinger’s Chardonnays are crafted using traditional techniques which preserve the flavor and elegance of the variety. At harvest, the grapes are picked at night, brought cold into the winery and “whole cluster pressed” to extract the highest quality juice. From there, the juice is fermented in French oak barrels using native yeasts. The wine gains further complexity through malolactic fermentation and a year of aging on the lees. Dehlinger has been bottling its Chardonnays “Unfiltered” since the late 1990s in order to capture the full flavor potential and most pleasing texture possible.