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Flanagan Chardonnay Bacigalupi is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Just south of the winery, Bacigalupi Vineyard straddles Westside Road in the upper reach of Russian River Valley. The 125 acre vineyard encompasses a range of terroir, from heavier valley floor soil along the Russian River to alluvial clay loam on the rolling hillsides. The fruit is sourced from a superb block of 25 year-old Wente Clone vines located on the western slope of the site. Bacigalupi was the source of the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that, famously, beat the French wines at the "Judgement of Paris" in 1976. Bacigalupi Chardonnay has a nose of lemon zest and vanilla bean. The palate opens with red pear and Meyer lemon, and brioche toast and honey comb notes on the finish. Like well-made Chardonnay from great vineyards around the world this wine benefits from getting some air, will age for years, and is best when served chilled around 50 degrees. This wine will evolve in the bottle for many years to come. A terrific wine from one of Sonoma County's top sites for Chardonnay.
"Fresh and floral, this bold, layered wine tastes of green apple, lemon and lime, with a pleasing bite of tartness on the midpalate. The acidity is persistent and supportive of the fleshy full-bodied nature of the tropical richness the wine otherwise presents. - Virginie Boone"
- Wine Enthusiast (August 2019), 91 pts
Eric Flanagan is the founder and visionary behind the Flanagan wines and Flanagan brand.
Our journey into wine began with a love of wine and an appreciation of the places that create unique wines. In the early 1990’s, wine quality exploded higher in Sonoma and Napa. It was an exciting time to be a consumer of wines from Northern California and a great time to come and meet the vintners who were responsible for these inspiring new wines. We began in 1999 with the purchase of forty acres in Bennett Valley. In 2011, we acquired a small Russian River Valley vineyard, and, starting with the 2014 vintage, we have added vineyard designated wines from top vineyards in the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast. Vineyard sources now include Ritchie Vineyard and Bacigalupi Vineyard for Chardonnay, and Sunchase and Sonoma Stage for Pinot Noir. In 2015, we will also add the iconic Platt Vineyard as a source for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We believe that Platt may be the best vineyard in California for those varieties.
Sustainability at Flanagan:
There are a few marketing buzzwords that are prevelant in the wine industry right now that can be very confusing to the consumer. Terms like organic, biodynamic, sustainable... What exactly do those terms mean? To us, it's very simple. Sustainabliltiy means we farm our vineyards with long term mindset. We do everything we can to ensure that this land will be as healthy, or healthier than it was when we found it. We are in the process of having our vineyards certified as sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance "CSWA".
Sonoma County is making a huge push to be the first farm community to be 100% certified sustainable. The CSWA program has 138 catagories for vineyard owners to self assess and then they support the process with an outside auditor. Sonoma County has hired a full time sustainablility coordinator and is making great progress towards our goal of have all of the vineyards in Sonoma County farmed sustainably.
Proprietor Eric Flanagan:
Eric came to the wine business from a love of wine. His family did not own a winery or a vineyard, and Eric did not grow up on a farm. Through his travels Eric became fascinated by how grapes of the same variety expressed themselves in different places. From New Zealand to Greece, Eric visited wine growing regions around the world, but in the late 90's he chose to create his vision in Sonoma. He started in 1999 with the purchase of 40 acres on the side of Bennett Mountain and expanded in 2011 with the purchase of their Russian River Valley site. Flanagan is now producing wines from several of the top vineyards in Sonoma County under their vineyard designate program. Flanagan is becoming known for making great wines from the best vineyards in Sonoma County.
Eric, Kit, and their 3 daughters (Riley, Lola, and Ruby) make their home at the Three Starrs Vineyard along with 3 dogs, 10 ducks, 4 Dwarf Nigerian goats, 2 geese, 1 donkey, and 1 mule (also named Ruby).
Winemaker Cabell Coursey:
Cabell joined Flanagan Vineyards as Winemaker in 2014. His obsession with winemaking began with a harvest in Burgundy while he was enjoying an undergraduate semester abroad. After finishing his B.S., Cabell spent a few vintages picking grapes and scrubbing floors in Burgundy, and then moved up to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Following his time in Oregon, Cabell traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand, where earned degrees in Enology and Viticulture from Lincoln University. During his time in New Zealand Cabell focused on cool climate viticulture, which serves him very well in his current role at Flanagan. Cabell has also held winemaking positions at Alder Springs Vineyard, Dumol, and Kosta Browne.
Cabell’s approach to winemaking is to use his senses in conjunction with his knowledge in biology, chemistry, and farming.
Cabell describes his philosophy:
“Winemaking is the culmination of a vast number of decisions. Starting with the site, the farming practice, the response to weather conditions, the picking date, the tank and barrel programs, ferment protocols, and continuing through blending and bottling. It is the daily decisions, actions, and sometimes lack of action that unlocks a vineyard’s highest potential. This quest to reveal each vineyards unique personality, while dealing with the challenges inherent in farming, is what makes winemaking challenging, interesting, and highly rewarding. My goal is always the same, to deliver each vineyard’s best expression in each vintage and to make a wine where the last glass is better than the first.”
The vineyards represents 69 acres in total:
Graves vineyards is 13 acres, planted with Syrah (6 acres), Cabernet Sauvignon (4 acres) and Merlot (3 acres).
Platt vineyards is 34 acres, planted with Chardonnay (13 acres) and Pinot Noir (18 acres) and Riesling (1.4 acres)
and Gaps View is 22 acres, all planted with Pinot Noir.
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"The 2016 Pedestal from Michel Rolland checks in as a blend of 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in 85% new French oak. It has a rocking bouquet of smoked black fruits, espresso, chocolate, and tobacco that gives way to a full-bodied, plump, incredibly sexy red that does everything right. It's one serious mouthful of Merlot and should keep for 10-12 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 pts
"The 2016 Pedestal Merlot has a precise nose of dusty plum, red flowers and soft oak tones with an elegant aroma of pencil lead fluttering about. The medium to full-bodied palate is clean and correct, with plush dark red fruit, dusty tannins, purple flowers and soft oak spices of vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg. The wine ends with a long, thoughtful, well-balanced finish that delivers complexity and pleasure simultaneously. Michel Rolland made this beauty of a bottle. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #246, December 2019), 94 pts
Remi Niero Condrieu Heritage is made from 100% Viognier
The wine is a pure expression ot the terroir. A deep and brillant golden color, the wine is charming and well-balanced offering an enticing nose of fresh white fruits and flowers. Smooth and rich on the palate with great concentration and complex flavors supported by a hint of minerality that brings freshness and finesse to the wine. A long and elegant finish.
Vines are 30 years old on average.
Alcoholic fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
50% of the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months and the other 50% is aged in stainless steel tanks.
Batonnage (stirring of the lees)
The wine pairs well with salmon carpaccio, scallops, foie gras, pork loin with curry sauce, delicate Asian food, goat cheese.
"A selection of the best individual barrels/cuves, the 2016 Condrieu Heritage is drawn from the estate's oldest vines (around 70 years old), aged in stainless steel (60%) and barrel (40%). It's textbook floral, apricot aromas lead into a medium to full-bodied wine that manages to be rich and viscous without being cloying, as citrus zest and brine emerge on the long finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- The Wine Advocate (Issue #234, December 2017), 93-95 pts
"Coming from a who’s who of vineyards (Roncharde, Côte Chatillon, La Caille, Vergelas, Corbéry and Chéry) and brought up in a mix of stainless steel and French oak, the 2016 Condrieu Héritage boasts an exotic, perfumed bouquet of wildflowers, honeysuckle, liquid rock and ripe tangerines. With medium-bodied richness and a crisp, balanced, beautifully fresh style, it just sings of pure Viognier (and Condrieu) and is a great white to drink over the coming 4-6 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The Blockbuster 2015s and Elegant 2016s, January 2018), 94 pts
Textured, classic Russian River Chardonnay with pleasing counterbalance between ripeness and acidity,distinguishable by underlying minerality, quality oak.
The nose is a blend of pear fruit and caramel. On the palate, these notes continue and are balanced with a hint of Rangbur lime in the finish. The crisp acidity is a perfect balance to the richness of the wine. This is to my mind exactly what RRV CH can be when top sites are well farmed and winemaking is focused.
Eric Flanagan and his family live on the vineyard property the Chardonnay comes from.
Gaja Gaia & Rey Langhe Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The winery's historic Gaia & Rey Chardonnay is a wine that not only reshaped the legacy of the house itself, but also redefined Piedmont as one of the truly great winemaking regions of the world. Named after Lucia and Angelo Gaja's daughter, Gaia Gaja, and Angelo Gaja's grandmother Clotilde Rey (the family's great matriarch and one of its most forward-thinking visionaries), Gaia & Rey was first bottled in 1983 and released the following year. With this historic bottling, Angelo Gaja showed the world that exceptional white wines could be produced in the Langhe Hills, where red wines had been produced almost exclusively before. He also delivered to the world what is now considered one of the greatest white wines of Europe, a truly remarkable accomplishment in a country where red grapes have historically dominated the realm of fine wine. The 2017 vintage proves that great quality sometimes comes from scarcity. Three days of frost at the end of April set back the crop size by 10 percent, then high heat in summer and lack of rainfall presented challenges in managing the vineyards. The good news is that with strict selection and our no-compromise approach, the fruit harvested was healthy and excellent white wines were the result, despite the drop in production.
This wine was first made in 1983, and back then, no malolactic fermentation occurred. Jump forward in time to the 2017 Langhe Gaia & Rey, and this is another vintage in which malo did not start. (Partial malolactic returns in 2018). Since those first years of production, the oak usage has also been tweaked, now with less barrique in favor of more botte grande. Thanks to these changes, the aromatic profile of this wine veers toward citrus and rich tropical fruit, especially in a warm vintage such as this. However counterintuitive, this edition also shows a very bright and precise touch of acidity that serves to give the wine balanced and mouth-cleansing salinity.
- Wine Advocate 93+ Points
Kershaw Chardonnay GPS Series Lower Dulvenhoks is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
During the year, I have the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of Elgin. Occasionally, I come across something so fascinating that it deserves a closer look.
In 2016, I discovered a small parcel of Chardonnay grapes growing on limestone soils – a rarity in the Western Cape. With limestone often touted as beneficial for Chardonnay grapes, it made sense to grasp this opportunity with both hands. The GPS Series is testament to these special places and celebrates them.
Restraint, minerality, freshness of fruit and a chiselled edge reflect limestone’s soil properties. This 2017 vintage reveals clean, bright aromas of lemon blossom, wet chalk and powdered stones. Penetrating intensity, animated acidity with a rich mid palate weight, this wine has purity of fruit (orange peel, yellow cling peaches and grapefruit peel) lemon cream biscuits and crème fraiche textures with a long finish.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early morning, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 590 litres per ton was
obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking, blending and bottling.
"Delicate, precise nose with hints of lemon and flint. A finely sculpted wine that evokes oyster shells, savory sage. Mandarin pith and lemon zest notes persist on the extended finish. Made entirely from Dijon clone CY95. Part of the GPS Series, the vineyard lies east of Agulhas and 5 km from the sea on an escarpment of clay over limestone. Sees about 40% new 228L oak."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts
Russian River Chardonnay Bacigalupi is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
An unmatched heritage. This wine is made from the budwood of the vines that produced the California Chardonnay that rocked the industry by winning the infamous “Judgment of Paris” wine tasting in 1976. And the quality has persisted.
Starting out with aromas of white peach, honeysuckle, crème brulee and jasmine. The palate is fruit driven from beginning to end. Apple pie, melon and stone fruit flavors linger on the tongue. The mid-palate is full and rich, with a touch of minerality. This wine finishes for days with plenty of fruit on the palate, balanced by a delightful pop of acidity.
One of the few Chardonnays built to age, age this beauty over the next 5-10 years - or even longer!
"A beautiful, intense chardonnay with lots of ripe red apples and some mineral and lemon-rind character, as well as just the right amount of vanilla and cream. Full-bodied, dense and layered with lovely intensity and focus at the end. Drink now or hold."
- James Suckling (November 2020), 94 pts
Fullerton Five Faces Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Five FACES is an acronym for the Fullerton family – Filip, Alex, Caroline, Eric, and Susanne. The wines blend fruit from multiple vineyards in Willamette Valley, mainly in the north of the valley with one to the west in the Van Duzer Corridor. A full representation of the Willamee Valley’s soil types is on display with one volcanic vineyard, two loess (windblown) vineyards, and two sedimentary vineyards. The vineyards range in elevation from 550-700 feet.
Honeydew melon, japanese pear, apricot, honeysuckle, apple-blossom, nutmeg, brioche, and lemon curd. Melon is echoed on the palate with notes of lemon, tangerine, toasted almonds, and fennel. Lovely and integrated acidity balances the palate weight from 17 months on the lees.
17 months in 10% new French Oak
Paris with creamy dishes and cheeses. Chicken and Turkey.
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY95 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The inspiration for this Chardonnay stems from my belief that the Elgin region has both a signature grape as well as particular terroirs within its demarcated boundary that reflect regional credentials. This Chardonnay was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone.
Tasting Notes: Sourced from a parcel in the Western part of Elgin the 95 clone is known for its excellent quality creating wines that are aromatic, fuller bodied and rich yet tightly structured, well–balanced with length of flavor, managing to show restraint and mouth-watering passivity with a great line through the palate and fruit veering towards white peach flesh and nectarine. On Bokkeveld Shales it brings amplified perfume on the nose and persistence and elegance to the palate.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 580 liters per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulfuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.
"Minerals and a hint of flint on the nose. The expressive minerality of this wine also shows on the palate with complementary light stone fruit notes. Aged in 50% new 228L oak aging for 11 months."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 95 pts
Segries Secret Grange Lirac Rouge is made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah.
This is a new wine for Chateau de Segries. 2013 is the first vintage.
The wine is dark and inky.
The aromas are intense and complex. It has fruit flavors of course, Strawberry and Blackberry, but it also have some interesting spice components, garrigue, pepper and licorice.
The finish is long and very pleasant as the tannins are round and well integrated.
La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.
The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.
The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.
"The estate’s top wine is the 2016 Lirac Secret de la Grange, a 90-10 blend of Grenache and Syrah that never sees oak. This full-bodied blend is fabulously concentrated and lush, with ripe fruit flavors of raspberries and stone fruits, an intriguing hint of almond paste and a rich, long finish tinged with licorice. It should drink well for up to a decade. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #233, October 2017), 93 pts
Baron Aime Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose NV is made from 85% Pinot Noir & 15% Chardonnay.
Light pink color with coppery shades. The citrus notes blend subtly with aromas of strawberry, forming a fresh and delicate bouquet. The palate is lively, with notes of grapefruit and fresh bread. Together they form a rich, fresh and vibrant wine.