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Flanagan Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2014

ID No: 443212
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Ferren Chardonnay Silver Eagle Vineyard 2014

Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The Chardonnay made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary; a fascinating juxtaposition of briny minerality and candied citrus.

Average age of the vines is 10 years.

100% native fermentation (primary and secondary), long cool fermentations often lasting up to a full year, minimal lees stirring, no additions of any kind (commercial yeast, water, acid, enzymes, etc ...)

Ageing: 12 months sur lie in 60 gallon Burgundian barrels. 6 additional months in stainless. 
Cooperage: Francois Freres 100% French Oak, Vosges and Troncais forrests, 40% new oak.

Never any fining or filtration.

Review:

The 2014 Chardonnay Silver Eagle Vineyard is flat out gorgeous. Ample, unctuous and inviting, the 2014 offers exceptional depth, silkiness and nuance. Apricot jam, honey, honeysuckle, orange peel and baked apple all flesh out in the glass. The interplay of rich, textured fruit and bright aromatics is compelling. The 2014 is a bold, opulent wine from Matt Courtney and yet it retains remarkable balance. -Vinous 95 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Buty Chardonnay Conner Lee Vineyard 2014

While this wine displays the poise, structure and minerality that have become hallmarks of our Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay, the warm vintage has also delivered alluring orange spice and tropical flower notes that accentuate the lovely depth and richness.

This vivid chardonnay comes from Conner Lee’s prized 1989 and 2005 ‘clone #95’ blocks—both planted with ungrafted vines in sandy-silt soils. While it displays the poise, structure and minerality that are hallmarks of Conner Lee, the warm vintage has also delivered alluring orange spice and tropical flower notes that accentuate the lovely depth and richness. On the silky palate, layers of zesty citrus mingle with chamomile, hibiscus and honeysuckle, resulting in a wine that effortlessly combines power and grace


Review:

The aromas entice with notes of wet stone, honeysuckle, chamomile and stone fruit. The palate is generous in flavor and feel, showing a fine sense of balance. Wine Enthusiast 90 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 90
Morambro Creek Chardonnay 2014
Our Vineyards
“Our family vineyard is located in the picturesque and historic Padthaway valley, 300 km south of Adelaide. Our rich, fertile terra rossa soils, environmentally friendly viticulture, low yield and exceptional fruit is how we consistently produce outstanding wines. Small parcels of the highest quality fruit are selected from our family vineyard and handcrafted to create wines with amazing depth of flavour, style and balance…” ~ David Bryson
 
Winemaking Notes
Fruit was harvested in the cool of the night and gently pressed. The juice was fermented in French oak barrels (35% new, 65% aged). Various components underwent: a wild ferment, malolactic fermentation and extended lees contact to give the wine further complexity and flavour. Individual parcels were selected and blended, then filtered to produce this Chardonnay without compromising the purity of the fruit in both flavour and aroma.
 
Vintage Overview
2014 was a very good season with predominantly mild, dry days. Yields were generally low and this did result in some excellent parcels of fruit being harvested. Vine-balance was carefully monitored, resulting in fruit that demonstrates the vibrancy and fruit-derived characters that we strive for in our wines.
 
Tasting Notes
Pale straw in colour. Concentrated citrus and white peach fruit flavours are complimented by delicate yeast and subtle spice aromas. The palate is clean and fresh with vibrant fruit flavours, mineral characters and a good lingering finish.
 
Production Statistics
Bottling Date: 20/1/2015
Sizes: 750ml
Region (GI): 100% Padthaway
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13% alc/Vol Total
Acidity: 6.73 g/L
pH: 3.18
Product Description

The Ritchie Vineyard is one of the most famous Chardonnay sites in Sonoma County. The vineyard was planted in the early 1970’s to a Wente clone of Chardonnay on AXR-1 rootstock. It was later discovered that AXR-1 was not phylloxera resistant and owner Kent Ritchie was told he would need to replant the vineyard. Forty years later the vineyard still produces world class fruit! The 2014 Flanagan Chardonnay from Ritchie was barrel fermented in 50% new French oak and aged sur lies in barrel for 11 months before being transferred into a tank for a remaining 5 months. This wine is rich in texture with great acidity. The flavor profile shows tropical fruits and the minerality unique to the volcanic soils of this legendary Sonoma County vineyard.

Winery: Flanagan Winery

Flanagan Winery:

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.

Date Founded: 2005
Owner: Eric Flanagan
Winery Philosophy: We strive to make wine from what we feel are the very best, most distinctive vineyard sources in Sonoma County. We are specifically committed to only introduce wines from sites we believe in wholeheartedly.

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.”

Winery/Vineyards
Winery Acreage: 69 acres
Winery Production: 4,300 / 9L cases
Winemaker: Cabell Coursey

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.

 

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Estate fruit from the original vineyard planted in 1999 in Bennett Valley.

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