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Flanagan Russian River Chardonnay 2014

ID No: 443213
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Hook or Crook Cellars Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2014

 

Our Chardonnay is grown in the prestigious Russian River Valley which is known for producing wines that marry qualities ofold world and new world Chardonnay styles.The 2014 Hook or Crook Russian River Chardonnay is a graceful balance of a buttery Chardonnay that has bright acids that keep the wine focused.

The wine offers lightly toasted oak notes that bring a toasty, buttery mouthfeel while harmoniously finishing with crisp notes of peach, asian pear, and green apple.

This homage to the Russian River Valley is a delightful wine pairing with many dishes, from swordfish or poached salmon to adventurous wine pairings like Thai curry or Pho.

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
Keermont Riverside Chenin Blanc 2014

A polished light yellow gold colour, this wine has a bouquet of citrus blossom with hazelnut, lemon grass and butterscotch undertones. The wine has a soft sweet entry with a racy linear acidity. Ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours evolve into a lovely lingering dry earthy finish. This is a textured white wine with layers of flavour. Drink 2015-2024.

 


Review:

"The 2014 Riverside Chenin Blanc will be released around November this year. Alex Starey told me that he used a similar section of the vineyard. He had to use two new barrels because he ran out out of used ones! That said, it is difficult to discern the new oak on the nose, attractive nutmeg and spice notes developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a waxy texture, rounded in the mouth with nicely judged acidity, reining everything in towards the finish with just a touch of lemongrass lending frisson. This is very fine. - Neal Martin."

- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (November 2015), 92pts

 Wine Advocate: 92
Product Description

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.

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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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100