If you think California can only produce Chardonnay's without real varietal character, think again. The 2006 Lioco Stuhlmuller Vineyard is not your buttery over-oaked chard of California's past, it is more reminiscent of a fine French Chablis. Its graceful style combined with judicious acidity makes this wine meant for food. I found this wine in my local wine shop for $25 and its a bargain. This wine is a revelation and I cannot wait to pick up more of it. I believe Lioco is proving that California wines can in fact demonstrate a sense of place.
This wine is sourced from a designated block of old vines on flank of russian river. On the foggy bank just north of the chalk hill gap lies the Stuhlmuller vineyard. It sits at confluence of Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, and Russian River Valley appellations. Sometimes terrior can come off as just great marketing or wine snob wonkery, in this case there is a real sense of place with this wine. It's truly unique and worth your investment.
2006 Lioco Chardonnay
AVA : Alexander Valley
- Nose: I detected notes of lemon, ginger, crushed seashells, and chalk. As it warmed in the glass, more complex floral tones also became apparent.(Jasmine tea and honeysuckle). This wine continued to reveal itself as it sat. To me this is one of the hallmarks of a great wine
- Tasting: Rounded on the palate while possessing a crisp, lively acidity. Tastes of lemons, pears, candied ginger with a lovely crisp mineral finish reminiscent of calcareous rock and seashells.
If you want to learn more about Lioco, start with their Brand Overview here. It's amazingly well focused. These guys have a clear vision about what want to do with wine and I think they'll be one to watch in 2008 and beyond.
Wine Making Style Choices
old-vine Wente clones
hand picked and sorted on 9/21/06
whole cluster pressed
cold fermented in stainless steel tanks using a wild yeast
malolactic fermentation began naturally
3-month fine lees contact. bottled without fining or filtration
Wine Stats: I really wish all winemakers would put these on their labels. This way the consumer could learn more quickly whether they prefer their wines dry or have been drinking much more residual sugar than they thought..
ph 3.41 TA .76g/l Residual Sugar .07g/l Brix 25.4