River West Vineyard
Russian River Valley Sonoma County

60.00 1.5L

Taste Profile

The 2016 Davis Bynum Chardonnay has beautiful aromas of toasted sesame, marzipan, meyer lemon and baked apple. On the palate the wine opens with toasty brioche, hazelnut and baking spices, with a lush finish that is balanced with acidity and a rich creaminess. Enjoy this Chardonnay with creamy cheeses, vegetable raviolis or grilled veal chops and mushrooms.


The River West Vineyard is located on Westside Road, on a low riverside bench, in the far northern end of the Russian River Valley. The soil is predominantly Yolo sandy silt loam but with a pocket of gravelly Cortina soil in one block. It has been said that Chardonnay shows the hand of the winemaker more than other varietals. Our winemaker, Greg Morthole, believes there is some truth in that, but also believes the best vineyard sites yield fruit that distinctively express the characteristics of their location in the finished wine. Greg's delicate signature is embedded in each vintage as favored blocks and clones from River West are blended to show off the terroir of that site. The result is a delicious Chardonnay that shows characteristics of its origins derived from careful and deliberate winemaking choices to highlight our best lots.


Our single vineyard River West Chardonnay gains its structure from its bright citrusy acidity, a defining characteristic that we tempered by fermenting in French and Eastern European oak barrels, malolactic fermentation, and sur-lie aging with monthly bâtonnage. For this vintage, we chose two clones to be the centerpiece. The higher percentages of clone 809 and Spring Mountain will add some tropical and floral notes, with other clones blended in for complexity, bringing classic green apple and pear. The wine was aged for a full year, with 21% new oak (15% French and 6% Eastern European) to round out the acidity, making the mouthfeel more creamy and adding some baking spice notes.

Harvest Date
Avg. Brix at Harvest
24.6 Brix
Oak Aging
12 months in French and Eastern European oak barrels, 21% new
0.64 g/100ml
Moderately deep, well drained soils
The Harvest
El Niño brought a good amount of rain during the winter of 2015, but February was pretty dry. Then it warmed up a touch and the vines woke up, a bit later than the previous few years. Showers soaked the vineyards in the middle of March and filled the ground with much needed water. Beautiful warm summer days led to verasion and sugar accumulation in the berries. Mid-August through mid-September was filled with overcast days and cooler weather, which helped to retain vital acidity in the fruit. As harvest approached, each block was scheduled according to it's pH and sugar content, and hand-picked at night between August 30 and September 12, as the fruit reached peak maturity.
Produced Appellation
Russian River Valley
River West Vineyard
Greg Morthole, David Ramey (consulting)
Moderately deep, well drained soils
Oak Aging
12 months in French and Eastern European oak barrels, 21% new

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