2010 Valley of the Moon Winery Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Released
Chardonnay made in the traditional style is a marriage of sorts; a union between the fresh, vibrant fruit of Chardonnay and the rich, toasty nuances of small barrel fermentation and aging. Too often, one partner dominates the other. Occasionally the fruit dominates the barrel notes, but usually the barrel notes overwhelm the fruit. The best marriages are when these two partners complement one another perfectly, and such is the case with the just-released 2010 Valley of the Moon Winery Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. Imbued with delicious fruit and intriguing complexity, it is traditional Chardonnay at its appealing best.
Valley of the Moon sources Chardonnay grapes from vineyards in the cool Sonoma Coast appellation. In the very cool 2010 growing season, those vineyards produced grapes with bold varietal fruit and fine balance. On arrival at the winery, the vineyard lots were whole-cluster pressed and most (94%) of the juice was fermented in small French and Eastern European oak barrels; a tiny percentage of juice was concurrently fermented and stored in stainless steel. The barrel-fermented portion remained in oak on the yeast lees for seven months, during which it underwent malolactic fermentation. A blend of the two components became the finished wine.
The 2010 Valley of the Moon Sonoma Coast Chardonnay’s full, forward aromas of baked apple, peach, vanilla and cream are immediate attention-getters. The medium-bodied flavors are similarly beguiling; fresh pear, peach and lemon, accented by toasty oak nuances. The rich, expansive mouthfeel is balanced by moderate natural acidity, and together these elements give the wine a long, polished finish. Just 7,000 cases of the 2010 Valley of the Moon Winery Sonoma Coast Chardonnay were produced.
Valley of the Moon Winery hosts visitors daily at its historic cellar in the Sonoma Valley. In addition to Chardonnay, the winery produces Pinot Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Rosato di Sangiovese and Cuvée de la Luna, a Bordeaux-inspired blend.