J Vineyards Russian River Chardonnay
$54.99 + $5 shipping
PRODUCT: 3 2008 J Vineyards & Winery Russian River Valley Chardonnay
CT link above
…will please those who enjoy a bigger buttery and oaky style (think Rumbauer, Cakebread, Chalk Hill, etc.).
Rated a bronze 2011 SF Chronicle wine judging…
J Vineyards & Winery 214 - Chardonnay - $25.00 to $29.99 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay $28.00 Bronze
sorry for the n00b-type question but i’m trying to wrap my brain around residual sugar. 0.25% is normal? or no?
If I’m not mistaken, 0.25% RS should mean 0.25g/L or 0.1875g/750ml
This is one of my favorite Chards. Great nose and delicious green apple and tropical fruits that give way to butter and toast and maybe a touch of allspice that’s not overdone. For me it’s a great combination of old world and new world qualities.
In for one. This is my third woot in my first month of membership.
Do I need a twelve step program? Lol
Seriously though, Seems like a great deal and my wife loves this Chardonnay.
All grapes contain sugars that are not fermentable by the yeasts used in winemaking. Dextrose, sucrose and fructose are the fermentable sugars. Sugars like pentose are not converted to alcohol by the yeast. So even a wine where fermentation is allowed to continue until “all sugar is fermented” will have some residual sugar. Based on what I have been able to research so far, this can be up to 2 g/L. You will find bone dry red wines that have a gram or so of residual sugar due to this effect.
German “trocken” wines can have up to 4 g/L of residual sugar (actually up to 9 g/L with appropriate acid levels).
0.25% = 0.25 g/100mL = 2.5 g/L or 1.875 g per 750 mL bottle
So this wine with 2.5 g/L RS is definitely dry, but given the malolactic fermentation and the higher pH, this will taste fruitier/softer and may be perceived as sweeter than a trocken German Riesling with a higher RS number (say 3 g/L) due to its pH being down around 3.0 or even lower.
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I mentioned the comparison to Cakebread to SWMBO, and this Chard became an autobuy. An excellent way to celebrate my 100th Woot! (picked up #99 last night)
So are you in on this? Whatever happened to those 1-liters??
Oh oh, up there with Cakebread? Well then, that makes this an easy buy.
Reference to Cakebread and a 100 score on CT? You don’t see too many scores like that for Woot.Wine offerings.
The only thing holding me back is the $18-20 price range on Wine Searcher.
I very much enjoyed this bottle, a beautiful Russian River Valley chardonnay folks! I tasted a sample a few weeks ago after I visited with the winery. This is lip-smacking good. After layers of rich flavors such as baked apple pie and honeysuckle, it finishes dry - not sweet or bitter and this is what sold me.
Scott’s Vintner Voicemail has some great details today - this fruit is sourced from a cooler area in the RRV in Sebastopol where the fog really likes to hang-out late in the morning and roll in right around dinner time during the growing season.
Regarding RRV Chardonnay, I typically drink Chards from this region the most along with Chardonnay from Anderson Valley. If you’ve had the pleasure of sipping on Chards from Davis Family, C.Donatiello, L’Oliveto, Handley Cellars, DuMol, Dutton, Migration…I could go on, you will be pleased with this purchase.
By the way - opened this before and with dinner - fantastic with grilled ham & cheese on sourdough alongside a crisp romaine salad with the famous Cavedoni aged balsamic vinegar and Merchants and Millers Olive Oil!
Hello, Thanks for your interest in the 2008 J Vineyards Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. I am Elisa from the J Marketing department, and I will answer any questions you may have. If your questions are quite technical, don’t worry, I have provided much technical information below, and the winemaking team will be readily available to respond to your questions. So, take on the day and enjoy as glass of J!
The grapes for our 2008 Chardonnay came from several J estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley, as well as from select premium vineyard sites in the western region of the Russian River Valley.
Whole grape clusters were hand-harvested between 23 and 24 brix, and then pressed gently in our Coquard press to minimize the extraction of harsh components from the skins of the grapes; free-run and press fraction juices were fermented separately using a combination of indigenous and unique custom yeast strains from Burgundy. A long, slow fermentation allowed the wine to develop slowly, maximizing its expression of the Russian River Valley. Careful blending of more than 25 lots resulted in an elegantly beautiful Chardonnay that is both powerful and refined.
For this wine, we went to great lengths to find unique French oak coopers selected from specific forests. The wine is 100% barrelfermented and aged in 60-gallon Burgundian oak (40% new). An unusual six-month malolactic fermentation was carried out resulting in automatic bâtonnage, which produced exceptional sur lie character, as well as complex, layered aromas and flavors. Nearly a year of rest after bottling created a fully integrated and beautifully resolved wine that honors the traditions of Burgundy and Russian River Valley winemaking.
The 2008 J Vineyards Chardonnay is an inspirational combination of old world minimalist technique and new world fruit expression. Notes of Meyer lemon, peach, vanilla, toasted almond and honey tickle the nose and mouth. The weighty, seamless palate has a creamy texture reminiscent of crème brûlée. A long, luxurious finish exhibits hints of caramel, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Appellation Russian River Valley
Harvest Date September 4 – October 2, 2008
Bottling Date August 24 – August 27, 2009
Release Date August 2010
Wine Alcohol 14.3% by volume
Wine Acid 6.00 grams per liter
Wine pH 3.50
Residual Sugar 0.25%
About J Vineyards & Winery
Founded by Judy Jordan in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery is an independently-owned Sonoma County winery. Located on Old Redwood Highway south of Healdsburg, the winery focuses on Brut and Brut Rosé sparkling wines, as well as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris terroir-driven varietal wines, produced from estate grown grapes farmed primarily within Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley appellation.
Judy Jordon—Founder & President
To identify the ideal vineyard sources that would eventually become the signature J Sparkling wine, Judy Jordan personally inspected over 20 vineyard sites from California to Oregon. Grapes from the cool, Russian River Valley appellation of Sonoma County proved to embody the flavor and structure profiles ideal for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir-based sparkling wine.
Judy’s broad understanding of the geology and climate of the Russian River Valley is deeply rooted in her academic training (Stanford University Earth Sciences) and from having walked her vineyard rows for decades.
In 1994, the first small lots of Pinot Noir, and in 1997, Chardonnay, were produced to showcase the remark¬able varietal expression from the J estate vineyards. Using cutting-edge technological innovations for sub-soil mapping, new Russian River Valley vineyard lands were purchased and developed to upgrade and fine-tune vineyard sources. To further enhance grape quality, older, established vineyards have been replanted with higher performing clones and rootstocks.
J Vineyards and Winery is a newly renovated, state-of-the-art facility that houses two separate wineries under one roof—J sparkling wine and J varietal Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. The Winemaking Team implements distinct winemaking protocols and equip¬ment for each program.
Based on the success of our Cuvée 20 sparkling wine, additional “cool climate” vineyards in Sonoma County are being sourced outside of our estate vineyards. As the popularity of our J California Pinot Gris has grown, the Winemaking Team has managed to secure select fruit from Clarksburg, located along the Sacramento River Delta, and Monterey County.
“The characteristics of an authentic terroir, so important in the production of fine sparkling wine, are also ideal for our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietal wines,” says Jordan. “Over the past twenty-five years, we have built a legacy that sparkles in the Russian River Valley. Our future, however, is based on a vibrant estate varietal wine program.”
J Vineyards and Winery celebrated its 25th Anniversary, beginning with the 2011 harvest.
Visit J Vineyards & Winery
We invite you to visit us at J Vineyards & Winery during your next trip to Northern California Wine Country. At our prime location in Healdsburg, our modern and sophisticated Visitor Center is a distinct contrast to its agricultural surroundings—resembling more of a hip lounge, sans the attitude, than the more common conservative tasting rooms.
Vineyards & Winery grapes are grown using sustain¬able farming techniques. We employ these best practices out of a desire to increase soil tilth, restrict chemical applications and protect riparian habitats. We make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls to sustain the economic viability of vineyard operations.
In February 2010, J was certified as a “Green Winery” by the San Francisco Bay Area Green Business Program. J was applauded for its environmental efforts at an official ceremony with the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and one month later, PG&E certified that the winery made its energy use “carbon neutral.”
The San Francisco Bay Area Green Business Program is a partnership of government agencies and utilities created to help local businesses meet higher environ¬mental standards and comply with environmental regulations.
Sonoma County just got a little greener. J Vineyards & Winery, specialists in Russian River Valley sparkling and varietal wines, has achieved certified sustainable status through the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance (CSWA). The sustainable certification covers all vineyard and winery operations.
Melissa Stackhouse—Vice President/Winemaking
Agriculture has played an important role in the life of Melissa Stackhouse. Growing up in a Michigan farming community, and having grandparents who were farmers in rural Minnesota, she became keenly aware of their dedication to the land at an early age.
“Their hard work resulted in many wonderful meals, cooked with the fresh ingredients straight from the farm,” says Stackhouse. “I developed an appreciation for fresh food from the garden, and it ultimately led to agriculture as a career choice.”
In her role at J Vineyards & Winery, Melissa builds upon existing programs built around the ten Estate-owned vineyards. She also works to develop long-term relation¬ships with key growers in the Russian River Valley.
“Each one of our vineyards has a unique personality,” she says. “We are going to dig deep into the soil to better understand and encourage the right expression of flavor for each estate vineyard. It is important to distinguish and separate these flavor profiles, whether it becomes a J varietal wine, or a J sparkling wine.”
Scott Anderson—Assistant Winemaker
Few people know that J Vineyards & Winery Assistant Winemaker Scott Anderson is not just a serious baseball fan, but a former shortstop in the Colorado Rockies minor league farm system.
Following his four years on the Cal Poly (California State University-San Luis Obispo) collegiate baseball team, Scott pursued his quest to become a professional ball player with a stint in the minor leagues. His baseball career, however, ended in 2004.
It was while working with his father appraising Central Coast vineyard properties that a light went off. Armed with a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly, he responded to a J Vineyards & Winery job opening. Scott quickly rose through the winery, first as a Lab Assistant, then Lab Technician, then Enologist and Lab Supervisor, and ultimately Assistant Winemaker for both sparkling and varietal wines.
A resident of Healdsburg, Scott has developed a wide range of winemaking skills that include a mastery of open-top Pinot Noir fermentation, tank management during the harvest crush, Chardonnay blending, cork quality control, and a deep understanding of méthode champenoise sparkling wine production.
With seven years of experience in the Russian River Valley at J under his belt, Scott Anderson has developed a strong appreciation for small-lot wine production techniques and has become a valuable asset for Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse and the entire J Winemaking Team.
Viticulturist John Erbe has been cultivating fine wines from the ground up for more than twenty years. At J Vineyards & Winery, John manages all viticultural practices and pays careful attention to each row, vine and grape cluster. John’s attention to detail is unmatched in the industry.
Not only does he make key decisions about clones, rootstocks, and trellising in our vineyards, he has also built strong relationships with other Russian River Valley growers, facilitating the mutual exchange of information.
John’s background includes serving in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and teaching English in Argentina. He holds a degree in Agronomy from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and has worked in vineyard management for St. Supery, Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, Barnwood Vineyards, and Guenoc Winery.
Soil and Geology
At J Vineyards & Winery, the journey of wine excellence and appreciation of our terroir has only just begun. In geologic terms, we are still in the embryonic stage. The diverse soils found in our 254 acres of Russian River Valley estate vineyards have been forming for millions of years and have revealed themselves to us as a major asset in our winemaking.
The Russian River Valley became a recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983. In 2005, the AVA was expanded by the government from 30,200 acres to 126,600 acres, of which 15,000 acres are planted to premium wine grapes. Presently the Russian River Valley AVA covers approximately 150 square miles within Sonoma County’s borders, and is home to 150 wineries.
The Russian River Valley is shaped by two important factors—weather and geology. A deep Pacific Ocean marine layer in the form of fog typically moves into the region during the summer growing season, providing optimum temperatures for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This natural air-conditioning allows the grapes to develop to full maturity, retaining much of the natural acidity.
The second most important factor in shaping the wines of the Russian River Valley is the region’s wide variety of alluvial soils. The gravel, loam and sandy soils found along the river valley have been transported to the area and deposited along the river’s path in several ways. Much of this soil is made up of alluvial materials
or weathered sandstone.
Over the last million years, the collisions between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates have caused great uplift in the region’s ancient bedrock. Over the millennia, this bedrock has been eroded and washed by receding oceans and river flooding. The ebbing and flowing of massive glaciers played a role in grinding and pushing rock and soil from other areas into this region. Since the planet first formed, there have been at least five major glacial periods where ice covered significant portions of the Northern Hemisphere.
With the volcanic activity and general instability in the Earth’s surface on what is now known as the Mayacamas Mountains, a thick layer of volcanic ash and lava moved into nearby shallow seas. Evidence of pyroclastic flows can be found on Sonoma Mountain and Mount Saint Helena. This volcanic rock combined with other material brought here either through flooding, the air, glaciers, or receding seas are found throughout the Russian River Valley. Some of these rocks and soils have been washed and re-washed over millions of years into a gritty, loamy sandstone, known as Goldridge soil. Goldridge, a relatively “old” soil in geologic terms, is most prized by vintners within the Russian River Valley AVA for its fine loam character and moderate drainage.
When you combine all the other sand/clay/loam soils found in the region, such as Zamora, Arbuckle, Yolo, Haire, and Cortina, there are more variations in soil types in the Russian River Valley than in all of France. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why, in addition to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, so many grape varieties grow exceedingly well in the region.
Though it is generally agreed in scientific terms that a soil cannot impart flavors to a wine, a soil clearly enhances the character of a grapevine and the fruit that grows on that vine. When all the elements of winegrowing come together—choosing the right grape variety and clonal selection, matching the soil type, and ensuring there is proper moisture content and position to sunlight—a certain magic occurs. In France, winery vignerons have one word to describe this interaction with the environment—terroir.
We like to think of it as “starting a proper cellar”.
Here are a few other great scores this wonderful 2008 RRV Chardonnay received:
91 Points & Very Highly Recommended by Nicholas A. Ponomareff of California Grapevine
Four Stars from QRW
86 Points by James Laube of Wine Spectator
Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Ultimate Lobster Bake: Wine – 2008 RRV Chardonnay by the Robb Report
Narsai David Wine Review: The 2008 J Vineyards Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley is delicious even before you taste it. “The aromas have such a perfect balance between the fruit and oak. The oak is just the subtlest touch. On the palate, that finesse continues. Mouthwatering balance of citrus and lots of fruit with just the right amount of acid. Here’s a really enjoyable, balanced wine.”
Ken’s Wine Guide: Very Good+ (91): This light yellow colored Chard is impressive again. It opens with a light vanilla oak bouquet. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, well balanced, and a little acidity. The flavor profile is a very tasty oak integrated apple with generous notes of butterscotch. The finish is dry and quite pleasant. This wine would pair perfectly with chicken ravioli smothered with a brown wild mushroom cream sauce. Enjoy – Ken
The flavor profile is a very tasty oak integrated apple with generous notes of butterscotch.
Thanks Andrew, I can tell you are a J Chardonnay fan, your description profile of this wine are right on!
I agree, a very accurate tasting note. Cool.