Feature

Russian River chardonnays

Time to get that caricature of chardonnay out of your head.

Time to get that caricature of chardonnay out of your head, said Dave McIntyre in The Washington Post. In California’s Russian River Valley, cool nighttime temperatures preserve the grapes’ acidity, so instead of a buttery, oaky, and over-engineered wine, the local chardonnay is light, graceful, and citrusy. My takeaway?—“I need to drink more chardonnay.”

2011 Inman Family Chardonnay ($32). A “lovely” example of the local style, with hints of “lemon curd and peach,” plus enough acidity to give the wine “a long, complex finish.”

2012 Martin Ray Chardonnay ($19). “This citrusy and toasty chard is a crowd-pleaser at a reasonable price.”

2011 Russian River Ranches Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay ($22). A single-vineyard offering from a winemaker focused on making more elegant chardonnays.

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