2016 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Chardonnay •Mill Station & Catie's Corner
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
Do you love your Kistler, Rombauer, etc. etc. but hate paying $40-80+ a pop? Can’t justify popping those on a Tuesday night?
Have your taste buds ever felt personally victimized by cheap Chardonnay?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we have THE CURE. The TRUTH. The ultimate QPR Chard.
The answer to all the cheap, soulless, formulaic stuff on the middle shelf. A suave underdog for your Premier Cru trained palate.
Yes, you too can score this downright sexy and immensely enjoyable DRNK Chardonnay for the low low price of $15 (good luck finding an enjoyable $15 by the glass Chardonnay out there) It’s rich and flashy, ripe and opulent on one side, and zippy/brisk on the other. A perfect balance of styles, really. Boasting 91 points, at a monstrous 61% off… an insane value, the likes of which we rarely see.
You know by now, our Sonoma connections run DEEP. DRNK is a small family-run operation started by winemaker Ryan Kunde with his wife Katie and her parents. Together their initials spell DRNK - hence the name. Ryan is a diehard RRV guy as you can tell with that last name, a descendent of THE Kunde Family with roots back to 1904. He tends to each block in his vineyards with insane detail - who else uses drones to key in on certain blocks to look for potential canopy problems or variability??
This wine was sourced from two vineyards - Mill Station and Catie’s Corner. The complexity comes in part from aging sur-lie in a mix of new and used French oak, along with a portion in stainless steel barrels. It underwent partial malolactic fermentation, which lends a nice weight and texture, without coming across as cloying. On one side it’s dripping with ripe tropical fruit - pineapple and mango, lemon curd, and lemon tart. But it also shows a fascinating mineral salinity and zippy acidity that SOAR from the glass and awakens the palate like the splash of icy cold water on a hot day.
Maybe you scored some of their Pinot we offered a few weeks ago. I personally have been enjoying 1-2 bottles/week since then. And this stuff flashes the same incredible value.
It’s just SO damn good for the price.
If you like Chard, you must stock up for your upcoming summer sipping rotation. If you think you don’t like Chard, you should probably try it, because it’ll flip you into a believer.
91 Points – James Suckling
“Attractive, ripe peach and melon aromas with a fresh and juicy, tropical-flavored palate. This has a smooth, focused and fresh finish. Drink now.”
Brilliant pale gold with accents of amber in the core and a bright lemon rim
Dripping with ripe tropical fruit - pineapple and mango, lemon curd, and lemon tart
A fascinating mineral salinity and zippy acidity that SOAR from the glass and awakens the palate
Unbelievably persistent for its modest price, right up there with much, much pricier RRV Chards
Grilled prawns or crisped chicken thighs served over linguine with a Meyer lemon saffron sauce
What the Winery Says
- Ryan Knude
- 100% Chardonnay
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
- Mill Station Vineyard (60%), Catie’s Corner Vineyard (40%)
- 17 (Dijon & Wente hybrid)
- 11 months
- 27% new, 48% neutral French oak