What We Say 2008 'La Masia' Chardonnay
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Marimar Estate is a delicious rich and flavorful Chardonnay that hails from the Russian River Valley region that could easily pass for a white Burgundy in its aromas, flavors, palate and subtle complexity. A real winner!
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Mission Codename: The House That Built Chardonnay
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Return to Marimar Estate and secure their delicious ‘La Masia’ Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Marimar Estate
Wine Subject: 2008 ‘La Masia’ Don Miguel Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Winemaker: Marimar Torres
Backgrounder: Chardonnay is arguably the greatest of all white grape varietals, showing its influence in the legendary sparkling wines of Champagne, the great whites of Burgundy and of course its expression as ‘the’ white wine of California. Chardonnay represents over 50% of the planted white grapes in California with nearly 100,000 acres planted. With such a great number of wines made from this grape, it stands to reason that finding wines of great quality would be hard, but look no further. In this wine, we have found perhaps the ideal expression of the California Chardonnay.
The Russian River Valley AVA was officially designated in 1983, but many of the wines in the region used the designation as early as the 1970s (early in California’s wine history) with the many of the vines having been first planted in the early 1900s. The Green Valley sub-appellation, where today’s wine is carefully grown, is ideally suited to Chardonnay.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Brilliantly clear light golden-yellow that pales slightly as it reaches the edge of the glass. When swirled, this wine settles in the glass quickly and leaves slow chubby legs that hand on the side of the glass.
Smell – Layers of sweet and tart citrus including Meyers lemons, Key lime blend with citrus flower notes and a touch of spice and mineral scents. A touch of toasted oak also emerges.
Feel – Smooth and supple on the entry, this fuller-bodied white is expansive and creamy on the palate with its balanced crisp acidity and mineral texture making its presence known at mid-palate and lingering as the flavors glide over the palate.
Taste – Well balanced notes of the lime and lemon found on the nose along with a crisp mineral flavors that balance the creamy and fuller bodied of this wine. A touch of toasted oak, dried nuts, citrus flowers, and some hot and exotic spice adds complexity.
Finish – Extremely long with the tart citrus lingering over a base of spice and minerality that is both tasted and felt. The other complex flavors found on the palate also lingers and fades.
Conclusion – The 2008 Marimar Estate ‘La Masia’ Don Miguel Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay is a lovely Chardonnay that is both full and balanced. Great aromas on the nose, an approachable palate that is both crisp and clean but with enough body to stand up. Classic flavors of citrus, flowers and toasted oak and nuts makes this wine reminiscent of a classic white Burgundy. Simply a delicious Chardonnay.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Marimar Estate can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
92 Points – Wine Enthusiast – Marked by high acidity and stony minerals, this is an austerely elegant Chardonnay. Its natural lime and Meyer lemon flavors have been enriched with sweet oak. Shows the pedigreed finesse of its chilly climate estate origin. Drink now. S.H. (5/1/2011)
About This Wine:
Beautiful golden color and fragrant floral and citrus aromas, with a reminiscent of wet pebbles. A note of hazelnut from the elegant oak carries through on the palate. Bright and crisp, with a creamy and soft mouthfeel, nicely framed by some toasty oak – not too much, just the right level. Excellent balance throughout the long aftertaste.
The Organic Don Miguel Vineyard: Named after the late patriarch of the Torres family, this organic vineyard is located in the Green Valley — the coolest, foggiest region of the Russian River, only ten miles from the Paciﬁ c. The European-style high density of over 2,000 vines per acre provides low yields and requires intensive labor; but the vines live longer and the grapes acquire greater concentration and ﬁ nesse, more elegant aromas, and be er balance than with the traditional low density. Planted in the European-style high density of over 2,000 vines/acre, the yields are low and labor is intensive; but the vines live longer and the grapes acquire greater concentration and finesse, more elegant aromas, and better balance.
The Vinification: The grapes were harvested September 9-20, then gently whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented in premium French oak. The barrels were 45% new oak from the forest of Allier, coopered by Rousseau, Damy, and Dargaud & Jaegle. After undergoing 100% malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged on its lees for nine months and bottled in June 2009.
The Clones: The vineyard’s 30 acres of Chardonnay are planted with three different clones. The blend of clones in the 2008 vintage is 57% See, 34% Rued and 9% Spring Mountain.
About The Winery:
Nestled in the rolling hills of western Sonoma County, the Russian River/Green Valley appellation is a perfect microclimate for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Only 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 50 miles north of San Francisco, the site is influenced by the sea’s cooling breezes and drifting fog. That is why Marimar Torres selected this privileged location to “export” the Torres family legacy of fine wines to California.
Marimar Torres has been involved in the wine business all her life. Born in 1945 in Barcelona, Spain, she is fluent in six languages and holds a degree in Business and Economics from the University of Barcelona. She is also a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program, and studied Enology and Viticulture for a year at the University of California in Davis.
At Marimar Estate, she directs the activities at the winery and its two vineyards: Don Miguel, named for her late father, in Sonoma County’s Russian River/Green Valley; and Doña Margarita, after her mother, in the Sonoma Coast Appellation.