2005 J. Lohr Estates Chardonnay Riverstone Arroyo Seco1 Rating
2005 J. Lohr Estates Chardonnay Riverstone Arroyo Seco
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Wine.comThe growing season of 2005 saw a return to more typical Monterey vintage weather - foggy mornings, warm days with temperatures not exceeding 85 degrees, and windswept cool afternoons and evenings. This proved quite a relief to our harvest crew who had been through two consecutive hellish vintages in 2003 and 2004, which finished with heat waves requiring non-stop picking. Heavy winter rains and cool weather in the early spring prompted a March bud break with slow vine growth until late spring. When set appeared in late May, we saw an abundance of baby clusters, but had little idea of the record read more...vintage to come. The anticipated hot spell during harvest never materialized, and instead, ripening came gradually in 2005, which allowed us to pick each vineyard block at its optimum of flavor development and acidity. Harvest began on September 15th and concluded on October 17th. The combination of California Chardonnay clones (numbers 4 and 5) produced final harvest chemistries of 24.4 degrees Brix with 8.3 grams per liter of acid - an ideal balance of ripeness and acidity. The 2005 Riverstone Chardonnay exhibits the best that Monterey has to offer, enticing peach and citrus fruit character, toasty complexity from barrel fermentation, and refreshing acidity. ChardonnayThe 2005 vintage marks the nineteenth year of production of our J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay, from our vineyards in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County. Each year, starting in 1995, we have experimented with and have incorporated higher percentages of traditional Burgundian production techniques into Riverstone, until the desired complexity and end-results were achieved (reaching 60% in 2000). The result is a complex and nuanced Chardonnay with an abundance of Arroyo Seco fruit, with subtle barrel fermentation and malolactic character. The vines are grown primarily on Elder loam soils underlain by riverstones deposited over thousands of years from the Arroyo Seco River, allowing a four-foot rooting zone that keeps the vines' vegetative growth and fruit in balance. Additionally, the cool climate and winds of the Salinas Valley extend the growing season and retain the natural grape acids and intense varietal character of the Chardonnay. (hide)
Appellation AmericaJerry Lohr thinks Chardonnay is the signature grape of the Arroyo Seco AVA, and he grows a lot of it: more than 800 acres. Most of it goes into this moderately priced ($14) wine, although Lohr does produce a single-vineyard bottling of Chardonnay, too. The Riverstone Chardonnay takes its name from the “river stones” or cobblestones that lie beneath the soils of much of Arroyo Seco. These stones help keep the vines’ vegetative growth under control. The weather during harvest in 2005 never got too hot, and the grapes were picked over the course of a month, as each vineyard block was ready. The read more...wine was 100 percent barrel fermented, then spent nine months in a combination of French and American oak of varying ages. About 60 percent of the blend underwent malolactic fermentation. It’s a very pretty Chardonnay, with some floral and jasmine nuances adding complexity to the ripe pear and citrus fruit. There’s some oak evident, but it’s well-integrated. Overall, the Riverstone Chardonnay is crisp and exceptionally well-balanced. Vice president of winemaking Jeff Meier suggests drinking it with richly textured fish or seafood, or with cream-sauced pasta. (hide)
CellarTracker Community Tasting NotesCommunity Tasting Notes (average 85.7 pts. and median of 86 pts. in 20 notes)
Vintage ChartRating for United States-California: 94 (excellent)<br/><br/>Drinkability: young, aging quickly, could be good now<br/>