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2009 C. Donatiello Chardonnay Orsi Vineyard Russian River Valley
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92 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - May/June 2011

Vivid gold.  Much more extroverted than the straight RRV bottling, displaying candied pineapple, nectarine and tangerine on the nose.  Lush, palate-coating tropical fruit flavors show a seriously exotic character but pick up a firming citrus pith element in the mid-palate, along with a note of smoky lees.  The smoky quality builds on the finish, which is broad, spicy and very long.  Donatiello told me that these vines were planted in 1968.

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About California

It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...

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The best Chardonnays in the world continue to arrive from the region where the grape first emerged: the chalk, clay, and limestone vineyards of Burgundy and Chablis. While the origins of the grape were disputed for many years, with some speculating that the grape came all the way from the Middle East, DNA researchers at the University of California-Davis proved in 1999 that Chardonnay actually developed...
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