93 Points & Gold Medal- 2014 North Coast Wine Challenge

92 Insider Points

REVIEWS

The 2012 Windsor Oaks Chard from their estate in the Russian River Valley is wonderfully balanced, with pear, golden apple and white peach shining through the lemon custard acidity and opulent texture.  The influence of new oak is present but minimal, thus helping express the classic tree fruit and citrus of the grape.  I’m very impressed with the general style, although not quite as pure as Chablis, expect a restraint and elegance that is not common in California.  Enjoy now through 2018. - DZ Jan 2017

WHY WE'RE DRINKING IT
  • VARIETAL
    Chardonnay
  • APPELLATION
    Russian River Valley
  • ALCOHOL
    14.30%
  • SIZE
    750ml
  • PRODUCTION
    250 Cases

$0 SHIPPING Selection (4+/btls)

Back by popular demand! When we previously had this vintage in stock, it didn’t stay around for long. Our Members thought it was the cat’s meow of Russian River Valley Chardonnay. So, when the winery offered us another allocation, we leaped at the opportunity to bring Chard fans everything they are looking for and more.

This 2014 North Coast Wine Challenge winner - Gold Medal and 93 points - is the product of a mere 250 cases, one of Windsor Oak’s smallest releases. You be the judge of the likelihood it will grace our inventory for a third round.

Reasons why we love it
2012 was an exciting year for Windsor Oaks and their Reserve Chardonnay. The year saw the addition of Winemaker Margaret Davenport whose reputation at Clos du Bois and Passalaqua made her the perfect fit at Windsor Oaks. Additionally, if you know anything of the Russian River Valley in 2012, you know the Chardonnay is worth searching out and stocking up on while you still can.

And if you don’t want to take our word for it, Wine Advocate scored Russian River Valley’s 2012 Chardonnay vintage at 94 points while Wine Enthusiast awarded it 93 points, translated to “Outstanding” and “Excellent”, respectively. We encourage you to experience the success of this perfect harvest for yourself, especially since the Windsor Oaks’ Team captured the essence of Chardonnay in such a big, bold style. It just doesn’t get much more appealing than this dry interpretation of the bright varietal.

We have been warned by Wine Enthusiast not to drink this vintage too cold. Our take? A little warmth does promote its rich flavors of oak-enhanced tropical fruit and a surprising mineral finish. But what we really suggest is to drink it how you love it as it’s crafted to be enjoyed!

TASTING NOTES 

Our 2012 Reserve Chardonnay truly reflects its site, a foggy cobblestone vineyard block.  Barrel fermented and  aged for over over 16 months of sur-lie, this wine is lush, fragrant and full flavored, with a lasting, silky finish.  Aromatic honeysuckle and hints of hazelnuts are followed by complex layers of minerals and bright tropical fruits, white peach and notes of sweet vanilla.

THE STORY TO KNOW

The vineyards of Windsor Oaks are located in Sonoma County, in the foothills and benchlands overlooking the Russian River Valley, between the cities of Santa Rosa and Healdsburg. The entire property is in excess of 700 acres, of which approximately 350 acres are dedicated to "Forever Wild Open Space." The remaining 250 acres are planted in blocks of new and old vineyards carrying the dual appellations of Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill, representing two of the most recognized growing regions for outstanding quality wine grapes.

Bob and Renee Stein enjoying Barrel Weekend 2012.

Windsor Oaks has always been a passion. A journey the owners Bob Stein and his wife Renee want to share. For the past 20 years, under the stewardship of Bob and his estate manager Douglas Lumgair, Windsor Oaks has flourished. During the past 7 years, the Estate saw the addition of Julie Lumgair to the team for grape sales and as Winemaker for both artisan and custom crush customers.

With a deeply connected customer following, the objective has been and will continue to be, to explore the full potential of the Estate grapes by producing vineyard block and clone-specific artisan wines, as well as selling them to high-end wineries for their own fine wines.

While holding to so much that has drawn existing and devoted customers to this hidden gem, there is a commitment to exploring additional, wine brands, hospitality facilities and guest experiences in keeping with a renewed Estate Vision. It is the aim of Bob and Renee Stein to bring together talented individuals that understand the Journey of food and wine in a wine country lifestyle venue; a team that will leverage all of the unique elements and essence of this little-known 710-acre Sonoma County Estate; a team that embody the stewardship of that journey for all future visitors to the Estate.

Bob is looking forward to taking a more active role in the management of the Estate, and has already begun the process to expand its capabilities through the staffing. Most notably, Douglas will continue his long-term relationship and management of the estate vineyards and farming, with Julie Lumgair moving to a consulting brand ambassador and winemaker position. A new consulting winemaker has also been brought in, with Margaret Davenport bringing a long history of larger scale winemaking knowledge, as well as an appreciation for high-end winemaking with past experience at Clos Du Bois and Passalaqua wineries.

 

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Drink this with shellfish, creamy risotto or fresh cracked crab--this bottle will win Members plenty of meaningful nods at the table and smiles, too.