The local record for precipitation was set during the winter and spring of 2016-2017 as waves of showers swept over northern California, eventually ending with 60+ inches of rain for the season. This caused flowering and set to be irregular, and consequently the yield dropped to 3.9 tons per acre at harvest.
Over the summer, warm sunny days in the Russian River were punctuated by scattered heat events, and elevated nighttime temperatures leading up to harvest.
French oak barrel fermentation, 100% malolactic fermentation, and sur-lie aging with monthly bâtonnage, this Clone 809 Chardonnay from the River West vineyard is showy with aromatic tropical notes and a supple mouthfeel. Clone 809 has always been one of the favorites, and so for years has been a centerpiece of the River West Chardonnay. It provides bright tropical and floral tones with high acidity. This wine aged for 10 months in French oak barrels, about 17% new, to round out acidity making the mouthfeel creamier and adding a touch of baking spice notes.
Davis Bynum is distinguished as the first winery to produce a single vineyard Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The vintage was 1973 and the grapes were from Joe Rochiolis now prized vineyard. Today, our heritage of winemaking lives on through hand-crafted single vineyard wines grown exclusively in Russian River Valley.
The River West Vineyard is located on Westside Road, on a low riverside bench, in the far northern end of the Russian River Valley. The soil is predominantly Yolo sandy silt loam with a pocket of gravelly Cortina soil in one block. It has been said that Chardonnay shows the hand of the winemaker more than other varietals. Our winemaker, Greg Morthole, believes there is some truth in that, but also believes the best vineyard sites yield fruit that distinctively express the characteristics of their location in the finished wine. Greg's delicate signature is embedded in each vintage as favored blocks and clones from River West are blended to show off the terroir of that site. The result is a delicious Chardonnay that shows characteristics of its origins derived from careful and deliberate winemaking choices to highlight our best lots.