SONOMA VALLEY, CA, August 21, 2009 – Chardonnay is the favorite white wine among consumers for good reason – bold, deeply fruited, complex and dry, its extroverted personality has undeniable appeal. Winemakers typically use various techniques to impart even more richness and complexity to Chardonnay, but Valley of the Moon Winery recently has gone “back to basics” by producing a rare “unadorned” Chardonnay that showcases the grape’s distinctive fruit and nothing else. The just-released 2008 Valley of the Moon Russian River Valley Unoaked Chardonnay offers pure pleasure and versatility that few Chardonnays can match.

While Chardonnay’s intrinsic character provides the framework for using techniques like barrel fermentation, aging on the yeast lees and malolactic fermentation to achieve stylistic goals, it also provides ample grounds for eliminating them. For this Unoaked Chardonnay, Valley of the Moon Winery draws grapes from the very cool Russian River Valley, where they develop vibrant fruit while retaining natural acidity. The very cool climate results in Chardonnay with fresh green apple and kiwi character; Valley of the Moon cold-ferments the juice, keeps the new wine in stainless steel and bottles it within months of the harvest to preserve this character.

The 2008 Valley of the Moon Unoaked Chardonnay brims with vibrant green apple, kiwi, lemon and nectarine aromas. Green apple, lemon and kiwi also dominate the fresh flavors, with a hint of steeliness in the background. Bright and vivacious on the palate, this youthful white stays focused through the long, crisp finish, making it delightful as an aperitif, and delicious paired with seafood, spicy Asian dishes and pasta in cream-based sauces. The 2008 Valley of the Moon Russian River Valley Unoaked Chardonnay is available nationally at a suggested retail of $16. Only 1,500 cases were produced.

Valley of the Moon Winery welcomes visitors daily to its historic cellar in the Sonoma Valley. In addition to Chardonnay, the winery produces Pinot Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, Rosato di Sangiovese and Cuvée de la Luna, a proprietary Bordeaux-inspired blend.

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Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.