Fritz Underground Winery
2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
California: Russian River Valley (Sonoma)
What we say
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Mission Codename: The 70-30
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: In time for Summertime enjoyment, return to Fritz Underground Winery and procure the newest vintage of their delicious Russian River Valley Chardonnay.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Fritz Underground Winery
Wine Subject: 2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Winemaker: Brad Longton
Backgrounder: We first discovered the Fritz Underground Winery in 2008. Back then, we were lucky to get our hands on an a small allotment of their spectacular wines. We now enjoy a special relationship with Fritz, who allows us special access to limited quantities of their wines.
The Russian River Valley, in Sonoma County, produces Chardonnay (as well as Pinot Noir and Old Vine Zinfandel) of remarkable distinction. The cooler maritime conditions of the region make the RRV ideal for growing Burgundian varietals. This AVA was officially designated in 1983, but many of the wines in the region used the designation as early as the 1970s (early in California’s wine history) with the many of the vines having been first planted in the early 1900s.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pale golden yellow with perfect clarity and perfectly even coloration, from core to the very edge. When swirled, tight clusters of thin, fast-moving tears form quickly and then move slowly to the wine below.
Smell – Medium to bold in intensity with aromatic white peach, mixed citrus, green apple and white flowers in the lead. After some swirling, the wine warms just slightly, revealing almond, white minerals, yeasty pastry crust and sauteed pear.
Feel – Smooth and very soft on entry, the wine glides quickly across the front-palate. When it lands at the mid, it takes on a more plush, gently gripply feel. Integrated tanins and a lively acidity combine to frame the bright fruit flavors.
Taste – Bright and very flavorful, this wine bursts with white pear, mixed citrus, green apple, white peach, soft white spice and chalky minerals. Once the wine warms, slightly, it reveals hints of almond, braised pear, and pastry dough.
Finish – Clean, lively, crisp and refreshing, this wine delivers plenty of long-lasting fruit. As the fruit flavors fade, soft white spice, white minerals and a hint of almond skin (yes, almond skin) persist for even longer.
Conclusion – Today’s 2010 Fritz Russian River Valley Chardonnay is a delicious wine that is bursting with flavor. Tender on the palate, with delicious fruits that lead to a long, intriguing finish, this wine is sheer joy to drink. We enjoyed our perfectly-chilled review bottles on a hot pre-summer afternoon. Each sip hit the spot and each sip became better than the last. We found that this wine really comes alive as it warms just slightly in the glass, revealing flavors and aromas that were not present on opening. Enjoy this very highty recommended Chardonnay with a roasted chicken – or all on its own.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Fritz Underground Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
About This Wine:
Our 2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay contains an tantalizing array of aromas and flavors. Pale golden in color it entices with aromas of baked pear, cinnamon, apple, and intriguing notes of amaretto. This medium Bodied Chardonnay silky on the palate with bright acidity. Flavors melon and pear greet the palate followed by subtle hints of almond and dried apricot. These flavors carry through to the satisfying finish. – Winemaker Brad Longton
Production Notes: The grapes for our 2010 RRV Chardonnay were whole cluster pressed to bring out the inherent varietal characteristics of the fruit. The juice then underwent native barrel fermentation in 90% new French Oak. 30% of this chardonnay underwent Malolactic fermentation to encourage a subtle creaminess.
About The Winery:
Pretend that you are far away in the Northern California wine country tucked away in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. High upon a hill nestled into the side of a hill is our subterranean winery. Jay and Barbara Fritz purchased this pristine property in 1970. After spending get away weekends from San Francisco at this rich Sonoma property for many years, the Fritz family decided to build a winery in 1979.
Today our credo is to approach winemaking as an art form. Art, in its truest sense, inspires a shift in consciousness. Our mission is to create wines of genuine artistry, capable of transforming the way we think about the potential of Sonoma County’s premier appellations.
The new generation of Fritz wines began with a commitment to unequivocal quality. Since 1996, changes at Fritz Winery have been swift and dramatic: Volume has been slashed by two-thirds to only 12,000 cases per vintage. New winemaking equipment is both esoteric and state-of-the-art. An underground cave ages all red wines. The vast majority of wines are vinified on native yeast. All white wines are currently single-vineyard designates, with red wines now in barrel soon to follow suit.
The result? Cognoscenti now rank Fritz wines among California’s top tier producers. Our limited edition wines now command a following among serious collectors. One hundred per cent of Fritz wines are sold on allocation. And the best is yet to come.
Keep in mind that our vineyards are our greatest asset. Like the most celebrated wines of France, our limited edition single-vineyard wines showcase the singular expression of each superb viticultural site.
From the perfect microclimate of the Dry Creek Valley, we produce Sauvignon Blanc, Old Vine Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Since we have the best of both worlds, we also have property in the very cool growing region of the Russian River Valley where we produce world class single vineyard Chardonnays.
Appellation: Russian River Valley