Full Review

River Road

River Road
2021 Reserve, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

Pair this wine with:
Chicken Shellfish Turkey

Category: Chardonnay

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 13.7% RS: 0.65%
92 Points
Gold Medal
Exceptional
$17
Best Buy

River Road
2021 Reserve, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

Pair this wine with:
Chicken Shellfish Turkey

Category: Chardonnay

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 13.7% RS: 0.65%
Gold color. Aromas and flavors of vanilla buttercream frosting, yellow apple, poached pear, and lemon peel with a supple, lively, dry medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length finish with accents of poached pear, cantaloupe, lemon zest, and pine nut with moderate oak flavor. An oak driven style of Chardonnay but it has the body and acid structure to hold up.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Juicy & Smooth
Aroma Aroma: vanilla buttercream frosting, yellow apple, poached pear, and lemon peel
Taste Flavor: Same as aromas with accents of poached pear, cantaloupe, lemon zest, and pine nut
Sweetness Sweetness: Dry
Enjoy Enjoy: Now-3 years on its own and with food
Recipes Pairing: Turkey, Roasted Chicken, Boiled Lobster
Bottom Line Bottom Line: An oak driven style of Chardonnay but it has the body and acid structure to hold up.

The Producer

River Road Family Vineyards and Winery

The Producer
5220 Ross Rd
Sebastopol, CA 95472
USA
1 707-887-8130

Their Portfolio

87 River Road 2021 Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $14.00.
85 River Road 2021 Sur Lie Aged Reserve Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.1% (USA) $17.00.
90 River Road 2019 Reserve, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 14.3% (USA) $19.00.
92 River Road 2021 Reserve, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 13.7% (USA) $17.00.
89 River Road 2018 Mills Cuvee, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 14.2% (USA) $29.00.
88 River Road 2021 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 14.3% (USA) $19.00.
86 River Road 2020 Double Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.8% (USA) $16.00.
89 River Road 2021 Chardonnay, Sonoma County 13.5% (USA) $17.00.
88 River Road 2020 Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $17.00.
87 River Road 2020 Double Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.8% (USA) $16.00.
92 River Road 2021 Chardonnay, Sonoma County 14.1% (USA) $17.00.
92 River Road 2021 Sur Lie Aged Reserve Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.1% (USA) $16.00.
86 River Road 2021 Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $14.00.
87 River Road 2020 Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $17.00.
87 River Road 2022 Reserve Sur Lie Aged Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.1% (USA) $17.00.
88 River Road 2021 Double Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.8% (USA) $16.00.
86 River Road 2022 Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $14.00.
BR River Road Family Vineyards 2022 Reserve Sur Lie Aged Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.1% (USA) $17.00. - Bronze Medal
85 River Road Family Vineyards 2021 Double Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.8% (USA) $16.00.
85 River Road Family Vineyards 2022 Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $14.00.
BR River Road Family Vineyards 2022 Reserve Sur Lie Aged Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.1% (USA) $17.00. - Bronze Medal
85 River Road Family Vineyards 2021 Double Oaked, Chardonnay, California 14.8% (USA) $16.00.
87 River Road Family Vineyards 2022 Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $14.00.
90 River Road Family Vineyards 2022 Chardonnay, Sonoma County 13.5% (USA) $17.00.
88 River Road Family Vineyards 2021 Pinot Noir, California 14% (USA) $19.00.
90 River Road Family Vineyards 2022 Un-Oaked, Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $14.00.
90 River Road Family Vineyards 2022 Reserve, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 13.7% (USA) $24.00.
87 River Road Family Vineyards 2023 Un-Oaked, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $14.00.

Chardonnay

Wine Glass White.jpg
Serve in a White Wine Glass
Chardonnay is arguably the world’s most famous white variety, thanks to its success in France’s Burgundy region as well as throughout much of California. Chardonnay on its own has rather straightforward, pleasant aromas of apple and pear, but when aged (and sometimes fermented) in small oak barrels, the wines take on extra richness as well as notes of toasted almond, vanilla and yeast.

The most renowned examples of Chardonnay are from small villages and vineyards in Burgundy, such as Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault. These wines are very powerful with ample spicy notes and very good acidity; they age very well, sometimes as long as 20-25 years. Another part of Burgundy, Chablis, is home to more restrained style of Chardonnay. Certain areas of California, especially Russian River Valley in Sonoma and Santa Barbara County are also home to many distinguished examples of Chardonnay, with those from the latter region often displaying tropical fruit flavors.

Given that most Chardonnnays are aged in small oak barrels, there has been a movement as of late to give consumers a mored delicate style of Chardonnay, without all the spicy and toasty flavors. Thus there are now many producers that produce non-oak aged Chardonnays; this has been seen from many producers from Australia as well as a few in California as well.

Chardonnay, especially oak-aged versions, are quite rich and need seafood of equal richness at the dinner table. Thus lobster, halibut and swordfish are ideal food pairings.