The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

Click here for more info

December 2017
« Nov    


I really wasn’t in the mood to blog tonight, but when I opened and tasted the 2007 Dry Creek Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay I just had to sit down and pound out  a few paragraphs!

I must admit that I’m a RRV chardonnay honk, as I much prefer the characteristics that come out of this AVA’s best vineyards over her sometimes more heralded Napa and Carneros bretheren.  However, I’ve had more than my fair share of really bad RRV chards before too.

Anyway, I was immediately taken aback by the balance on the nose.  Fruit, oak, and minerality were readily apparant and in a beautiful balance.  The fruit is more on the apple-pear side of the ledger but is certainly not devoid of subtlety.  RRV fruit can often show a minerality not often found in New World chardonnay–always a pleasant surprise.  The oak is again in balance…not overpowering or showing tannic astringency. 


Oh yeah…did I say L-E-N-G-T-H on the finish?  The best wines finish last.

Wonderfully round, no more than mid-weight, and integrated acidity keep this wine lively and a worthy food partner to grilled salmon, bacon-wrapped shrimp, or other foods of that nature.

Hmm…I thought I was just in for another long night of Olympic figure skating, but now I have something to look forward to–the next glass!

I guarantee this will be one of the best chardonnays I taste all year.

Mark the Cork Head



  1. Posted 02/26/10 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Hey Mark! Wow, thanks for the amazing comments on our RRV Chard. Gotta love that wine. So, here’s a little inside scoop – in 2003 the family hired Bill Knuttel and Lisa Bishop Forbes away from Chalk Hill. Bill and Lisa have made some incredible changes in our Chardonnay program, most notably vineyard sourcing and the use of French oak. They also cut our production from 20,000 cases down to about 8,000 cases. It’s been quite the transformation. I’m in agreement with you – there is a ton of wine in that bottle for $20. You could almost call it a steal.

    Thanks again for the terrific post!


    Bill Smart

  2. Posted 02/26/10 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Hi Bill,

    It is not I who deserve thanks, but your winery team for creating such a beautiful wine. I was captivated for a few hours as I enjoyed the nuances it offered. Yes, at $20 it is absolutely a steal!

  3. Posted 07/05/10 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    Hi there mate! Just adding a quick little comment in your blog guestbook to say good day from Swift Current, which is up here in Canada. I’m just consistently amazed at the level of quality of writing that I can find on the internet by hitting the “I’m Feeling Lucky” option on Google! In any case I will not use up any more of your time, I simply wanted to say howdy and keep up the good work.

One Trackback

  1. […] 2007 Dry Creek Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay – […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *