Raeburn Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2018

You May Also Enjoy:

Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2016
Billaud-Simon Chablis 2017
Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatseteli 2019
Tasting Notes


Raeburn is an Olde English term meaning, “the river where one goes to drink.” It is a fitting name for the winery that produces this chardonnay, which comes from the heart of the Russian River Valley where some of the world’s finest chardonnay grapes are grown. The Russian River Valley enjoys a cool climate thanks to the daily evening fog that flows from the Pacific Ocean in the west up the Russian River channel and east through the Petaluma Gap, producing diurnal temperature swings ranging from 35° to 40° F. This “natural air conditioning” allows the chardonnay grapes to ripen slowly while retaining bright, natural acidity.

The 2018 vintage was strong for the Russian River Valley.  Moderate temperatures yielded a long and even growing season and a consequently relaxing harvest. A cool spring led to a long bloom, after which came a moderately hot summer. Rain in early October gave way to a dry spell, which allowed the grapes to mature a few additional weeks longer and subsequently led to a later-than-normal harvest. Wines from this vintage show depth, balanced flavors, and outstanding color.

The grapes for Raeburn Chardonnay are hand-picked at dawn from several Russian River Valley vineyards to maintain ideal brix (a measurement of the must levels – i.e. sugar – in wine grapes, which ultimately determines how much alcohol a wine will have) of 24° to 24.5°. Once at the winery, the fruit undergoes whole cluster press, followed by gentle racking into French and Hungarian oak barrels for fermentation. A quarter of the juice is held aside to ferment and age in stainless steel; the two lots are blended at the time of bottling.


Aromas include lightly toasted oak, apple, and pear. The palate is layered, with fabulous flavors of lightly cooked, spiced green apple, tropical fruits, and peaches/nectarines. Concentrated and ripe, even voluptuous, with browned butter, rounded acidity, and a creamy texture. Medium plus in body and length.


Pair this fuller-bodied chardonnay with rich fish (halibut or grilled salmon), seafood dishes with butter and brown-butter sauces, or crab cakes. It would work well with simple roast chicken or turkey, too. Late summer vegetables such as red peppers, corn, and butternut squash are equally complimentary. Consider also pumpkin ravioli, brunch foods like eggs benedict, creamy soups, pasta dishes with creamy sauces, or aged cheddar cheese.


Food Pairing Suggestions

Cheese, Chicken/Turkey, Cream Sauce Pasta, Fish-full flavored (salmon/tuna), Ham, Lobster & Crab

Grape Varietal:
$19.00 each