Killian Wine Shop

2012 Chardonnay

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Our inaugural Chardonnay grown in the famous cool Russian River appellation by veteran winegrower Dennis Hill, and made by the family team of Ed and Jean Killian, is elegant and refined, displaying notes of apple blossom, ripe pear, and star jasmine. Partial barrel ferment added a touch of toast and spice to the finish.

Tasting Notes:

Brilliant light gold in color, the aroma is open and reminiscent of ripe Gravenstein apples with hints of yellow melon and Star Jasmine flowers.   Primary fruit notes are complexed by a background of toasty brown spices and touch of clove from aging with French oak.  There is a seamless transition to a crisp, full mouth feel and flavors that echo the nose, which is supported by a finish that is classically Russian River in its delicate minerality and persistence.

Vineyard Notes:

This wine was made entirely from a single, small (3.5 acre) vineyard owned by longtime winegrower Dennis Hill and positioned along the upper Russian River near the confluence with Dry Creek, home to many of the most sought after Chardonnays of the appellation.   This wine was made from a section of 30 year old vines planted on the sandy Yolo loam typical of the area.

Interestingly, the name of the vineyard was derived from two old growth Redwood trees that for hundreds of years stood as a landmark near the confluence of Dry Creek with the Russian River.  They became known locally as "Adam and Eve".  In the first decade of the 21st century, these two trees were becoming weakened by age and the unusually dry years between 1980 and 2008.  Some folks suggested they had been struck by lightning.  Anticipating their demise, and not wanting to lose that bit of history, the Hill family planted a new pair of Redwoods near their vineyard.

Vintage Notes:

2012 was the third in a row of long, cool vintages that allowed Chardonnay in the Russian River to ripen slowly on into October when Chardonnay in warmer areas like Alexander Valley was harvested in mid September.  This slow ripening is what sets the cool, foggy, Russian River appellation apart, allowing retention of natural acidity while building fully mature flavors of ripe apple and pear.

Russian River Valley
Vineyard Sources:
Adam & Eve Vineyard, Clone 4
Harvest Date:
October 10th, 2012
257 Cases
Residual Sugar:
Total Acidity:
5.8 g/l
Bottling Date:
October 2nd, 2013