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De Loach Heritage Reserve Chardonnay 2013

The Experience

Drink When...
Half time
Listen To...
Match Of The Day by Genesis
Think About...
Cow's horns
Drink With...
Steamed fish

The Oddbins Take

And it's nil-nil at half time here at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke City are playing Biodynamo Moscow. And what's going on here - the Moscow keeper has dug a hole in his penalty area and taken out a cow's horn full of dried poo. Oh my goodness, he's now spreading it all over Biodynamo's half of the pitch, and while we wait for kick-off he's planting vicia to bring rejuvenating nitrogen to the soil.

Well, Brian, after twenty years of football commentary I have never witnessed this kind of behaviour during an international friendly. The keeper's miles away from his goal, but that doesn't matter because Stoke City can't get past his luxurious crop of vines!

And at the full-time whistle it's off to the changing rooms to enjoy a glass of the Stadium's delicious house white wine. It's a Chardonnay, with gorgeous tropical fruit flavours enriched with orange blossom and melon. Now that's what I call a result!

The Vital Statistics

Best Drunk Now & Over the Next 3 Years
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
Alcohol Units

In stock



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The Style

Chardonnay (100%)
Light Full bodied
Dry Sweet

Notable Features

  • Suitable For Vegetarians
  • Organic
  • Additional

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DeLoach Vineyards have been making wine in the Russian River Valley, an AVA in Sonoma County California, for over three decades. The Burgundian Boisset family took over the 17-acre estate in 2003, and pulled up most of its vines with a view to conversion to organic and Biodynamic® farming. The vineyards, all but exhausted after years of conventional farming, were replanted with cover crops to rejuvenate the soil, while DeLoach sought winegrowing partners who shared their vision of sustainable, eco-friendly and Biodynamic® viticulture. Biodynamic® and organic certification was achieved some years ago, following a long and complex but worthwhile process. The estate vineyard is now a rich, fertile and varied ecosystem. The estate's first post-conversion release was the 2010 vintage.

Following the pulling of the vines, the estate was not allowed simply to lie fallow, as might be normal agricultural practice. In the first year, cover crops were planted that would extract moisture from the clay soil, and as soon as the correct moisture balance had been achieved it was dug over to a depth of several feet to bring in oxygen. Rock phosphate and lime were added, together with 100 tons of compost produced using manure from local dairies, and horn manure, prepared by filling cow horns with dried manure and burying them over the winter. The second year of vineyard restoration saw more horn manure being added, a winter cover crop of barley and vetch (which nourishes the soil by producing its own nitrogen) together with indicator plants to help monitor the soil's reconstitution. Vine planting could then take place, in accordance with the biodynamic calendar.

In addition to the estate, DeLoach Vineyards works closely with eleven other vineyards around the Sonoma and Russian River Valley areas.

Winemaker Brian Maloney grew up in Sonoma Valley and gained a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from UC Davis. He has been at DeLoach since 2003, when he served his first vintage there. Consultant David Ramey has worked with a number of highly regarded Californian wineries, and before then had worked in Bordeaux at the legendary Château Petrus.

The greater part of the must for this wine was cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks, approximately 20% of it undergoing malolactic conversion. The small remainder was barrel-fermented to give it a rich texture, and blended with the rest to provide balance. A third of the wine was aged for five months in small French oak barrels. With its pleasing suggestions of melon and orange blossom on the nose, which meet mango and pineapple flavours on the soft, lingering palate this Chardonnay pairs well with steamed fish or crab.