Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine that originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France. It is one of the most widely-planted grape varieties, with over 400,000 acres worldwide. Chardonnay is typically grown in cooler wine growing regions that are affected by morning fog and wind.
In California, Chardonnay is grown in Los Carneros, Russian River Valley, Central Coast, Napa Valley, Coombsville, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Coast, Adelaide, The Antelope Valley, and the River Junction. Worldwide, Chardonnay is grown in France, notably Chablis and Burgundy, South Africa, South America, Australia, and Italy.
Chardonnay has a light natural flavor resembling stone fruit and lime with low to heavy minerals, depending on where it is grown. In cool climates, Chardonnay tends to have flavors of green apple and pear. In more moderate climates, the flavors of citrus, peach, and melon become more prominant. In warmer locations, notes of fig, tropical fruit, banana and mango are common.
When placed in oak barrels, the wine will undergo malolactic fermentation, and will have softer more balanced acidity transitioning the fruit flavors to more oak and hazelnut and creating a buttery mouthfeel.
Light and crisp with good acidity, Chardonnay should be paired with roast vegetables, roast chicken, and other white meats such as turkey. Heavily oak influenced Chardonnays, tend to go better with smokey and spicy foods such as barbecue, Thai, and Indian foods.
Oaked Chardonnay pairs very well with aged gouda and smoked cheddar. Unoaked Chardonnay pairs well with tangy cheeses like goat cheese and Morbier.
Straw colored, with aromas of baked apple, Meyer lemon and buttered pastries. A great balance between bright, ripe apple and pear and toasted wheat. Opulent and round on the palate, yeasty richness is followed up by baked pear, lemon curd and sweet oak. The finish is carried through by honeyed fruits – apple, quince and pears- with a subtle spice of vanilla and clove. Nuanced and luxurious.
The Sonoma Coast is a renowned growing region known for its cool microclimates that contribute to slow grape maturation and optimum ripeness. The well respected and highly sought after Sangiacomo Vineyard produces a rich, palette-driven Chardonnay with great texture and nuance.
The Roberts Road Vineyard, located at the northern end of the Petaluma Gap with cobbled alluvial soil and bench deposits, has proven itself to be the ideal location influenced by morning fog, warm days and strong afternoon winds leaving the grapes plenty of hang time and development of distinct flavors.
Because this wine is made and aged in stainless tanks, the fruit is crisp and clean: initially notes of Green Apple and Pear are predominant when served chilled properly, and give way to Melon notes with a hint of Citrus as the wine warms in the glass. The mouthfeel is especially creamy due to the fact that it has undergone 100% malolactic fermentation, converting harsh malic acids to softer, milky ones.
Grapes from this wine come from two Sonoma vineyards: one from southern Sonoma County in Carneros and the other from the Russian River area. Carneros is the cooler climate, with wind and fog prevalent conditions, meaning longer growing time, higher acidity and leaner fruit, while Russian River fruit tends to be riper and fatter in style. By blending fruit from the two distinctive areas, this wine results in high acidity and clean, crisp fruit leaning toward green apple and citrus, but with a nice, plump mid-palate of pear and melon.
2012 Coruce Chardonnay: This wine from the Antelope Valley is comprised of 95% Chardonnay and 5% Viognier. Whole cluster pressed and settled for 3 days and then racked off its solids. Cold fermented for 35 days in stainless steel tanks and pressed off its lees and aged for 9 months in 3 year old French Oak barrels.
This wine has a combination of flavors and aromas of hazelnut, pear and citrus ending with a lingering toasty green apple finish. Serve chilled.
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Vineyard: Indinoli Vineyard
Bottled: July 2014
Fermentation: 100% Barrel Fermented, mL Complete
Release Date: October 15, 2015
The wine is comprised of 95% Chardonnay, 3% Viognier and 2% Semillion. Whole cluster pressed and settled for 3 days and then racked off the solids. Cold fermented for 26 days in stainless steel tanks and racked off the lees and aged for 12 months in 3 year old French oak barrels.
The wine has a combination of flavors and aromas of hazelnut, pear, green apple and pineapple with a lingering toasty finish. Nice acidity
This is my very first Chardonnay and I made it about as simply as you can. That said, there’s nothing simple about this wine! Pressed directly into barrels, it went through both primary and secondary fermentation on its own. All in all, this was fermenting for 8-9 months non-stop. I just stirred the lees every two weeks and that was about it! It’s a total olfactory wine. The powerful nose contains hints of crisp pineapple, melty banana, green apple, vanilla bean, creme brulee and that classic marine-influenced Santa Maria je ne sais qois that is synonymous with the region. On the palette, the wine pays off the nose perfectly with an added twist of Meyer lemon and peach juice to boot. Full malolactic fermentation added a plushness up front, but there’s great acid on this wine that carries it through and builds to a nice crisp snap on the finish, which just goes on and on and on. Thine lips shalt smack!
With flavors of green apple, pear, and melon, this rich and lightly-oaked Chardonnay is the perfect complement to fish, chicken, and foods with cream-based sauces and becomes increasingly elegant as it warms in the glass.
Grapes for this wine come from two Sonoma vineyards: one from southern Sonoma County in Carneros and the other from the Russian River area. Carneros is the cooler climate, with wind and fog prevalent conditions, meaning longer growing time, higher acidity and leaner fruit, while Russian River fruit tends to be riper and fatter in style. By blending fruit from the two distinctive areas, this wine results in high acidity and clean, crisp fruit leaning toward green apple and citrus, but with a nice, plump mid-palate of pear and melon.
This is my take on a Chablis, made with California fruit. It was fermented in neutral oak barrels to give it the roundness and viscosity you expect in a California Chardonnay, without the toasty, oaky flavors. It was aged on the lees for 17 months, with only occasional stirring. It has not gone through malolactic fermentation, so the crispness is more like a Sauvignon Blanc than a Chardonnay.
In the glass: Deep golden color
Aroma: Honeysuckle, citrus and tropical fruit
In the mouth: Crisp, refreshing entry with citrus flavors and round mouth feel, a little brioche and vanilla highlights the honeysuckle flavors
Finish: Nice long floral and citrus finish, with just a hint of vanilla, oak, and tropical fruit at the end
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