From its enticing aromas to its lingering finish, our 2008 Chardonnay brims with delicious fruit expression. Swirl the wine in the glass to fully release the aromas; you'll find them reminiscent of citrus, apple, pear and nectarine, with just a hint of floral and spice. These fruit notes reappear on the palate, enhanced by crisp, balanced acidity and a silky texture. Lightly chill this fruit-forward wine to sip with friends as you relax after work. Or pour it with seafood or cheese appetizers and grilled chicken or fish. We love our Chardonnay's bright, balanced flavors with rich, creamy dishes, like lobster bisque or angel hair pasta tossed with cream and smoked salmon.
We immediately pressed the Chardonnay grapes and added yeast to begin a long, cool fermentation. The fermenting juice developed a wonderful array of aromas and flavors that resemble other fruits—part of wine's magic. Partial oak fermentation added toasty vanilla tones while keeping the wine fruit focused.
BV Century Cellars Winery
Beaulieu Vineyard was named by Fernande de Latour, the wife of BV founder Georges de Latour. Georges purchased the property in 1900 and surprised Fernande by bringing her to the spot that would eventually be the birthplace of one of California's premiere wineries. One look and Fernande was in heaven - she exclaimed "Beaulieu!" which means "beautiful place" in French. That is how BV or Beaulieu Vineyard got its name.
Fernande's famous hospitality and Georges de Latour's entrepreneurial spirit are how the BV winery gained its reputation. Fernande would be sure that if she hosted anyone in her home, she would always greet the guest with a glass of wine at the door. Georges, on the other hand, was out and about town and was quickly becoming a highly respected figure in the California wine industry. In 1902, the opportunity to purchase more property was presented to him by his neighbor and he bought and planted 127 acres, conveniently located right next to his home.
By 1911, Georges was already garnering attention for his work. This is a quote from the St. Helena Star in May 1911, "When it comes to quality, California is greatly indebted to Mr. G. de Latour, of Rutherford, who for some years has imported hundreds of thousands of the choicest French grafted wines, which have been planted in all the important vineyards in the state."
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California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA
, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA
, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA
, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few.
Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.