Dom. St. George Chardonnay 1999
Chardonnay from California
Chardonnay, Americas most popular white wine grape, produces wines of elegance and finesse. The classic Chardonnay flavor association is applelike, but oak ageing often changes the tastes toward peach or pineapple, always with attractive richness on the palate. "Balanced ageing in stainless steel and small oak barrels creates a supple, full-flavored Chardonnay. Straw-gold color; subtle citrus and oak aromas and a long, crisp finish. Excellent as a wine by the glass and with pasta, mild ripe cheeses and shellfish."
Appellation: California Alcohol: 13.2% Residual Sugar: .70 pH: 3.25 Total Acid: .62gm/100ml
Domaine St. George Winery
The Domaine Saint George vineyards date back to 1928, when Giovanni Cambiaso found an ideal tract of land in Sonoma County above the Russian River and planted a vineyard. Since then the soils and microclimates of Sonoma County have been discovered to offer ideal growing conditions for premium wine grapesThe Cambiaso Winery, founded in 1934, was renamed the Domaine Saint George Winery in 1986 following the introduction and extraordinary popularity of that brand. The vineyards were replanted in 1995 to select clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In outstanding vintages, an estate-bottled Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from the "home" vineyard, a wine that typically sells out upon release. The 1994 vintage of this STG Russian River Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was named "The Best Red Wine of the Year" by the noted syndicated wine writer Jerry D. Mead. The vineyards at Domaine Saint George have a history which parallels that of Sonoma County as a source of world-class varietal wines.
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About Other California
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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
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.