This wine provides masses of tropical fruit with Asian and Bosc pears, nectarine and jasmine on the nose, deftly balanced with toasty oak. A soft, supple entry leads to a full, unctuously textured palate and a spicy and lingering finish. This wine was fermented with native yeasts and aged sur-lies for eight months in small French oak, of which 33% were new. Mitsuko's Vineyard Chardonnay continues the tradition of Clos Pegase's elegant, complex and fruit driven style.
Clos Pegase Winery
Completed in 1987, Clos Pegase was designed to be a temple to wine on a 47 acre Calistoga vineyard. The winery has a total of 450 acres, mostly located in Carneros. The Clos Pegase label features Pegasus, painted circa 1890 by the French artist Redon. This painting is winery owner Jan Shrem's favorite work of art from his extensive private collection.
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Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
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.