Smoking Loon Steelbird Unoaked Chardonnay 2012
Chardonnay from California
The 2012 Smoking Loon "Steelbird" is Chardonnay with a difference. They kicked the oak to the curb aging this wine for five months in 100% stainless steel. The wine opens with a lush floral bouquet of Honeydew melon and fresh pear, followed by notes of Granny Smith apple and ruby red grapefruit. This mediumbodied wine is bright yet creamy on the palate from partial malolactic fermentation with its refreshing flavors of lemon curd and pineapple; it’s sure to become an instant summer favorite. This wine will pair nicely with a wide variety of dishes, from homemade guacamole and chips to a fresh Margherita pizza or even a simple Caesar salad with a squeeze of lemon.
Wine Spectator - "Pure Chardonnay, intense, fresh and vibrant, this is loaded with citrus, green apple and citrus blossom, showing steely flinty notes. Sings and dances from start to finish. Drink now. 52,000 cases made."
Smoking Loon Winery
Don Sebastiani & Sons is a family-owned wine negociant firm specializing in the marketing of upscale, but moderately priced varietal wines. Principals Don Sebastiani and sons, Donny and August are third and fourth generation California vintners and wine merchants. The company is headquartered in Sonoma Valley and has a winery in the Napa Valley.
Smoking Loon has been recognized as a Value Brand of the Year by Wine & Spirits magazine (2005). View all Smoking Loon Wines
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.
About CaliforniaIt'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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.