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StoneCap Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    13% ABV
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    13% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Tropical notes in the nose express some melon, star fruit and citrus notes like lemon zest come to mind. On the palate the wine has great balance. You can pick up mild passion fruit and minerality up front then moving toward a dryer finish where the citrus fruit shines through again.

    Pairs nicely with fish and baked chicken; the acidity can also hold up to a nice spicy dish, maybe some spicy Thai soup.

    Critical Acclaim

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    StoneCap

    StoneCap

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    StoneCap, Columbia Valley, Washington
    2011 Chardonnay
    StoneCap wines are handcrafted entirely from estate grown grapes from the renowned Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard in Washington's Columbia Valley. This expansive and highly regarded vineyard allows the Monson Family to produce stunning quality wines that are sensibly priced.

    The Monson family has been farming the Columbia Valley for over four decades and developed Goose Ridge Vineyard in 1999 under the guidance of Dr. Walter Clore, the "father" of the Washington wine industry. The Monsons, along with veteran winemaker Kendall Mix, are dedicated to limited production, handcrafted wine and meticulous vineyard practices.

    Columbia Valley

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    A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

    Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    LIM560101750_2011 Item# 123063

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