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Aquinas Chardonnay 2003

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • WE90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

"Packs as much flavor as you can fit in a glass. Ultraripe pineapples and peaches, carmelized oak, toasty meringue, vanilla, the works. Plus, it's cream, smooth and crisp."
-Wine Enthusiast

Light straw color with very rich, vanilla oak aromas with peach and crème brulee tones that linger. The palate is lush with Meyer lemon, light caramel, jasmine and sweet papaya flavors.

A great wine for aperitif pairing with finger-foods like warm goat cheese wrapped in filo dough, wild mushroom tarts or tomato, cucumber and lime juice Ahi tuna poke.

Critical Acclaim

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Aquinas

Aquinas

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Aquinas, Napa Valley, California
Aquinaswines are named for St. Thomas Aquinas, the seminal 13th century Italian priest, theologian and philosopher who dedicated his life to reconciling reason and faith. Just as he challenged the assumptions of his world, we are challenging the assumptions within ours.

Aquinas wines are born from our belief that sophisticated, luxurious wines from pre-eminent appellations should be within the reach of all. We meticulously scour Napa Valley, leveraging generations of deep relationships to find the perfect fruit. Then, we pull upon decades of award-winning winemaking—itself an inherent blend of science and mysticism—to create wines that transcend their temporal origins.

Despite their accessibility, or perhaps because of it, Aquinas wines have been well-received by critics across the country. A string of gold and silver medals has served to further underscore the faith we hold in our founding convictions.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

WWH34F12N2_2003 Item# 82820