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Bouchaine Estate Chardonnay 2008
This wine comes from vines dating to Bouchaine's original plantings in 1981, growing on our windswept Napa Valley Carneros hillsides. It's a true expression of Chardonnay—bright, citrusy flavors graced with only the merest hint of oak. Shows classic Carneros lime and grapefruit styling. A hint of vanilla graces the mid-palate. Its fruit flavors, bright acidity, notable texture (a hallmark characteristic of Carneros Chardonnay), and relentless finish harmonize in an elegant, stylish wine. Straw gold in color, it dances in the glass like sunlight.
Bouchaine Vineyards is established in the site of the oldest continually operated winery in Carneros in the southern end of the Napa Valley. Bouchaine is dedicated to the pursuit of enticing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, whose grapes are best suited to the climate and soils of our beautiful 100-acre estate vineyard. Located just north of the San Pablo and San Francisco Bays, the vineyard climate is directly influenced by the fog that rolls in each night, and the shallow, clay loam soils are perfectly suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.
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.
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.
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.