Cartlidge & Browne Chardonnay 2001
Extremely aromatic, this 2001 Chardonnay offers luscious tropical fruit flavors with ripe citrus highlights. The intense fruit is backed by toasty oak and creamy malolactic notes. Well balanced with a smooth, rich texture on the palate, the wine will be delightful as an accompaniment to light pastas, chicken and seafood or by itself as an aperitif.
Legends often begin in the most ordinary surroundings. For Tony Cartlidge and Glen Browne, as with many great entrepreneurs and iconoclasts of the 20th century, the legend began in 1980 in an undistinguished Napa Valley garage. Cartlidge—a dreamer with a love of wine and a fondness for taking the road less traveled—and Browne—a man of great business sense and a small amount to invest—set out to build a wine company from scratch.
As far as they could tell, there was no need (or, more to the point, not enough money) to buy an estate. Only a desire to seek out the best vineyards, harvest the best grapes and make the best wine possible.
Cartlidge scoured the appellations of the North Coast in his 1960 Rambler, from Napa to Sonoma to Mendocino to Lake, to source grapes farmed with care and concern for the land. He brought the harvest back to a simple garage winery to handcraft wines they knew people would enjoy as much as they did. Cartlidge & Browne wines soon began to garner raves from critics and wine lovers alike.
California’s most praised white wine, Chardonnay is also the state’s most planted white grape variety. Diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles.
Chardonnay planted in the cooler, coastal zones takes on bright characteristics like lemon zest, key lime, green apple and wet flint. For this style, look to the chilly Sonoma Coast, Carneros, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Lucia Highlands and Edna Valley.
The inland zones of California’s coast, such as the Russian River, Sonoma, Napa and Livermore Valleys maintain a more Goldilocks-esque climate where both styles go. Early picking retains acidity and creates a leaner style but leaving the grapes to hang creates an approachable Chardonnay, balancing richness and finesse.