Cattleya Wines Alma de Cattleya Chardonnay 2017
These Chardonnay grapes were grown along the rolling hills of Sonoma County vineyards. The cold, foggy mornings slowly ripened the grapes, capturing the essence of this varietal: great texture, intense fruity aromatics, and ample acidity. Late summer vegetables such as red peppers, corn, butternut squash, and pumpkin. Salmon fish cakes and fish pâtés and lightly cooked shellfish such as crab and prawns. Mild poultry and pork dishes with asparagus. Risottos, cream-based vegetable soups, rich sauces and other dishes with a silky texture.
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Coming mostly from the Russian River, with small parts from Sonoma Coast and Carneros, the 2017 Chardonnay was brought up 15% new oak for 15 months. It has classy, rich notes of white flowers, brioche, honeysuckle, and a touch of minerality. Rounded, supple, beautifully textured, and long, it's a smoking value.
In her words: Since my early teenage years, my dream has been to make wine.
At a very young age I was fortunate enough to begin learning how to make wine in France. I trained myself while working with some amazing winemakers who showed me the importance of loving the land, how to respect the farming itself, and to focus on the many details that go into making each drop of wine in each and every bottle.
While studying in Bordeaux and Cognac I learned the required viticulture, enology and microbiology (“wine science”); but most importantly, I was also exposed to the many rituals involved in winemaking–things like pruning, harvesting and bottling–that feel so special and meaningful each season. I told myself that one day a bottle of wine would be infused with the longings of my soul through fruit produced from a specific terroir that spoke to my heart. That place I have found.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.