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Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • WE89
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Winemaker Notes

This wine exhibits classic varietal characteristics with aromas of ripe pineapple, fresh Gala apples, pear and candied lemon. The palate has a weight that belies its unoaked status with a rich entry of fresh citrus fruit that leads into secondary aromas of fig and mineral. Finishing clean and crisp with lingering acidity, the wine is fresh and vivacious, with a dense mid-palate. This vintage proves that with the right grapes and winemaking, Chardonnay does not need oak or malolactic fermentation to shine.

Critical Acclaim

WE 89
Wine Enthusiast

The lime, kiwi, orange and lemon fruit flavors are so delicious, you won't miss the oak accents at all. Its bright, vital acidity makes it shine like polished silver. This is a very good food wine at a reasonable price.
Editors' Choice

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Chamisal Vineyards

Chamisal Vineyards

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Chamisal Vineyards, , California
Chamisal Vineyards
The first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley appellation in 1973, Chamisal nestles five miles inland against the Santa Lucia Mountains, half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, on the rugged California Coast. Part of an original Spanish land grant, this historic 80-acre property- formerly operating under the name of Domaine Alfred- is planted mostly to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with a few acres of Syrah, Grenache, and Pinot Gris. The vines thrive in the dry rocky terrain, as does the fragrant Chamise, a native white-flowered shrub that inspired the name of the property. The Edna Valley appellation, with its unique geography, possesses a near perfect combination of soil type and climate for wine grapes. With the cooling Pacific Ocean nearby, the long temperate growing season extends the amount of time a grape stays on the vine to develop its flavors. This hang time paired with the calcerous, clay-rich soil on the property produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors, often showing a distinctive character that some fondly call "Chamisal Spice."

Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline...

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes...

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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.

RWC462803_2011 Item# 116954

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