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Cuvaison Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Our 2011 Chardonnay explores the mineral driven side of Chardonnay with taut green apple, white peach , lime zest and kiwi fruit. Hints of Ginger and vanilla back the bright jasmine and orange blossom notes but what really drives the wine is the vibrant structure and terrific finish that carry flavors for a long, satisfying ride.

    Critical Acclaim

    Cuvaison

    Cuvaison Winery

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    Cuvaison Winery, , California
    Cuvaison
    Established in 1969, Cuvaison produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown exclusively on its estate vineyard in the heart of the world-renown region of Carneros in Napa Valley. Cooled by fog from the San Pablo Bay, the rolling hills of this certified sustainable estate has produced distinctive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for over 30 years. Dedicated to a philosophy of producing vineyard-driven wines, Cuvaison employs block by block farming methods and a hand-crafted vineyard-to-bottle winemaking approach. The resulting wines are balanced and complex, showcasing the distinctive characteristics of this cool climate estate. Cuvaison is part of Cuvaison Estate Wines, the family-owned Napa Valley vintner which also farms Brandlin Vineyard, a Napa Valley estate on Mt. Veeder.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more 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’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.

    RPT44700409_2011 Item# 123474

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