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Domaine Anderson Estate Chardonnay 2014
The Anderson Valley's unique climate yields wines of notable acidity and are benefitted by a complete malolactic fermentation. To strike the fine balance between fruit freshness and complexity, the wines are aged in barrel for nine months prior to bottling.
Domaine Anderson is located near the small, pioneering wine growing community of Philo. The cooling marine layer and varied terroir that is characteristic of this Northern California coastal region provides perfect conditions for the cultivation of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.
It was the region's ideal grape growing conditions that led Jean Claude Rouzaud, Chairman of Louis Roederer, to this remote corner of Mendocino County in the early 1980's. In search of the perfect vineyard sites in which to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, Rouzaud knew the remote Valley's sloping hillsides and cooler climate would provide optimal conditions for the fulfillment of his vision – to produce world-class wines of the highest standards of distinction.
Since those early days of discovery, the Rouzaud family has acquired land ranging from the cooler coastal region to the warmer inland valley, optimal vineyard sites for the cultivation of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. The family’s commitment to land stewardship and sustainable practices extends to each vineyard and supports their vision of ensuring the health of the land for generations to come.
In 2011, the Rouzaud family acquired the Dach family property, a beautiful, small ranch in the heart of the Anderson Valley. Over time, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes were planted and the Domaine Anderson winery, designed specifically for small lot production of site-specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, was built. Today, 50 acres of vineyard land located throughout the Anderson Valley, a sampling of the region’s finest terroirs, is dedicated to growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Domaine Anderson Estate and Single Vineyard wines. It is the team's vision to express the exceptional character of the Anderson Valley vineyards in each wine for the enjoyment of wine lovers for years to come.
Surrounded by redwood forests and often blanketed in chilly, ocean fog, the Anderson Valley is one of California’s most picturesque appellations. During the growing season, moist, cool, late afternoon air flows in from the Pacific Ocean along the Navarro River and over the valley's golden, oak-studded hills. High and low temperatures can vary as much as 40 or 50 degrees within a single day, allowing for slow and gentle ripening of grapes, which will in turn create elegantly balanced wines.
The Anderson Valley is best known for Pinot Noir made in a range of styles from delicate and floral to powerful and concentrated. Chardonnay also shines here, and both varieties are often utilized for the production of some of California’s best traditional method sparkling wines. The region also draws inspiration from Alsace and produces excellent Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.
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.