FEL Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Made by the Mendocino subsidiary of Napa’s Cliff Lede Vineyards; a tangy nose preceding bright acidity and lively citrus fruit; a crisp, modern, stylish wine with plenty of depth and finesse.
The letters in FEL represent Florence Elsie Lede, Proprietor Cliff Lede’s mother, a home winemaker who provided the early inspiration for Lede’s love of wine.
Growing up in Alberta, Canada, Cliff remembers the tulip as signifying the end of winter, bringing with it a freshness and excitement of warmer days ahead. The FEL label, featuring an illustration of an opening tulip, is a tribute to Florence’s passion for gardening.
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 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.