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Flowers Andreen-Gale Chardonnay 2006

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • CG92
  • W&S91
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Winemaker Notes

Brilliant, pale straw color. Lemon citrus & floral notes followed by subtle mineral & vanilla bean tones. Rich and spreading. Defined CMR minerality. Good acid integration. Long, complex finish. Impressive now and will continue to develop. Drink over the next 3 years.

Critical Acclaim

CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide

Taut and nervy aromas of Pippin apples backed up by sweeter wisps of Gala apple perfumes are filled out handsomely by quiet but intriguing notes of chalk and other minerals as well as a mild but evident dollop of creme brulee oak. If this wine's first notes hint at limits, its succeeding impressions convince that there are both depth aplenty and impeccable balance here. Admittedly, you will need to be a fan of firm, crisp Chardonnays, and, if so, this one comes straight up your alley.

W&S 91
Wine & Spirits

Andreen-Gale is on its way to becoming Flowers' blend of estate vineyards (this vintage is about 80 percent estate; by 2008, it will be all estate). It's all barrel-fermented, with a higher proportion of new barrels than Flowers uses in the Sonoma Coast wine. For now, this wine's aroma and flavor are restrained, giving a clean, gentle impression that's light rather than pushed. There's the warm spice of alcohol in the end, like tasting paprika on fresh pineapple. Decant for grilled sea bass.

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Flowers

Flowers Vineyard & Winery

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Flowers Vineyard & Winery, , California
Flowers
As nursery owners in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Walt and Joan Flowers had long dreamed of combining their love of wine with their passion for agriculture. They knew they wanted to produce their favorite varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; what they didn't know what that their path would eventually lead them across the country to Northern California's rugged Sonoma Coast. In 1989, Walt and Joan purchased 321 acres, including a ridge top, high above the Pacific Ocean on the northern Sonoma Coast. Today, Flowers Winery produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from its two estate properties, Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard and Sea View Ridge Vineyard, as well as select vineyards in the coolest regions of the Sonoma Coast AVA, which are famed to Flowers' specifications by their own crews.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions...

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture...

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

SOU222427_2006 Item# 96963

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