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Forman Napa Valley Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • RP90
14.3% ABV
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • WS88
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14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A small quantity of Chardonnay is also produced at Forman Vineyard. A passion for a more austere Chablis style wine from this noble grape has been my goal for more than 36 years. Since 1980 the Rutherford Star vineyard in the heart of the Rutherford Bench appellation has been the source of the Forman Vineyard Chardonnay. In 1986 this vineyard was purchased and is now co-owned as a partnership. It has continued to produce consistent quality over the last 20 years.

The Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed and exclusively fermented in Burgundy barrels. Left "sur-lees" for 7 months the wine is only racked once during its 9 months of barrel aging. Malolactic fermentation is intentionally inhibited. The wine emphasizes and develops a minerality which, with age, develops into a very racy and elegant food worthy wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The non-malolactic 2008 Chardonnay Estate possesses delicate, crisp, lemon and lime-like fruit intermixed with a hint of honeyed white peaches. Medium-bodied with very good acidity, terrific aromatics, and excellent purity, this cuvee spends plenty of time in barrel, but you would never know that from its purity and absence of woodsy, smoky aromas. It should drink well for several years.
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Forman

Forman

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Forman, Napa Valley, California
Founded in 1983 and located at the base of Howell Mountain, overlooking the town of St. Helena, Forman Vineyard produces 2000 cases each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. All grapes are grown on the three estate vineyards, two on the mountain above and one on the valley floor in the Rutherford Bench appellation.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of 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 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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

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. 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.

STC651308_2008 Item# 107373