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Forman Napa Valley Chardonnay 2010

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • RP93
13.9% ABV
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13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

I'm always more interested in trying a young white wine where the color is a pale yellow green as opposed to dark yellow gold shades. Color is important; it is an indicator of brightness and freshness, the attributes I think one should look for in a white wine. This definitely has the tell-tale healthy shade touch of yellow but mostly shades of green. There is a very pure, clean and fruity component to the nose. Certainly wood is not obvious, yet it is present as a subtle spice to the richer and more prominent fruit components. Ripe Chardonnay exhibited as pear, honeysuckle and even light citrus defines the youthful aromas. Behind lies a richness from sur lee aging, that illusive note which allows barrel-fermented Chardonnay to stand out. Flavors are surprisingly bigger than the nice might indicate. Acidity is high but beautifully balances a rich, almost sweet sappiness. Minerality abounds, as in a good Chablis. This is a wine for food. There should be years of positive development to look forward to.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chardonnay is utterly impeccable and gracious. It boasts incredible finesse and textural balance in a clean, mineral-driven style. Smoke, slate, citrus and mint are some of the notes that flow through to the finish. This pure, unadulterated Chardonnay is simply stunning. It also happens to be very reasonably priced considering the quality. The Chardonnay is fermented in French oak barrels (10%) new, and the malo is blocked. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.
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Forman

Forman

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Forman, 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.
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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.

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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.

STC765433_2010 Item# 121985