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New Customers Save $30* with code JULYNEW30
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GIFFT by Kathie Lee Gifford Chardonnay 2012
Kathie Lee Gifford
Our 2012 vintage of Gifft Chardonnay exhibits richness, depth and complexity, balanced by a lively acidity and an essential freshness. Featuring the gorgeous tropical fruit flavors that are the hallmark of Monterey Chardonnays, Gifft Chardonnay strikes the ideal balance between rich and refreshing.
Our 2012 Chardonnay is 100% estate grown and hails from the Scheid family's vineyards in Monterey County. The Monterey growing region is a slice of Chardonnay heaven, with evening coastal fogs that often linger until mid-morning the following day. This natural cooling effect causes a unique lengthening of the growing season, something that winemakers call "hang time". Increased hang time leads to more intense flavor development and an enhanced richness of the fruit.
Founded in 1972, Scheid Family Wines is a family-owned company with ten estate vineyards located along a 70-mile spread of the Salinas Valley. Kathie Lee Gifford is the co-host of the fourth hour of NBC's "Today" and a well-known wine lover. Introduced through a mutual acquaintance, Kathie and the Scheid's hit it off and decided to form a partnership to craft GIFFT wines. Kathie Lee's goal – to offer ultra-premium wines at an affordable price – was perfectly suited to the Monterey growing region and Scheid's strengths. The GIFFT team decided to launch the brand with a 2012 Chardonnay, a varietal that is practically synonymous with the Monterey appellation, and a 2011 Red Blend that uses an intriguing assortment of red varietals from Scheid's southern Monterey County vineyards.
The GIFFT name derives from Kathie Lee Gifford's last name and her belief that friendship, love and laughter are gifts to be cherished. The classically-styled package depicts Kathie Lee's favorite place to enjoy wine with friends – her garden gazebo at her home – and features a consumer-friendly screwcap closure.
A geographic and climatic anomaly among wine regions, Monterey is a part of the expansive Central Coast AVA and contains five smaller sub-appellations, including the popular Santa Lucia Highlands. Rainfall is extremely low, necessitating the use of irrigation from the Salinas River for successful grape-growing, while harsh Pacific winds and coastal fogs drastically cool and dampen the region in the north.
In the cooler districts of Monterey, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling produce wines with a crowd-pleasing combination of ripe, juicy fruit and crisp acidity. Warmer subzones are home to fleshy, fruit-forward Bordeaux Blends comprised primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.