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Husch Mendocino Chardonnay 2015
This wine is a perfect pairing with roast chicken, creamy Alfredo pasta, king crab, extra sharp cheddar, and seasonal vegetables.
In 1979, Hugo Oswald Jr. bought the 6,000 case Husch Winery from the Husch family. The Oswald family had been growing pears in the Santa Clara Valley, but when the area was expanding they sold the land and headed for the southern tip of Mendocino County in the Ukiah valley. The Oswald family combined the vineyards on their La Ribera Ranch in Talmage with their newly expanding vineyards in the Anderson Valley. This union produced a total growing area of about 200 acres. Today Husch Vineyards is still owned and operated by the Oswald family. Currently three members of the family are involved in the winery: Miles, Ken, and Will. Winemaking is under the direction of Fritz Meier, graduate enologist from Geisenheim University in Germany. Al White, now in charge of all viticulture operations, has been with Husch since 1973.
Through the years Husch has modernized and expanded, but it has never lost its initial rustic charm or reputation for great wines.
A large and diverse appellation within California’s North Coast AVA, Mendocino is home to several smaller sub-regions—most notably the Anderson Valley. This scenic region, with rolling hills covered in redwood forests as well as vineyards, is one of the world’s top producers of certified organically-grown grapes. Due to wide geographical and climatic variation, a vast array of wine styles can be found here.
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.
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.
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.