Joseph Carr Reserve Chardonnay 2008
My first impression is the scent of Créme Brûlée, lemon zest and vanilla, followed by citrus blossoms and pineapple. All of the aromatics are complex and compelling. The flavors reflect the aforementioned bouquets and are surrounded by bracing minerality and acidity that provide structure and balance.
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After 20 years in the industry, first as a sommelier and then working directly with wineries, Joseph Carr followed a dream to make his own wine in Napa Valley. In 2002, he decided to pursue his passion, learning to make wine alongside Ted Edwards at Freemark Abbey.
Now as a successful winemaker in his own right, Joseph Carr employs a European sensibility in winemaking that emphasizes balance, complexity and elegance to produce high quality, hand-crafted, ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay at exceptional value.
Joseph Carr sources fruit from Northern California’s finest appellations – the St. Helena, Rutherford, Stags Leap District, Pritchard Hill, Carneros, Oakville and Paso Robles AVAs. Carr’s relationships across Napa Valley give him access to lots that could have gone into $100 bottles, but are instead blended to make Joseph Carr wines.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Sonoma County wines are produced with carefully selected grape varieties to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing 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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.