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Joullian Monterey Chardonnay 2013
Pair with crab, scallops, salmon, halibut, sea bass and sole…grilled or in pastas. Roast fowl works too!
Early in 1982, Joullian Vineyards, Ltd. purchased 655 acres of hillside benchland at an elevation of 1400 feet, in the heart of the remote Carmel Valley viticulture appellation. Following extensive contouring and terracing, 40 acres of high density-spaced vines were planted in the rocky Arroyo Seco series loam. The planting emphasized Bordeaux varieties and allocated two-thirds of the vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon... plus Carmel Valley’s first Zinfandel, which was personally planted by Dick Sias. The remaining acreage, originally planted to Chardonnay, was grafted to more pre-Prohibition Zinfandel selections throughout the 1990s. Pursuing complexity in the wines, Watson planted multiple clones of each varietal from reputed sources such as Mount Veeder, 3 Palms, Diamond Mountain, Sterling, Ventana, Brandlin, St. Peter’s Church and Lytton springs. The Winery, completed in the spring of 1991, was designed to handle each vineyard block separately to insure that the complex subtleties and nuances produced in the field could be transferred into the bottle.
In 2015, Joullian Vineyards, Ltd. was acquired by the Hammler Wine Corporation. Owned by husband-and-wife team Tom and Jane Lerum, Hammler Wine Corporation is committed to carrying on the legacy of the Joullian brand and will continue to focus on crafting exceptional wines. With strong ties to both Oklahoma and California, the Lerums plan to build upon Joullian’s historical success and ensure its sustainability for generations to come.
A geographic and climatic paradise for grape vines, Monterey is a part of the greater Central Coast AVA and contains within it five smaller sub-appellations, including Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, San Bernabe, Hames Valley and the famous Santa Lucia Highlands. The climate is relatively warm but tempered by cool, coastal winds, allowing the regions in Monterey County an exceptionally long growing season. Bud break often happens two weeks sooner and harvest tends to be two weeks later compared to other surrounding regions.
Monterey’s coastal side, where the cooling ocean fog allows grapes to develop a perfect sugar-acid balance, excels in the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Warmer, inland subzones are home to fleshy, concentrated and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
Chardonnay, covering about 40% of vineyard acreage, is the most widely planted grape in all of Monterey County.
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.