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Layer Cake Virgin Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • WS87
13.5% ABV
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2.5 4 Ratings
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2.5 4 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Virgin Chardonnay is so named because it never comes in contact with any oak. Our fellow wine lovers have expressed our shared interest in getting back to what Chardonnay used to be: Clean, crisp, layered, refreshing fruit, a hint of summer, with none of the overbearing heaviness of oak. If the taste of buttered popcorn is what you crave, you'd do better finding it at the movies than in a bottle of wine.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 87
Wine Spectator
This clean white shows a crisp grapefruit and lemony edge, with a citrus blossom scent. Full-bodied, with no oak to speak of, ending with a flinty aftertaste. Drink now. 9,500 cases made.
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Layer Cake

Layer Cake

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Layer Cake, Central Coast, California
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Winemaker Jayson Woodbridge learned about wine from his grandfather at an early age. "He told me the soil in which the vines lived was like a layer cake. The vines go down into the soil and pull up the different aromas and flavors in the soil, just like the layers of flavors in Grandma’s cake. 'Never pass up a layer cake', he would say. I always loved those words."

Woodbridge set out around the world to make wines of exceptional quality at a price everyone could enjoy. He found the best vines across four continents and, in honor of his grandfather, created Layer Cake.

Layer Cake works directly with the farmers to grow the fruit they work with. Our grapes are grown to exacting standards in some of the most diversely-layered vineyards around the world. They are handpicked, separated and fermented with care, then aged in French Oak. The character of each Layer Cake wine is influenced by the vineyard soil, which is layered like a cake… every layer tells a story.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

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’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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

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. 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.

SWS295968_2009 Item# 105964