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Les Cretes Valle d'Aosta Chardonnay 2010

Chardonnay from Italy
  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Valle d'Aosta Chardonnay is a lovely yellow. The nose is delicately floral with hints of banana and a bit of plum. On the palate, the wine is soft, fruity and mineral. This Chardonnay from this region is grown with excellent results, giving a wine with exuberant fruit flavor, combined with a pure expression of the "terroir" of the mountain.

Pair with appetizers, main dishes, flans, fish, red and white meat, and cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Chardonnay is gorgeous in this vintage. Clean, mineral notes frame a core of expressive white stone fruits, lemon and pears in an energetic style of Chardonnay that is immensely appealing. The 2010 impresses for its class and elegance, two qualities it has in spades. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.
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Les Cretes

Les Cretes

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Les Cretes, Italy
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Founded in 1989 by Costantino Charrere and Jolanda Plat, Les Cretes is one of only a few commercial wineries in the quaint region of Valle D'Aosta. The winery is located in Aymavilles with the cellar lying one mile from Monte Bianco tunnel. Comprised of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, as well as the indigenous varieties of Petit Rouge, Fumin, Petite Arvine and Gros Rouge, thirteen hectares of vineyard in five communes along the river Dora Baltea. The hills of Coteau La Tour are the most precious single vineyard of the winery, and one of the most beautiful in all of Valle d’Aosta. Their most famous wine is the rich barrel-fermented Chardonnay Cuvee Bois, with the 2002 vintage having recieved the Tre Bicchieri,Duemila Vini 5 Grappoli, and the Cinque Bottiglie awards. Untill recently, their entire anual production of a few thousand cases was sold entirely within Italy.

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular, complex and age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course, Pinot Grigio.

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 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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

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. 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.

SWS258540_2010 Item# 119833