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Les Cretes Valle d'Aosta Chardonnay 2010

Chardonnay from Italy
  • RP92
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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

RP 92
The 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
Les Cretes
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.

Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

SWS258540_2010 Item# 119833

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