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Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • WE91
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • TP91
  • WE90
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Bright straw in color. Aromas of marzipan, hazelnuts, salted caramel, lemon zest, pear cobbler, hint of smoke, fresh papaya, and underlying notes of green slate minerality. Unctuous mouthfeel, with balanced acidity and compelling structure followed by notes of pineapple and bright citrus.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast

A keen bite of acidity works in this flashy Chard’s favor, balancing the richness and giving the finish life and zest. It’s tremendous in tropical fruit, peach jam, honey and buttered toast flavors. A fancy, impressive wine for drinking now.

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Matanzas Creek

Matanzas Creek Winery

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Matanzas Creek Winery, , California
Matanzas Creek
Founded in 1977, Matanzas Creek Winery is located on the site of a retired dairy farm in Sonoma County's Bennett Valley. In 1985, the original winery, a converted dairy barn, gave way to a modern winemaking facility and since that time the Estate's Bennett Valley vineyards have grown to include over 280-acres of Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. Vineyard acquisitions in Sonoma Valley, Carneros, Russian River Valley and Knights Valley provide the vineyard management and winemaking teams with an enviable selection of fruit. Sourced from Estate-owned vineyards, the Matanzas Creek wine portfolio includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Merlot, as well as a limited amount of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

As important as the history of the winery itself is its location in Sonoma County's newest American Viticultural Area (AVA), Bennett Valley. Although only formally recognized as an AVA in December 2003, Bennett Valley has a rich history of grape growing dating back to the mid-1800s. Once defined as part of Sonoma County's Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Mountain AVA's, Bennett Valley overlaps with these winegrowing regions but carves out 8,150 acres to call its own (of which 850 acres are planted with grapevines). Three mountains define Bennett Valley and also serve to capture a cool maritime air stream which promotes a cooler, longer growing season that results in more complex wines.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

PIN335406_2011 Item# 123422

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