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Matchbook The Arsonist Chardonnay 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
East of Napa, Left of Center: The Giguiere family embodies Dunnigan Hills winemaking. In 1981 they pioneered grape growing in this region when they planted their first vineyard. By 1993, they had succeeded in creating the Dunnigan Hills as a nationally recognized American appellation. The Matchbook flame is an homage to the Giguiere brothers’ youthful fascination with fire. Today, Matchbook Wine Company produces wines showcasing the varietals that perform best in their Northern California climate.
Mitigated by mild Sacramento River Delta breezes, the Dunnigan Hills appellation is in the northwest portion of Yolo County and has a Mediterranean climate.
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.