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Meridian Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2004

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    By circulating the lees, Im adding a soft, creamy dimension to the wine. Each time the yeast cells are stirred up, the texture of the wine evolves, resulting in the silky mouthfeel Im trying to achieve. Chuck allowed 80% of the wine to go through malolactic fermentation. Excellent food pairings with Meridian Vineyards Santa Barbara County Chardonnay include poultry, fish, pork, cream sauces, and mildly spicy foods.

    Critical Acclaim

    Meridian

    Meridian

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    Meridian, , California
    Meridian
    Established in 1988, the Meridian Vineyards winery is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the relaxed town of Paso Robles, California. The label was founded in 1984 by veteran Winemaker Chuck Ortman, who spent the early part of his career as winemaker and consultant to several prestigious Napa and Sonoma wineries. Although the first Meridian wines were made from Napa fruit, Ortman was always intrigued by the emerging Central Coast growing regions of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, where vineyards in cool climates were yielding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of phenomenal quality. When the opportunity was presented to develop Meridian's Santa Barbara vineyards and relocate to the Central Coast, Ortman eagerly accepted the challenge. Today, Chuck is still making the wines from vineyards owned and farmed by Meridian Vineyards in the Santa Barbara County, Edna Valley and Paso Robles appellations.

    North Coast

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    Encompassing the grape-growing regions located north of San Francisco...

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    Encompassing the grape-growing regions located north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano. Napa and Sonoma get all of the attention, but there are a few other counties producing great wine in Northern California. Two notable examples are Mendocino and Lake County, the northernmost winegrowing regions in the state. These AVAs are very different, both from their neighbors to the south and from one another.

    Mendocino benefits from the cooling fog of the Pacific Ocean and is able to successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. There is a significant focus here on organic viticulture. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc are the dominant varieties. Both regions are excellent sources of high-quality but affordable California wines in a wide range of styles.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes...

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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.

    CLW701215_2004 Item# 83453

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