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Oberon Chardonnay 2015
Winemaker Tony Coltrin was born in St. Helena and is a lifelong Napa Valley resident. Having grown up in Napa Valley and worked in the wine industry for over 40 years, Coltrin knows every corner of the valley and precisely which sub-zones excel at producing Bordeaux grapes of exceptional character.
Tony’s life-long relationships with grape growers throughout the Napa Valley are the key to Oberon’s quality. He is able to draw on those friendships to reliably obtain top quality fruit at a fair price year after year. For Oberon, Tony selects Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grapes from Napa’s best winegrowing regions, including Rutherford, Oakville, Oak Knoll, Wooden Valley, and Los Carneros.
By layering together structured hillside fruit, plush fruit from the alluvial valley floor and fruit sourced from diverse soils within the valley, Tony crafts quintessential Napa Valley wines: complex, flavorful wines with ample natural acidity. Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Napa Cabernet with deep, rich color and concentrated blackberry and cassis flavors. The Merlot shows textbook plum and black currant flavors and silky texture. The Sauvignon Blanc is partially fermented in barrel, adding body and texture to the vibrant green apple, kiwi, pear and melon fruit flavors.
Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.
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.
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.
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.