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Schug Carneros Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2012

Chardonnay from Carneros, California
  • RP89
14.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WW92
  • RP90
  • WW92
  • WE91
  • W&S92
  • TP90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This classic Carneros Chardonnay was grown on our own cool-climate Estate vineyard, as well as the Ricci, Cornerstone, Wildcat, Sangiacomo, Leveroni and Iund Vineyards. It was barrel fermented and aged on the lees (sur-lie) in small French oak barrels, with minimal new oak introduced. Malo-lactic fermentation was not induced, allowing the wine to retain its natural acidity and varietal focus. The result is a wine that is both rich and powerful, while refreshing and elegant on the finish. It has a ripe, spicy tropical bouquet with flavors that suggest citrus, pear and spiced apples. Well-balanced acidity gives it a crisp, clean finish, making it an excellent wine with food.

Try it with cream soups, rich seafood, fowl, veal and pasta dishes.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Chardonnay Carneros reveals more hazelnut, honeysuckle and popcorn characteristics in a Meursault-like style. It also cuts a deeper, broader swath across the palate. With impressive purity, freshness and a touch of oak in the background, it should drink well for several years.
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Schug

Schug Estate Winery

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Schug Estate Winery, California
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Founded in 1980, Schug Carneros Estate Winery is the showcase and life-long dream of one of California's most celebrated winemakers. Walter Schug's reputation blossomed during his tenure as Founding Winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the 1970s, where he made California’s first proprietary Bordeaux-Style blend (Insignia) and legendary vineyard designated Cabernets (Backus and Eisele Vineyards).

Drawing on his long experience in the production of fine wines in both Europe and California, Walter set up his own winery with his wife Gertrud in the cool, marine climate of the Carneros Appellation. Here he could focus on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals that had always been close to his heart.

Schug Carneros Estate Winery combines old world understanding and tradition with modern winemaking techniques. By using only the finest grapes available, and maintaining the best winemaking values, these wines have gained acceptance worldwide as true contemporary classics.

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Carneros

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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.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.

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Chardonnay

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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 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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

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. 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.

VIR104115_2012 Item# 141124