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Shale Ridge Chardonnay 2001

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    0% ABV
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    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    WINEMAKING: Our 2001 Chardonnay was picked in the coolness of the night and pressed off to stainless steel tanks to cold settle. Clarified juice was transferred to a combination of tanks and barrels for fermentation where it was allowed to mature for six months. Malolactic fermentation was encouraged on roughly 25% of the blend to round out the palate and add a buttery, creamy texture.

    TASTING NOTES: Tropical aromas of pineapple, mango, and banana are nicely balanced with a hint of toasty French oak. Medium-bodied in structure, this wine is soft and round with a lingering finish, a result of barrel aging and malolactic fermentation.

    FOOD PAIRING: Fashioned is an approachable style, serve this Chardonnay with lighter fare, such as chicken, creamy pasta, and seafood. My personal favorite is stir-fried vegetables in sesame seed oil with Hunan Red Chili sauce.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Shale Ridge

    Shale Ridge

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    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

    Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

    While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

    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.

    WBO750042_2001 Item# 56884