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Veedercrest Ruhl Vineyard Chardonnay 2010
This wine is crisp and acidic, with pineapple, pear, mango and lemon flavors. Also present are hints of cardamom, kaffir, and baked apple. It is lean and elegant and can easily be paired with oysters, cracked crab, filet of sole Veronique or any dish with a cream sauce. Veal ala Normande anyone?
Baxter formed an investment group with co-principals Ron Fenolio, now sole proprietor of Veedercrest, and the Ring Family of New Jersey. A 300 acre property was acquired on Mt. Veeder for vineyard developmentand a vineyard was planted. The year 1972 saw the first releases, including Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot and Reisling. By 1976 the wines had garnered such critical acclaim that they were selected by Steve Spurrier to be in the infamous 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting where Chateau Montelena and Stags Leap bested the best of the French. Make sure you see the entertaining movie “Bottle Shock” about this great event, featuring Chateau Montelebottle1na’s story. At that historic tasting Veedercrest Chardonnay was acclaimed as the most “French” in style of all the Chardonnay wines entered, regardless of whether French or California in origin. Veedercrest wines were later served at White House dinners under President Jimmy Carter and to Pope John Paul II during his visit to Philadelphia. In 1981, at the International Wine Exposition in Bristol, England, Veedercrest garnered more awards for its wines than any other American winery. The tradition of making great award winning wines continues today.
One of Napa Valley's most historic sub-appellations, Yountville spreads through some of the valley's ideal cooler sites and enjoys success with a handful of different and significant grape varieties.
This sub-AVA of Napa Valley is rich in the history that makes Napa Valley what it is today, and not just for red wines.
Moët & Chandon entered the California winemaking business via Yountville in 1973 with the establishment Domaine Chandon. Their goal has always been to produce top quality méthode champenoise sparkling wines.
Christian Moueix, originally responsible for managing Chateau Petrus and La Fleur-Petrus in Pomerol, arrived in Yountville in the early 1980s. He formed a partnership with Rohin Lail and Marcia Smith, inheritors of Napanook vineyard from their father John Daniel of Inglenook in Rutherford. In 1995 Moueix became sole owner of Napanook and chose the name Dominus, which today produces some of Napa’s highest scoring, age-worthy Bordeaux Blends.
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.