Vina Cobos Felino Chardonnay 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Aromas of cooked apple, mango and hints of pear with some toasted oak. Pie crust, too. Full body, tight and linear with bright acidity and a juicy and tangy finish. Creamy texture.
The 2017 Felino Chardonnay was only partially oaked (less than in the past), and it's also 100% without malolactic this year but was kept with the lees to have more volume on the palate. The palate has very good freshness, and new winemaker Andrés Vignoni told me he likes wines with acidity. This represents a big change. This is clean, serious and sharp, with good freshness and minerality and with very little influence from the oak. 130,000 bottles produced.
The wines of Vina Cobos are the result of a shared dream inspired by the passion of three winemakers: Paul Hobbs and Argentine parters Andrea Marchiori and Luis Barraud. Their founding aspiration: to produce a Malbec of power and elegance unequalled anywhere in the world. Tee inaugural 1999 vintage of Cobos Malbec received the highest score upon release for any Argentine wine and continues to garner some of the highest praise for any Malbec in the world. Through the years, Vina Cobos has expanded their family of wines, which continue to receive even greater accolades. Cobos, Bramare and Felino offer three tiers of exceptional Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, sourced from the estate Marchiori Vineyard and other select properties within Mendoza.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
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.
Tasting Notes for Chardonnay
Chardonnay is a dry, white wine. When Chardonnay grapes are planted on cool sites, the resulting wine's 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 Food Pairings for Chardonnay
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 Secrets for Chardonnay
Since the 1980s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy this lighter style.