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Wente Eric's Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
  • WE90
13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This unoaked Chardonnay is a favored style of Fourth Generation Winegrower, Eric Wente. It is clear and bright with medium weight, intriguing minerality and a touch of creaminess. This wine exhibits aromas of green apple, lemon citrus, white peach and pineapple with hints of jasmine and mandarin orange. An excellent balance between fruit and acidity make this wine refreshing and food friendly.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This is a very good example of an unoaked Chardonnay. It has lots of zingy fresh-fruit aromas, lively citrus and green-apple flavors and good supportive acidity to keep the mouthfeel tangy. Winemaker Karl Wente made this one to please his no-frills dad, Eric Wente.
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Wente

Wente Vineyards

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Wente Vineyards, Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
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Wente Vineyards is the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery, founded in 1883. Today, the winery maintains its leadership role in California winegrowing under ownership and management by the fourth and fifth generation of the Wente family. Blending traditional and innovative winemaking practices, the winery draws from nearly 3,000 acres of sustainably farmed estate vineyards to create an outstanding portfolio of fine wines. Located just East of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations featuring wine tasting, dining, concert performances and championship golf

Livermore Valley

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A warm sub-appellation of the greater San Francisco Bay AVA (American Viticultural Area), Livermore Valley mainly hides behind the shielding effects of the bay’s eastern hills. However, its west to east orientation makes it unique among northern California wine growing regions. When summer daytime heat rises from the Central Valley to its east, this pulls the cold, foggy, bay air inland. This cooler air permeates the coastal range and creeps into Livermore Valley's foothills. Late afternoon winds cool down summer nights, making this an ideal environment for the development of phenolic ripeness and concentration in its wine grapes.

Aside from the favorable climate, Livermore Valley's soils of gravel and rocks provide excellent drainage for vineyards.

The Livermore Valley is one of California's oldest wine regions and has played a crucial role in shaping California's wine industry. Its wine growing history dates back farther than most. Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley as far back as the 1760s. Then in the mid 1800s, a man named Robert Livermore planted the area’s first commercial vineyards. Winemaker pioneer C. H. Wente arrived a few years later; today the Wente Chardonnay clone is the source of a majority of California Chardonnay. Furthermore, James Concannon and the Wetmore brothers recognized the virtues of the area’s Bordeaux-like gravel soils and dedicated themselves to making high quality wine from Bordeaux varieties. Today the area is also known for high quality Petite Sirah.

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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

SWS475896_2016 Item# 361021