Smoky concentrated dessert. A sharp pang of watermelon rind punctuates the golden, raisin-spice nose with a considerable bit of refreshing winter leaf-vegetable basking in the madrone glow, briar and bark pulsing around the stewed apple and nutmeg.
A gorgeous-smelling chard, once again completely different than a couple others I’ve had this week. I love it when you can drink so many wonderful versions of the same variety. This definitely would be my WINERY OF THE YEAR for school-year 2019-2020. One of those rare wineries you WANT to be a club-member of: you’re going to get a full roster across all the varietal styles and regions, and NONE of them are going to suck. None of them are going to make you feel short-changed, each bottle a blessing and a treasure.
The last thing you smell before you sip is a green vibrancy announcing the fruit. Almost simultaneously, the cool acidic wash covers your tongue, driving a surge of all things Chardonnay ahead of it. Chubby butter–flush with bruised peach and melon–gets insulted right off the bat by a bitter peppery streak, which in turn loses out to the smooth glycerin-y love-handle coated in savory earth and oak.
This is where somm-dork goes “Oooooh. You said oak. You said butter. EYE don’t drink Chardonnays like that because I’m so much cooler than you.” Well, I’ll tell you what, pal. Don’t then. Go drink something sad and be proud. This is Chardonnay. Chardonnay doesn’t need to be battery-acid. Leave that for your precious Rieslings and Albarinos and Picpoul Blanc. What if I told you the Chardonnay LIKES the oak? Trust me, we’re not going over-board here. Life isn’t black & white, and neither is Chardonnay.
2017 ANCIENT OAK CELLARS Chardonnay Flyway Vyd. RRV Sonoma 14.1