A few of the more snobby elements of bloggerdom panned this wine a bit, throwing it under the wine-wagon. Pegging it as being the typical over-oaked butter-bomb, better suited as a wine to be poured over stale movie theatre pop-corn. But nothing could be further from the truth. While I got a certain amount of toast and a delightful drop of lemon-curd, this wine is not monolithic in style. It had some nice layers of minerality tucked into the subtle apple and pear flavors dancing around the citrus notes. The abundant fruit is punctuated with a nice bit acidity to help carry the day.
By me saying this no way implies that I drink Chardonnay on a regular basis, in fact I typically will go out of my way to drink a red wine over white wines, if I have a choice. But there are times I do enjoy a good white, especially when they're paired with the right foods or I just want something a little lighter on a warm day.
In fact as it's stated on their tech-sheet, "50% of this Chardonnay was barrel fermented in French oak" while the balance was fermented in stainless steel, nicely cutting down on the Chateau Two by Four style, so often associated with typical California Chardonnay low-acid butter-bombs. Especially from producers like Rombauer for example, a style sometimes known as Cougar-Crack.
Additionally; the wine was sur-lie aged for seven months, helping to give those round mouth flavors, many associate with creaminess in this style of Chardonnay. So I want to salute the folks at Wente, for the effort to dial down oak influence. While many folks who write reviews, don't think much of wines like this one, the fascinating fact is that Chardonnay and California Chardonnay specifically; are still on top of the charts for consumption among the general wine-slurping-public and is a wine that still commands major shelf space with many wine and spirit retailers.
Like I said, I opened this wine last week to sample during the live tasting, I later used my vacu-vin and tucked it back into my refrigerator for safe-keeping. [I had previously mentioned it was a screw-cap closure, but it was cork] I came back to this same wine this past Saturday, while preparing lunch for Mrs. Cuvee and myself. I poured a glass, the same vanilla, toasty lemon-curd aromas jumping from the glass, invited my first slurp. This wine paired so nicely with our tuna-melts, which you see pictured below, that the Mrs. and I had no problem finishing the bottle, making for a wonderfully simple Saturday afternoon food and wine pairing.
What I hope you take away from this post is that this wine is a great Tuesday evening wine, you'll have no fear of buttery sweetness and its pairing possibilities are quite literally limitless, who am I judge anyway, even a toasted marshmallow would work out quite nicely. If you like a nicely balanced Chardonnay now and then go get yourself of this very tasty juice, which I've scored 87 points, it has an SRP of $13 most places and it's a wine can easily recommend to you. Until next time sip long and prosper cheers!