Chardonnay walk around White tasting- the first walk around tasting in the New Wine Watch

Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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Getting to know wine is getting to know the world. More than just a complex and delicious drink, wine is history, geography, the very soil from which the grapes are grown. It opens us to life on a deeper level and it enriches and enhances our days.

THOM ELKJER, Adventures in Wine

 

 

Next Thursday night at Wine Watch we will pay tribute to one of the most famous white wine varietals on the face of the earth- Chardonnay.   We will give you our “Wine Drinking People” 30 different Chardonnay based wines on the table this evening.   Toni Lampasone will be making a few tasty treats to accompany the Chardonnay as we unveil the new Wine Watch store at 837 NE 3rd Avenue next door to the Wine Bar.  The fee for this tasting is $45+ tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or email andy@winewatch.com.

 

chardonnay

Chardonnay Tasting at Wine Watch
Thursday, May 24th 2018
7:30 PM

For much of the Chardonnay varietal's history, a connection was assumed between Chardonnay and Pinot noir or Pinot blanc. In addition to being found in the same region of France for centuries, ampelographers noted that the leaves of each plant have near-identical shape and structure. Pierre Galet disagreed with this assessment, believing that Chardonnay was not related to any other major grape variety. Viticulturalists Maynard Amerine & Harold Olmo proposed a descendency from a wild Vitis vinifera vine that was a step removed from white Muscat.

 

 

Chardonnay's true origins were further obscured by vineyard owners in Lebanon and Syria, who claimed that the grape's ancestry could be traced to the Middle East, from where it was introduced to Europe by returning Crusaders, though there is little external evidence to support that theory.

 

Another theory about the evolution of Chardonnay is that it originated from an ancient indigenous vine found in Cyprus. Modern DNA fingerprinting research done at University of California, Davis, now suggests that Chardonnay is the result of a cross between the Pinot and Gouais Blanc (Heunisch) grape varieties. It is thought that the Romans brought Gouais Blanc from Croatia, and it was widely cultivated by peasants in Eastern France. The Pinot of the French aristocracy grew in close proximity to the Gouais Blanc, giving both grapes ample opportunity to interbreed. Since the two parents were genetically distant, many of the crosses showed hybrid vigour and were selected for further propagation. These "successful" crosses included Chardonnay and siblings such as Aligoté, Aubin Vert, Auxerrois, Bachet noir, Beaunoir, Franc Noir de la-Haute-Saône, Gamay Blanc Gloriod, Gamay noir, Melon, Knipperlé, Peurion, Roublot, Sacy[6] and Dameron.

There are around 40 clonal varieties of Chardonnay that can be found around the world today, most of which were developed at the University of Burgundy in Dijon. The so-called "Dijon clones" are bred for their adaptive attributes, with vineyard owners planting the clonal variety best suited to their terroir and which will produce the type of characteristics that they are seeking in the wine. Examples include the lower-yielding clones Dijon-76, 95 & 96 that produce more flavor-concentrated clusters. Dijon-77 & 809 produce more aromatic wines with a "grapey" perfume, while Dijon-75, 78, 121, 124, 125 & 277 are more vigorous and higher yielding clones.

New World varieties include the Mendoza clone, which produced some of the early Californian Chardonnays. The Mendoza clone is prone to developed millerandage, also known as "hens and chicks", where the berries develop unevenly.

We start our Journey with the Chardonnay grape in the Macon with one of my favorite producers in Burgundy, Domaine Des Valanges and a picture of our group during our visit to Burgundy in May of 2015.

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The gang from our 2015 Burgundy/Champagne adventure reunited at the Chardonnay tasting last year.  Stay tuned for the next Wine Watch wine adventure in the vineyards of Portugal next May.

 

Twenty One Wines Presents:

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2015 Domaine Valanges St. Veran Hors Classe
Price: $32.50       Sale $28.60

Saint-Véran is located in southern Burgundy, in the sub region of the Maconnais. The area borders the more famous appellation of Pouilly-Fuissé, though both enjoy similar chalk and clay soils. The grape here of course is the subject of our study Chardonnay. This cuvee is made from the oldest vineyards planted in 1944.  There is another level of richness with this wine a very concentrated bouquet of aromas.  This wine is refined and elegant with bright clean green apple and citrus aromas but with a very distinct minerality and a long-layered finish, very concentrated and rich with lovely balance and complexity.  Finish 45+ Most Excellent

 

2014 Bethel Height Chardonnay Willamette Valley
Price: $29.25       Sale $25.74

(92 Points) An outstanding value in a top-level Oregon Chardonnay, this beautifully rendered, barrel-fermented wine is a showcase of sharply defined flavors. The tree fruits are highlighted with details of spice and new wood, clearly delineated and well-matched.  Wine Enthusiast Editors’ Choice

 

2016 Foxen Chardonnay Santa Barbara County
Price: $34.75       Sale $30.58

At Foxen Winery 50% of production is Pinot Noir and 2000 cases of it is this wine. This wine is Pommard clone and spends 1yr in 2nd year French oak Francois Frere barrels. Sourced from a variety of sites, this wine has a pretty nose of wild flowers, exotic spices, light red berry fruit, raspberry and strawberry with light smoky notes.  Smooth and silky on the tongue with a good hand of that spice and floral nuance form the nose lasting through the finish, a smoky earthy character coming in at the end, that light berry fruit lasting through the end, nicely built.  Finish 45+    Excellent +

 

2014 Diamandes Chardonnay Grand Reserve Mendoza
Price: $35.00       Sale $30.80

Barrel fermented aged for 14 months with a nice rich toasty oak spice vanilla, cinnamon spice and lemon drop candy, a smooth and creamy texture with a good amount of fruit with a nice compliment of lightly toasted oak spice. Finish 40+. Excellent

 

Bastianich Chardonnay
Price: $17.25       Sale $15.18

 

Republic National

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2014 Sixto Frenchman Hills Chardonnay Walla Walla
Price: $48.00       Sale $42.24

(93 Points) Coming from volcanic soils and a north facing slope at 1,750 in elevation, the 2014 Chardonnay Frenchman Hills Vineyard offers terrific minerality as well as a Chablis-like style in its lemon curd and floral aromatics, medium-bodied mouthfeel, and vibrant, crisp acidity. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

2016 Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse
Price: $28.25       Sale $24.86

Louis Jadot produces a Pouilly Fuisse with emerald gold tones which reflect a wine of finesse and distinction. The palate is harmonious and fresh -- and full of flavors of hazelnuts, toasted almonds, grapefruit and lemon.

 

2016 ZD Chardonnay California
Price: $46.25       Sale $40.70

This new release is yet another great example of ZD’s signature style of producing intense, fruit forward, and well-balanced Chardonnays. The grapes for this wine are from three of California’s premiere growing regions: Santa Maria valley located in Santa Barbara, Arroyo Seco in Monterey County, and the cool, fog-shrouded Napa and Sonoma Carneros. This complex blend of cool coastal regions showcased the 2016 vintage beautifully.

 

2016 Plumpjack Chardonnay Reserve Napa
Price: $58.50       Sale $51.48

PlumpJack's Chardonnay grapes are sourced from two vineyards in the Napa Valley – one in Los Carneros and the other in St. Helena. The cooler Carneros site imparts this wine with fresh green apple, Bosc pear, and lemon zest on the nose, while the warmer St. Helena site lends some tropical and melon notes. The Carneros vineyard also gives this wine a beautiful, bright, lively acidity, which is balanced by the creamy, rich texture of the St. Helena fruit. The touch of oak adds subtle layers to the nose and palate with traces of toasted almonds, vanilla, flint, and spice. Lack of malolactic fermentation retains the bright, lively malic acid, which helps to accentuate the fruit on the palate, and gives this wine its balance and drive.

 

2015 Tenuta di Nozzole Le Bruniche Chardonnay Tuscany
Price: $15.50       Sale $13.64

Shows citrus and exotic fruit on the nose, and apple and banana notes on the palate, with a medium-full body and fine acidity. The absence of oak allows the Chardonnay character to shine through.

 

Breakthru

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2014 Talley Estate Chardonnay Arroyo Grande Valley
Price: $24.50       Sale $21.56

Soft gold in color, the 2014 Estate Chardonnay is a beautiful expression of the character and style of the Arroyo Grande Valley. On the nose, vibrant aromas of pear and stone fruits are followed by a hint of subtle toasted oak. The palate is soft and plush with delicate acidity. Notes of peach, lemon oil, baked brioche and slivered almonds are complemented by minerality true to the Arroyo Grande Valley.

 

Mac Forbes Yarra Valley Chardonnay
Price: $31.50       Sale $27.72

The Yarra Valley Chardonnay is a blend of fruit from Healesville, Hoddles Creek and Woori Yallock vineyards. It represents a snap shot from across the valley and the vineyards. Generally, Mac Forbes Yarra Yarra Chardonnay can be enjoyed young but cellaring will reward with increased complexity.

 

Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay
Price: $37.50       Sale $33.00

 

Domaine Pavelot Savigny Les Beaune Blanc
Price: $33.75       Sale $29.70

 

 

FLORIDA WINE COMPANY

 

2011 Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru “La Genelotte” Domaine de Chérisey - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

2011 Cherisey Meursault-Blagny "La Genelotte" 1er Cru
Price: $71.25       Sale $62.70

We went long on the 2011 vintage, the bicentennial year for this domaine that continues to inspire all of us here at KLWM. Now we can offer it with some proper bottle age. Blagny is Meursault’s highest-altitude appellation and benefits from a unique microclimate. Kermit discovered Blagny at François Jobard’s place in the 1970s and has always had a weak spot for it: you’ll understand why when you taste this bottle. Soaring aromatics and a deeply stony depth are two things you can expect. A long life in your cellar is another. —Dixon Brooke

 

2014 Foxglove Chardonnay Central Coast Paso Robles
Price: $19.75       Sale $17.38

(90 points) Made by some of the best Chardonnay winemakers in California, Jim and Bob Varner, the value-priced 2014 Chardonnay released under the Foxglove label sports a light gold color to go with exotic notes of pineapples, melon, citrus blossom, spice and hints of green herbs. Supple, forward and straight-up delicious on the palate, with no hard edges and a clean, classy profile, it's a steal at the price and will drink nicely for a year or three. Readers looking for killer values need look no further than this Foxglove releases from Jim and Bob Varner. (JD) (10/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

2015 Varner  El Camino Vineyard   Santa Barbara   
Price: $26.50       Sale $23.32

(92 points) Despite its very reasonable price, the 2014 Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard delivers serious intensity, richness and nuance. Broad, ample and phenolic, the 2015 exudes all the classic Varner signatures, structure being the most obvious of these. Yellow orchard fruit, mint, candied lemon, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes are front and center. This is one of the most singular Santa Barbara Chardonnays readers will come across. The style and palate weight is more than a little reminiscent of the wines the Varners made in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The 2014 was fermented in steel and aged in a combination of puncheon (25%) and steel, with blocked malo. This is a very serious Chardonnay for $25. (AG) (7/2016) Vinous

 

2015 Chanin Los Alamos Santa Barbara County
Price: $40.25       Sale $35.42

(93 Points) Clean Asian pear, wet gravel and lime peel aromas show on the tightly wound nose of this bottling. The palate is quite delicate at first, offering lightly seared white peach, chalk and lime zest notes, but grows increasingly savory and delicious as it opens, indicating great cellar potential. Drink 2018–2030.  Wine Spectator

 

2015 Perrusset Macon Farges  Vielle Vignes 
Price: $21.75       Sale $19.14

Henri Perrusset’s vineyards and home are located in the small town of Farges-les-Macon, on the northernmost spur of the limestone subsoil that characterizes the appellation of Macon. Our Macon-Farges bottling comes uniquely from a parcel of old vines, while the Macon-Villages is a custom blend of all his other holdings around Farges. These are Chardonnays with the ripeness and intensity level of a Pouilly-Fuisse or even a Saint-Aubin, with the particular gout de terroir of Henri’s corner of Macon.

 

2016 Lavantureux Chablis 
Price: $33.50       Sale $29.48

 

Lovers of mouthwateringly crisp, steely Chablis will rejoice with the 2016s: they are about as classique as can be! The young Lavantureux brothers have proven that an entry-level Chablis can not only be a satisfying and refreshing drink but also show a bit of nuance—this is not just a one-dimensional quaffer. A portion of the wine ages briefly in neutral barrels, adding a lovely textural element you’ll appreciate at table. This Chablis is quite versatile, but cracked Dungeness crab is a hard pairing to beat.  —Anthony Lynch

 

William Fevre

 

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2015 William Fevre Chablis Fourchaume 1er Cru
List $60.00           Sale $52.80

(92 Points) The 2015 Chablis 1Er Cru Fourchaume comes from eight parcels on marn soils within the lieu-dit of Vaulorent. It has a delightful bouquet with scents of fresh pear, a hint of marzipan; it is sweet and charming while retaining Chablis-like austerity and poise. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, well poised with a touch of salinity developing towards the harmonious finish. This is another excellent wine from William Fevre.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

2016 William Fevre Chablis Montmains 1er Cru
List $57.50           Sale $50.60

Montmains’ unique terroir of stony terrain produces a wine with pronounced mineral aromas, extraordinary power and excellent aging potential.  William Fèvre’s parcel: 9.12 acres

 

2013 Bouchard Beaune du chateau Blanc
Price: $45.00       Sale $39.60

Elegant bouquet of flowers and fruit underpinned by a light vanilla note. Perfumed on the palate and with subtle smoothness, it also reveals the elegance of the very rare Beaune white wines.

 

SWS

 

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2015 Mayacamas Chardonnay Napa
Price: $56.75       Sale $49.94

(95 Points) The 2015 Chardonnay emerges from dry-farmed, old vines on the property. In this vintage, the Chardonnay is surprisingly rich and unctuous yet it also retains its mid-weight feel. Orchard fruit, white flowers and mint, along with slightly tropical overtones, give the 2015 much of its distinctive personality. Readers who can find the 2015 should plan on cellaring it for at least a few years, as the wine needs time to shed its baby fat. Tasted again after the reds, with a good 30 minutes in the glass, the Chardonnay is flat-out gorgeous. About 80% of the wine spent time in larger foudres, which likely helped it retain a measure of freshness. Vinous

 

2012 Wind Gap Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
Price: $37.50       Sale $33.00

Pear, wet rocks, bee pollen, and wet marble on the mouth-watering aromas of this wine. On the palate, this wine explodes with a steely salinity and warm, honeyed fruit, and as promised, mouthwatering acidity that makes it irresistibly drinkable.

 

Dom. Fruitiere Chardonnay Loire Valley
Price: $15.25       Sale $13.42

It can be argued that Muscadet, in France’s Loire Valley, contains the most diverse array of geological soil types and terroirs than any other appellation in France.  Perhaps the most famous of these soils is the kitchen-counter-gorgeous granite of Clisson.  The village of Clisson produces classic Muscadet Sèvre et Maine as well as Cru Clisson that is aged for over 20 months sur lie, showing the two extremes of the Melon de Bourgogne grape.  Because Melon de Bourgogne generally takes a back seat to any minerality that wants to seep into the vines and into the grapes, it is seen as the ideal vehicle for mineral-expressive wines in France.

So what happens if we take this same incredibly rich soil type and introduce Chardonnay, a grape that has a stronger personality than Melon?  The answer to that question is the Domaine de la Fruitière Chardonnay 2015.  This is hand-harvested, low yield Chardonnay that grows on the famous granite of Clisson.  In this parcel, there is virtually no dirt present, just meters and meters of crushed rock.  Vilification is simple:  4 months in tank with no stirring.  The boys at Domaine de la Fruitière prefer minimal manipulation and like to let the wine do the talking.  This is Muscadet’s answer to village Burgundy at a third the price.

 

2014 Castello di Ama Poggio  Tuscany
Price: $40.50       Sale $35.64

(90 Points) Opulent and expressive, this evokes peach, apple, nutmeg and butter aromas and flavors. Vibrant and intense, with a hint of bitter citrus on the lingering aftertaste. Wine Spectator

 

2016 White hart Chardonnay Monterey County
Price: $23.25       Sale $20.46

Bright aromas of granny smith apples, mandarin orange, nutmeg, baking bread. Mouth filling flavors of green apples, baked apple tart, and citrus. Medium long finish with vanilla oak and gentle spice notes.

 

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Menu

5 Spice Scented Crispy Pork Belly Bites with Jalapeno-Orange-Honey Marmalade

Crunchy Cool Chicken Salad Buns with Toasted Walnuts, Grapes & Tarragon on Brioche Bun

Seared Tuna Medallions marinated in citrus miso, grilled and served on Cucumber Chips with Meyer Lemon-Vanilla Aioli

Savory Chevre Goat Cheese Gougeres Puffs finished with Roasted Strawberry White Balsamic Syrup

Mini Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee with Fresh Berries

 

The fee for this tasting is $45+ tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or email andy@winewatch.com.