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I cannot count how many times I have heard this. For me, this statement opens up an opportunity for some good conversation.
I start asking questions;
What has been your experience with this wine?
Do you remember what regions that wine came from?
Did you have Chardonnay’s from Napa Valley or Sonoma California, Willamette, Oregon, Burgundy, France or Casablanca, Chile?
What don’t you like about Chardonnay?
Many responses are: They are over-oaked or it tastes too much taste like a “Butter Bomb”. Chardonnay is the third most planted grape in the world and its beginning go back to Burgundy, France and there are different ideas from each vintner was the final result should be.
One example I like to speak of is Russian River Chardonnays from Sonoma, California. Many of my clients love Russian River Chardonnay, but they know the microclimates (a very small restricted area; in comparison just think of smaller neighborhoods within a city) can give different bouquets and flavors.
Russian River has distinctive neighborhoods that offer different types of profiles depending on the terroir (terroir, pronounced “ter-wahr”, is a French term that expresses the combination of soil, weather conditions and style of winegrowing and winemaking). I know you are taking mental notes. There is a test at the end J.
Middle Reach creates wines with texture, lush and rich.
Laguna Ridge/The Golden Triangle has soft round wines with complexity.
Sebastopol Hills wine typically produce wines that are lean and high in acidity.
Green Valley which is a recognized sub American Viticultural Area of Russian River is noted for its fog which creates extended ripening period for lean and firm wines.
Santa Rosa Plains develop soft and fruit forward wines.
The greater the proper knowledge, the easier it is to make to educated decision. So now my educated clientele will say I like Chardonnay that is soft and fruit forward. Do you carry wine from Santa Rosa Plains?
An example of a great Chardonnay is offered to us from the Benovia Winery located in Santa Rosa. For the family of this winery, creating great wine is a life’s work.
Winemaker and co-owner Mike Sullivan grew up in the wonderful area of Sonoma Mountain tending the family vines. He has an enology degree from Fresno State. This means he knows wine grapes.
Proprietors Mary Dewane and Joe Anderson were both raised on hard work by their Fathers, Ben Dewane and Novian Anderson; thus, the name Benovia. They would say “Be the best at what you do. Surround yourself with good people, and let them get to work. Never, ever produce anything that wouldn’t make you proud.”
The grapes of this Chardonnay are sourced principally from the Martaella Estate Vineyard which develops incredible and alluring wines with notes of orange blossom and nectarine.
The grapes of this wine are harvested at night and then hand sorted before whole-cluster pressing. Oak aging adds hints of toasted almond and spice cake with a soft mineral finish. This wine is a classic and limited production.
Now, remember class, if someone says they love Russian River Chardonnay, you should reply, from what neighborhood?
I want to thank the professional team of Benovia for the great pictures and creating such a wonderful wine.
3832 S.E. Dixie Highway
Stuart, Florida 34997
“The Sudnick Wine Press is my go-to shop for wine. Glenn and Cyndie take my stated preferences and match them to the distinctive wines they have found from across the globe. Their wine tasting events are informative, even for a wine aficionado like me. Arnie”