Search Articles

Please Share

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditTechnoratiLinkedin

Sponsors

Search for Events

Wine of the Day via RSS

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Connect

  • Facebook: norcalwine
  • Linked In: FredSwan
  • Twitter: norcalwine
 

Sponsors

Wine of the Day

2012 Matthiasson Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard Napa Valley

My first experience with Matthiasson wines was six or seven years ago. Jill and Steve Matthiasson hosted a crowd of wine bloggers/writers/tweeters to an al fresco buffet and tasting at their home/orchard/vineyard in southwestern Napa Valley. I was just getting settled in—finding a glass—when William Tisherman grabs me by the elbow and leads me to a chilled bottle of white wine. “You have to try this,” he insisted. “And tell me what it is.”

Talk about being set up to fail. The wine was every bit of delicious but there was no way in... Napa I was going to guess the blend. It was Matthiasson’s now famous mélange of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Ribolla Gialla and Tocai Friuliano. Today the cool wine people talk about that wine like it’s a normal thing. And it still isn’t. But back then, many California wine folks, myself included, could have been easily convinced Ribolla Gialla was either an Italian chef or something the World Health Organization works to eradicate.

Matthiasson wines in general were under the radar back then. That didn’t last long though and today they’re getting reams of complimentary coverage from wine cognoscenti such as Jon Bonné and Alder Yarrow. Food and Wine Magazine named Steve Matthiasson one of their “2012 Winemakers of the Year.” Yet the wines are still reasonably priced for Napa Valley.

The 2012 Matthiasson Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard is perhaps the primest of examples. It sells for $25. In my view, it’s a case buy. It’s... wait a minute. I’m going to buy a case myself right now! Okay, I got mine. Now I’ll describe it.

Gorgeous aromas of pear, baking spice and Meyer lemon pith waft from the glass of lemon-green wine. The palate is lithe and medium+ in body with flavors that keep coming in acidity-driven waves. There’s crisp pear and green apple, pineapple, peach and spice. The finish is long and clean and demands you take another sip.

After my evaluation and note writing, I enjoyed the wine, which I had purchased at retail, with my dinner of grilled giant squid dipped in Kewpie mayo and Shichimi togarashi. It was an ideal combo but the wine will go well with most any light seafood or chicken dish. But it doesn’t necessarily need food. Nor does it need more time in the bottle, but I suspect it will age delightfully. I’m looking forward to letting a couple of bottles from my case cellar for a while. I’ll get back to you in seven-plus years to let you know how that's going. I suspect the other ten bottles won’t see 2014. Drink now through 2020. Very Highly Recommended.

2012 Matthiasson Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard Napa Valley
2012-Matthiasson-Chardonnay-Linda-Vista
Rating: Very Highly Recommended

Drink: now through 2020
Release Date: July, 2013

Closure: Cork
Production: 1,024 cases
Retail Price: $25.00

Winemaker: Steve Matthiasson
Blend: Chardonnay

Origin: Linda Vista Vineyard, Oak Knoll District AVA, Napa Valley
Fermentation: 2nd & 3rd use oak barrels, no malolactic fermentation, half of the barrels unstirred
Aging: 9 months in barrel
Alcohol: 13.5%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not recommended

Temperature: 50º - 52º F

Food Pairing: Grilled ika with Kewpie mayonnaise and Shichimi togarashi

Interpreting my wine ratings

 

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid ads off as personal recommendations or who accept samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews from wine producers. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2010 Lange Twins Chardonnay Estate Grown Clarksburg AVA

The Lange family has been growing grapes in Lodi since 1916. They have expanded their land holdings and areas of involvement within the wine business substantially over the years. In 2006 they established the Lange Twins Winery which produces wine under that label as well as Caricature and Green Hills. David Akiyoshi is the head winemaker. Prior to joining Lange Twins he was director of winemaking at Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi which is also in the Lodi area. (David is also proprietor of School Street Bistro in downtown Lodi. I've eaten there twice and recommend it.)

Lange has vineyards in both the Lodi and Clarksburg AVAs. This Chardonnay comes from Clarksburg, a growers’ region with 7,000 acres under vine but just 12 wineries. The area is capable of ripening high-yielding vines but cooling breezes coming off of the Sacramento River and its delta help to maintain acidity in the grapes.

The 2010 Lange Twins Estate Chardonnay offers pleasing aromas of green apple, pear, spice and yogurt. It is medium-plus in body with food-friendly acidity and a very light texture on the tongue with flavors of green apple, tart stone fruit, lemon and a touch of minerality. This is a solid effort, something I’d be happy to find in my glass at a backyard party. And at just $15 suggested retail and 13.9% alcohol it is a good choice for pool-side sipping, cookouts and weeknight dinners. Drink now through 2014. Recommended.

2010 Lange Twins Chardonnay Estate Grown Clarksburg AVA PRT LTCH10750 Mid 20110919 145559

Rating: Recommended

Drink: now through 2014
Closure: Screwtop
Retail Price: $15.00

Winemaker: David Akiyoshi
Origin: Estate vineyards, Clarksburg AVA
Alcohol: 13.9%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not recommended

Temperature: 50º - 54º F

Food Pairings: seafood, salads, chicken

Interpreting my wine ratings

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid adds off as personal recommendations or who getting samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews directly from wine producers. I’m a professional wine writer not a shill. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy of Lange Twins Winery.

2011 Roar Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

The 38-acre Sierra Mar vineyard, owned by Gary Franscioni, was planted in 2007. It’s up in the hills in the southern third of the AVA and includes Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier and the Hyde-clone Chardonnay used in this Roar estate wine. For more information about the area see Spotlight on the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.

Clear and day bright, despite being bottled unfined, the 2011 Roar Sierra Mar Chardonnay has a beautiful, effusive nose of fresh pear and apple with baking spice and a dusting of mineral. The palate is nearly full-bodied and intensely flavorful but supple and juicy. There is a strong core lightly-buttered pear. Apple, baking spice and a texture of very light chalk add interest. A pure and delicious Chardonnay. Drink now through 2018. Very Highly Recommended.

2011 Roar Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
roar chardRating: Very Highly Recommended

Drink: now through 2018
Release Date:

Closure: Cork
Production: 264 cases
Retail Price: $45.00 (sold out at the winery)

Winemaker: Ed Kurtzman

Origin: Sierra Mar Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Fermentation: 100% ML
Aging: 14 months in French oak (45% new, 55% one-year)
Alcohol: 14.4%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not required

Temperature: 50º - 54º F

Food Pairings: Mahi Mahi with Hazelnut and Panko crust

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2010 Frostwatch Chardonnay Bennett Valley Sonoma County

Frostwatch is a small, family owned-and operated vineyard in Bennett Valley. They produce Chardonnay, a white Bordeaux-varietal blend called Kismet (which I’ve reviewed previously), Pinot Noir and Merlot from that AVA. The Sonoma in the City tasting ended before I could taste the Chardonnay, but one of Frostwatch’s friendly neighbors made sure I left with a bottle to try at home. This review is based on that bottle

The 2010 Frostwatch Chardonnay is a little bit foggy in the glass because the wine is fined but not filtered. The elegant nose offers yellow apple, candle wax, pear, baking spice and a little wood. It’s also a wine of excellent tension and gentle complexity on the palate, nearly full-bodied and juicy with moderately drying talc-like texture. Flavors include apple, pear, baking spice, wood and a hint of cream. Medium-plus finish. A very enjoyable wine with or without food. Drink now through 2016. Highly Recommended.

2010 Frostwatch Chardonnay Bennett Valley Sonoma County

Rating: Highly Recommended

Drink: now through 2016
Release Date: March 1, 2013

Closure: Cork
Production: 175 cases
Retail Price: $30.00

Winemaker: Brett Raven

Origin: Frostwatch estate vineyard, Bennett Valley AVA, Sonoma County
Fermentation: native yeast in Burgundian barrels for primary and malolactic fermentations
Aging: 17 months in French oak, 28% new
Alcohol: 14.1%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Not required

Temperature: 50º - 54º F

Food Pairings: roast chicken, spaghetti alla carbonara

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook 

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

2009 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Selection

The Gary Farrell Winery is located on a hilltop in the Russian River Valley. The views from its tasting room are spectacular. Having a glass of this 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay in hand will make your visit even better.

GF_View_in_Fog1
Gary Farrell Winery lies above the fog in the wooded hills of the Russian River Valley

GF_Chardonnay_RussianRiver_NV_750ml_BTL_HighRes

The 2009 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Selection is a wine of delicious contrasts. The nose is friendly and giving with aromas of baked, spiced apple, lemon curd, cinnamon, vanilla and notes of yeast. The palate is medium-plus in body with notable acidity that easily balances the weight. The lively flavors of yellow apple, baking spice, wood, toffee and creme brulée are long-lasting. This is a classic Russian River Valley Chardonnay that is both fresh and flavorful. Drink now through 2014. Highly Recommended.

2009 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Selection

Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2014
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Origin: Russian River Valley AVA
Alcohol: 14.2%
Closure: Cork
Production: 2,237 cases
Retail Price: $32.00

Service Recommendations
Decanting: Not required
Temperature: 54º - 56º F
Food Pairings: Roast chicken panzanella

The wine above was provided by the winery for review.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.