J Vineyards Russian River Valley Chardonnay a Heavenly Drink

Anyone who reads my blog knows I am a fan of J Vineyards & Winery.  Their wines have great energy and focus.  And, they are wrapped in gorgeous packaging that captures and showcases that energy.

So it was a thrill to visit them on my recent vacation.  We took advantage of their “Bubble Room” luncheon–a classy five-course affair where Chef Erik Johnson masterfully prepared dishes to pair with each featured wine.  I was, obviously, in hog heaven!  (I’m showing my Iowa roots, here.)

Upon returning home, I found the J Vineyards Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2011, on my store’s shelf.  I was hoping for another heavenly experience, and this wine did not let me down.

J Vineyards & Winery is a Certified Sustainable Winery, and Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse uses grapes throughout many sites in the cool Russian River Valley.  The grapes are harvested at night when temperatures are low to preserve the freshness of the fruit, and the use of new oak barrels is limited to further encourage the fresh fruit to shine.

And yes it does shine!  The aromas are full of rich vanilla, tropical fruits and ripe lemons.  The mouth feel is lush and round with flavors of vanilla and hazelnut balanced with fresh, crisp apple and lemon.  Everything is wrapped in bright acidity and a little spice, and all comes together on the rich finish.  I was practically singing hymns!

Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse suggests pairing this Chardonnay with fresh popcorn, seared scallops or roasted pork loin.  We simply enjoyed it on its own on the warm patio as the sun was setting.  Our contented sighs wafted heavenward.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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