Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay Is Number One for March
The arrival of March is something to celebrate. It was the perfect reason to gather friends for a Chardonnay tasting!
Chardonnay is the wine for end-of-winter drinking. It allows us to throw off the shackles of red-wines-only, while steering clear of wines that are crisp, light, patio quaffers. Not quite ready for those just yet.
Specifically I aimed to provide Chardonnays with a good dose of oak for a richer texture and profile.
Our intrepid tasters included a Wine & Spirits Department Manager, a Cheese Specialist, a beer brewer, a chef/smoker, and of course, myself.
I did not reveal prices but I also did not cover labels, so I imagine we all had some pre-level of expectation with many of the ten Chardonnays I provided.
At the end of the night, we confirmed there is a reason that Rombauer Chardonnay is so highly regarded. It was our unanimous choice as the best Chardonnay of the group.
This 2011 vintage from the Carneros Appellation is 100% Chardonnay and is aged 10 months in both French and American oak.
We all found luscious aromas of honey, pear and sweet tangerine along with vanilla and hazelnuts. The flavors are intense with sweet peach, melon and tropical fruits with creamy vanilla and exotic spices. One taster absolutely noticed smoked paprika on the finish!
What sets this Chardonnay apart from others, I believe, is its intensity of flavors and aromas balanced precisely with elegance in a lush, caressing palate. It is rich and round, yet understated and feminine.