The end of Summer lies just off in the near future, temps are coming down to tolerable levels (at least here in Chicago) and soon the cold Winter months will bring cooler, no colder, temps that will help awaken our desire for those big bold and lush reds that we crave.
At least that’s the way I see it!
That’s why I’ve been reviewing an inordinate amount of white wines recently. This post is no exception.
The wine on the podium this time?
Wayfarer Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma Coast 2015
Like the wine itself; a mouthful! While I gave this wine a brief overview in a past post that focused on Pahlmeyer Wines (if you didn’t know, this wine is made by Pahlmeyer), I am now prepared to give it the full attention it deserves.
It’s the day after the long Labor Day weekend, I’ve faithfully bore the tradition of meat (Baby Back Ribs) cooked long and slow (oven cooked not grilled) and can now proceed with the rest of my agenda for the Summer. Rest assured I will be phasing out whites in favor of more reds. I couldn’t resist this one though. This year has been a white wine kind of year in my book. Starting with Champagne for the New Year, then followed up at the beginning of April with a trio of outstanding examples from Three Sticks then some Rosés and, as always, a smathering of Sauvignon Blancs.
As one might expect, my cellar contains many more reds than white wines. So when I finally decide to pull a white wine out from its perch, I choose carefully. I did so this time, as usual. Having planned a meal around shrimp for the evening, I had a pretty wide open palate to choose from for the wine. The only issue was how to prepare the shrimp. I’ve gotten back into stir-fry recently, so there you have it! Simple prep of Shrimp on rice with some veggies thrown together with an Asian sauce, but a sauce of moderate flavors overall.
As the wine chilled, I set about prepping the meal to determine the order of succession as to when to throw each item into the wok. It’s about at this point that I lose control and decide it’s time to open the wine. Remember, I’ve had this wine before in smaller quantities and was so favorably impressed, so waiting wasn’t really an option.
Just as I remembered. Wafting aromas of tropical fruit along with honeyed-ginger and somewhat nutty nuances. These same characteristics following through on the palate with a slight creaminess of texture and a wonderful balance of oak presence that led to a long and satisfying finish. I’ve come to realize, whom I kidding, I’ve known all along, this is my kind of Chardonnay. Coming from the relatively new AVA of Fort Ross-Seaview in the Sonoma Coast, the wine sees 15 months aging in 65% new French Oak barrels and undergoes full malo fermentation. For comparison only, the Pahlmeyer Chard is from Napa Valley and undergoes a little less oak aging but a greater percentage of new oak treatment. Both are spectacular. I’ll have to do a review of Pahlmeyer in the near future.
While 2015 isn’t the current vintage, I’ve sampled the 2016’s and find a slight edge to one or the other depending on my mood at the time. Both are excellent and for those with a penchant for great chardonnays, give these a try.