Sunday, June 28, 2009

Raymond Burr Sonoma County Chardonnay 2006


The Bottle: A classic Chardonnay bottle - meaning "just a little too wide for my wine rack" - bears a label with a painting of the head of Bacchus and Raymond Burr's signature. Burr was part owner of the vineyards and winery before his death. Now his partner, Robert Benevides, carries on the business. Winemaker Phyllis Zouzounis came on board in 2006. It's 100% Chardonnay and was aged 11 months in American oak. Only 515 cases were produced. The abv is listed as 14.4% and it cost $28 at the tasting room. The appellation is Dry Creek Valley, and the winery and tasting room are in Geyserville. Mr. Benevides was kind enough to sit with my wife and I on our visit there, out in the front area, with a cool breeze, a glass of wine and a beautiful view to go along with his wonderful company. We are indebted to him for that enjoyable time.

The Nose: Golden in the glass, the wine smells like apples and minerals. It promises a very clean and crisp tasting white.

The Taste: There is a strong mineral presence amid the apple cider flavor. This is not an oak-bomb at all, but there is a hint of wood the flavor. It's crisp, not buttery, and there is a small trace of spiciness. The wine would be a great match with a cold shrimp salad or just a loaf and some cheddar. It goes great with some nice conversation on a warm afternoon, too.