I made a Saturday jaunt recently to the Rosenthal Estate Wines tasting room, on PCH in Malibu. It was one of those sunny, 75 degree winter days Southern California is known for. It was a perfect day for a trip into Malibu's 26 miles of beachfront property.
The tasting room seems casual enough, with seating outside and a small bar indoors. The room has a rustic and funky appearance that I really like in a tasting room. I remember tasting Rosenthal wines as well as their Surfrider line. That's about all I can tell you, as the notes I took never made it out of my pocket. They did make it into the washing machine, where they were rendered unrecognizable as paper. I am able to tell you that I liked everything I tasted that day, and that a bottle of the Surfrider Chardonnay came home with me.
It's a pale straw-colored wine. The nose features a fragrant show of mainly tropical fruit and flowers. The palate is not belabored by wood, although it is 30% barrel-fermented, with five months in oak. In fact, it feels quite clean and crisp in the mouth. The fruit comes from Edna Valley, not Rosenthal's Malibu estate, which may explain some of the minerality. I even noticed a slight effervecsence on the second day which I didn't see in the previous night's glass. I'm a big fan of Chardonnay with a hint of oak, but I also love a refreshingly unoaked variety. Surfrider falls somewhere in between. I'm glad I could hang five - fingers, that is - on a Surfrider Chardonnay.
The Surfrider wines support the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit environmental outfit concerned with preserving our oceans and the beaches upon which they lap. A donation is made for each bottle sold.
Professional surfer Strider Wasilewski is featured - in a wave-leaping action shot - on the label, if that makes a difference to you.
Appellation: California > Central Coast > Edna Valley
Alcohol Level: 14.1% abv
Acquisition disclaimer: Purchased by the author