Monday, August 26, 2013

Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011

Sequoia Grove Winery sits on 22 acres of prime Napa Valley real estate, on what's known geologically as the Rutherford Bench.  Mineral-rich soil, warm sunshine and morning fog combine to make what most folks think of as ideal growing conditions for wine grapes.

President and Director of Winemaking Michael Trujillo has been with Sequoia Grove since its inception in the early 1980s.  Winemaker Molly Hill uses fruit sourced mainly from Sequoia Grove's original estate vineyard and their more recently purchased Tonella Estate Vineyard in Rutherford.  They also acquire grapes from other Napa Valley growers.

The Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011 is produced and bottled in Rutherford, under the sequoias on the family-owned property.  From the Sequoia Grove website, "These Chardonnay grapes come mostly from Dijon and Wente clones grown in the renowned Carneros District in Napa Valley.  We buy fruit from the Beckstoffer Vineyard, the Haire Vineyard, the Ghisletta Vineyard, and Kate’s Vineyard in Oak Knoll."

The wine sees no malolactic fermentation, so the malic acid remains in control.  It is more lean than creamy.  Still a mouthful, though, it carries a ripe 14.2% abv number.  The wine is stirred on the spent Burgundy yeast cells for eight months and the finished product sells for $28.  A sample was provided to me by Jarvis Communications.

This Chardonnay has a nice, golden hue in the glass and displays a bouquet of pineapples, apples, apricots and lovely spices.  A hint of floral notes really sets off the fruit.  The palate is marked by flavors of sweet, red apples, lemons, peaches, papaya, and a nice touch of oak.  Butter and vanilla notes testify to the barrel aging, and a very lively acidity serves as lip-smacking refreshment.  Pair this wine with rich or creamy dishes and it won't disappoint.


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