Monday, January 23, 2017

Keep An Eagle Eye Peeled For Great $20 Chardonnay

Adler Fels is reportedly German for "Eagle Rock," which plays into their location "high in the Mayacamas Mountains." From there they look across California, spyglass to eye, searching for the great grapes they want to use. Of course, nobody needs a mountaintop watchman to find those locations. Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Monterey County, Santa Barbara County - they are hardly off the beaten path. Adler Fels makes what they term, "artisan wines with intense varietal character."

The Adler Fels The Eagle Rock Chardonnay 2015 is made from half Sonoma County grapes, half Monterey County. Winemaker Linda Trotta likes her Chardonnay "luscious and lively." She says she likes to "tease the nuances from the variety" and make wine that stays off the extremes it is known for while exploring the virtues of the variety and the terroir. It’s a $20 wine that tastes much richer. The alcohol level is 14.4% abv.

The wine is a masterful rendition of what Chardonnay can be, what lovers of the variety want it to be and what those who disdain it wish it were. The mouthfeel is full and lovely, with a bountiful acidity considering the lushness. Tropical fruit plays into wonderful citrus peel notes and peaches follow along the trail laid out by the minerals. I admit I feel less adventurous than I want to feel when contemplating a bottle of Chardonnay. This is the kind that makes me glad I pulled the cork.

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