Have you ever heard someone describe wine in the style of old-world versus new-world? I recently had a customer who wanted me to pick out two bottles of red wine so she could try these two different styles to see if she could tell the difference.
Old-world wines include the wines made in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany. These are the oldest wine-making countries in the world. New-world wines basically include everybody else. Some of the more popular are the United States (particularly California), Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Canada.
Thank goodness my client called in advance to give me time to make some decisions. This was going to be a fun challenge to find two wines from two different regions done in the same style in order to present an “apples to apples” comparison. My immediate thought was French bordeaux (old world) and a bordeaux-style wine from California (new world).
The largest factor that determines the stylistic differences between old world and new world wines is terroir. Vines absorb flavors from the area around them including soil type, other plants existing around the vineyards, climate and maritime influences, just to name a few.
Old world typically sees a shorter growing season with higher levels of humidity, rain and clouds. The fruit is picked earlier, which leads to a higher acid content and a much more austere flavor. Lean and mean, as I like to say. These wines have a tendency to mimic their terroir, and you can really taste the “dust” in the bottle. You will have more earth-like flavors such a minerals, tobacco and even leather. Please don’t take these descriptions to be disparaging, but rather a perspective on what you might smell coming out of the bottle or glass, not necessarily what you will taste while drinking.
With new world wines, the growing season is longer, the days warmer and sunnier and grapes are left on the vine longer. This translates to higher sugar content when the grapes are harvested, meaning the grapes are “fruitier” with higher alcohol content. These are wines with big fruit, big flavor and big structure. “Go big or go home” is the phrase that comes to my mind with this style.
The two wines I chose for my client were an old-world French bordeaux from Margeaux — made from a blend that consisted primarily of cabernet sauvignon, with some merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc blended in — and a new-world wine called Papillon from California. The blend of varietals was very similar in nature, but with malbec in the California blend instead of the cabernet franc in the Margeaux.
It would have been next to impossible to get the exact blend from one wine to another, especially coming from two different countries, but I felt this was a very fair representation of the bordeaux style between two different countries. Certainly they will give my customer what she was looking for as a comparison between worlds. But which one will she like better? Lean and mean, or go big and go home? I suppose I will know the next time she comes shopping if she chooses France over California for her wine choice.
Have you ever heard someone describe wine in the style of old-world versus new-world? I recently had a customer who wanted me to pick out two bottles of red wine so she could try these two different styles to see if she could tell the difference.
I don’t care that it is cold. Really, we live in South Dakota. What do we expect? Just throw on an extra layer or two, take the time to turn your car on a few minutes early to warm up and get over it, right?
Wrong! I’m sick and tired of this bone-chilling cold that just seems to hang here if only just to aggravate the citizens of South Dakota and make us cranky.
Because weather reports indicate that we might possibly be in positive double digits in the next few days, I’m taking out a couple of bottles of my favorite whites, and temperature be damned, I’m having a chilled glass of vino. It will be my own summer in a bottle to consume during this upcoming veritable heat wave.
I wasn’t in the mood for chardonnay or sauvignon blanc, and pinot grigio just didn’t seem to fit the bill, either, so i grabbed a couple of bottles of pinot blanc. Pinot blanc is an interesting grape varietal that is a genetic mutation of the red grape pinot noir. It is predominantly grown in Alsace, France, home of the world-renowned Maison Trimbach.
Maison Trimbach has been around for almost 400 years with its origins dating back to 1626. It is still family owned with the 13th generation of Trimbachs at the helm. They produce riesling, pinot blanc, pinot noir, gewurztraminer and sylvaner. The Maison Trimbach rieslings are some of the most sought after rieslings in the world, but I digress.
Known as the “Trimbach style,” their pinot blanc sucks flavor from the heavy limestone in the soil, giving this wine a delicate minerality. You can actually taste the limestone in this wine. While this wine is full-bodied like chardonnay, it has a very clean and crisp flavor that make it pair wonderfully with any light meal such as chicken or seafood.
This dry pinot blanc banishes the doldrums and gives a hint of what warmer weather will bring. Its aromas remind me of flowers and sunshine and almost made me brave the climate to attempt to grill. Actually I did attempt it, but did you know that gas grills do not like to keep a constant temperature when it is 15 degrees below zero? Stomping and swearing at the equipment doesn’t help either.
Here is a pinot blanc fun fact: In Alsace, pinot blanc can actually be blended with pinot noir vinified white. This means that pinot noir grapes can be used in the blend, but the skins are removed so only the pulp of the grape is used. Since wine gets it color from skin, the addition of pinot noir adds no color to the wine.
Another wonderful pinot blanc is from the Black Family Estate in Oregon. This wine has its own origins in Alsace. In 1995, the vineyard was planted using clones of pinot blanc and pinot gris from Alsace, and in 2003, The Four Graces Winery was founded. The winery is named in honor of the Black’s four daughters Alexis, Juliana, Vanessa and Christiana.
This elegant pinot blanc thrives in Willamette Valley. The Four Graces is fermented in stainless steel to bring out the natural flavors of the grape without any oak interference. While still a dry white, there are flavors of pear and lychee with sweet floral aromas that invigorate your senses. The crispness of the wine gives it a beautiful and refreshing texture.
The vines were not the only transplants from France. The wines produced at Four Graces, including pinot blanc, pinot noir and pinot gris, are crafted under the guidance of French-born Laurent Montalieu, one of Oregon’s most respected winemakers.
Celebrate above zero temperatures with a little pinot blanc in your glass. Trust me, it will remind you of warmer weather ahead and remind us that it can only get better. Cheers!
Oftentimes suggestive language is used to describe wine such as soft, elegant, bold or racy. If you are giving wine as a gift for Valentine’s Day, these are certainly descriptors you might want to see on the back label of a wine bottle. But do you really want to the read the back of every wine bottle? What if it was right on the front label instead?
Flirt is a “playful and provocative” California red blend made up of syrah, carignane, grenache and tempranillo. It is a fruit-forward red with hints of spice as well as toasty vanilla and toffee. An inexpensive wine, this would be perfect for a first Valentine’s Day gift. The name of the wine and the price doesn’t put too much pressure on the giver or the receiver!
If you are a fan of sarcasm like me, the wine you might choose would be Troublemaker. A bright red label keeps the Valentine spirit alive, and the full-bodied flavor certainly plays into the name. This is a blend of syrah, grenache, mourvedre, zinfandel and petite sirah hailing from Paso Robles in California. According to the folks at Troublemaker, this wine is “crafted with pleasure in mind” and has big flavors of red berries, pepper and cocoa.
How about a little Zin-Phomaniac to spice up your Valentine’s Day? OFFBeat Brands has introduced this new zinfandel with original artwork on the label that suggests the classic pin-up girl posters of an earlier era. OFFBeat Brands calls it a “hedonistic, plush, full-bodied wine with a bold and voluptuous mouth feel.”
Michael David Winery is very well known for huge wines with high alcohol contents, and Lust Zinfandel is no exception. At a whopping 16.9 percent alcohol, this zinfandel will warm any Valentine’s heart. Lust is blended with a little bit of petit sirah to increase its tannic structure and help balance the ripe fruit of the zinfandel. Flavors of dark raspberry and toasted caramel combine with hints of cinnamon, spiced gingerbread and chocolate abound in this rich and decadent wine.
It seems as if red blends and zinfandels have capitalized on Valentine’s Day appropriate labels, but I’ve saved the most romantic recommendations for last. The Beau Vigne Vineyard out of Napa Valley has two cabernet sauvignons named Romeo and Juliet.
As its name implies, the Juliet is lighter in style than the Romeo. The big, rich dark fruit brings to mind plums and black cherry, and the time spent in French oak gives it a beautiful background of vanilla and toasted butterscotch. The subtle acidity and nice, soft tannins keep the wine really pure and elegant, but there is a complexity with this wine that continues to grow as the wine opens up once you’ve pulled the cork.
Romeo Cabernet is a powerful and bold cabernet. Layers of flavor make this cabernet a hard wine to pin down, but it all works together to make a really gorgeous wine. There is more spice and herb notes in this cabernet than the Juliet. Massive fruit flavors, including blackberry, plum and black cherry, mix well with the baking spice flavors imparted by the French oak barrels in which the wine is held during aging.
Whether you are ready to “Flirt” or go all in with “Romeo” and “Juliet,” there is a wine out there for you.
Much like we consider cabernet sauvignon to be the king of California wines, many consider malbec to be the national varietal of Argentina. Malbec has a very interesting history, beginning as a blending grape for French Bordeaux wine. But in the past decade, it has become a major player in the wine world as a popular stand-alone varietal.
Malbec’s original purpose as a Bordeaux blending varietal was to lend rich color and fruit flavor to the wines produced in this very famous region of France. In 1854, cuttings of malbec from France were planted in Argentina, and there are currently more than 76,000 acres of malbec in Argentina. This is an astonishing 85 percent of all malbec planted worldwide. In fact, the malbec of Argentina is considered the only original malbec vines of true French heritage — most of the malbec vines in France were killed off in 1956 during a massive frost.
One of my favorite malbecs is the Catena Zapata Malbec from Argentina. Vintner Nicolas Catena is considered the pioneer of high-altitude growing and was the first, in 1994, to plant a malbec vineyard at 5,000 feet above sea level in the Mendoza region. His family is also credited with making world-class wines and giving status to the wines of Argentina. Wine Spectator has rated his 2011 Catena Zapata Malbec an astonishing 92 points. This is amazing for a malbec under $25!
The Catena Malbec is wonderfully aromatic with notes of baked plums and a hint of coffee. It is dark and jammy but with enough acidity to cut through the richness of the fruit. There is a subtle flavor of smoke and spice, making it a perfect pairing for rich, red meats. The finish seems to go on forever and just begs for another sip.
The Catena’s vision has been to uncover areas in Argentina that offer the purest expression of the land on which to grow grapes. Once the vineyards have been planted and the vines begin to show exceptional quality, they are tied with a red sash to show their prominence in the vineyard, and great care is taken with these individual vines. The grapes that are hand harvested from these vines go into their highest quality wines.
Another new malbec created from grapes grown between 3,500 and 5,000 feet above sea level is Vista del Sur High Note Elevated Malbec. Grapes grown in the Uco Valley of Mendoza are also hand harvested from different vineyards at various times to achieve certain aromas and flavors. It is interesting to note that Laura Catena, Nicolas’ daughter, is an investing partner with Vista del Sur.
According to the High Note website, their malbec grapes are distinctively influenced by the environment in which they are grown. The vineyards, high in the Andes foothills of Mendoza, enjoy the perfect combination of elements, including intense sunlight, cool temperatures and dry conditions. This allows for the fruit to slowly mature until handpicked for optimal flavor.
This wine is very flowery upon first sniff, with hints of violet and jasmine. Ripe red fruit and plum lead on the flavor, but there are hints of baking spices and toffee. Soft tannins make this a really easy wine to drink, and again, pair it with juicy red meat. This is a great wine all on its own and does fine without food. Since it is under $20, it is a great bargain for a really wonderful malbec.
I once had a friend tell me she had “to relearn her life” after a serious run-in with a large amount of sake and sushi while celebrating another friend’s birthday. As this was many years ago, I like to think we’ve all matured since then.
The sake market in the United States has certainly matured in the past decade, too, and so has the quality of sake available to us.
I love Asian cuisine and have had my fair share of warm sake in cute little ceramic cups at some of my favorite local restaurants. But I had my first really great glass of sake while visiting a friend in Minneapolis. At the time, he worked for Dairy Queen International and his territory was the Pacific Rim. This guy knew sake and sushi!
We ordered a huge platter of sushi, and I can say that sea urchin really is quite tasty. The sake my friend ordered for the meal was TY KU Sake Black. Imagine my confusion when the typical ceramic cups and sake teapot did not come to the table. Instead, the TY KU was served in white wine glasses slightly chilled. The flavor was lightly sweet with a hint of peach and nectarine. The texture of sake is “thicker” than wine and, in this case, clung pleasantly to my taste buds throughout the meal without overwhelming the food.
TY KU Sake Black is a premium Junmai Ginjo Sake brewed and imported from Nara, Japan — the birthplace of sake. Sake is made from fermented rice, and in the case of the Junmai Ginjo, the rice is polished so only 55 percent of the grain remains, which removes impurities and refines the taste. This classification represents only the top 6 percent of all sake in the world. Sake is sometimes called rice wine, but the brewing process is actually more like beer. With sake, the starch is converted to sugar during the fermentation process; whereas with wine, the grape juice and sugar is converted to alcohol with yeast.
We ended our meal with a sake called Crazy Milk Nigori. Known as cloudy sake, Nigori is sake with a small amount of rice left behind to create a rich and creamy taste. Served very chilled in the cute little ceramic cups, this unfiltered sake was an explosion of tropical flavors, including pineapple and coconut.
Since this tasting adventure in Minneapolis, I’ve been more adventurous when tasting different styles and brands of sake. The TY KU website even has recipes for cocktails made from sake, which may be my next venture. In the meantime, in the manner of the Japanese tradition of respect, always pour sake for others as a sign of friendship and celebration.
After experiencing one of the coldest days in my memory and entertaining my kids all day earlier this week, I decided to have an adult beverage after dinner that would spark some warmth and relaxation. The kids and I did really have a lot of fun during our impromptu vacation day, but I was in the mood and port just seemed to be the right way to end the day.
While not a choice very often in our home, we always have a couple of bottles of port on hand. It is one of the great classic European wines and the perfect choice for frigid temperatures. Port is a fortified wine, which means brandy or another grape spirit has been added to the wine during the production process. This makes the alcohol content much higher than an unfortified wine, hence the warming properties I was looking for.
As luck would have it, we had a bottle of Sandeman Twenty in our wine stash. I greatly appreciate aged ports, as all of the work has been done for me by the producer. I don’t have to cellar and wait for the wine to reach the perfect drinking stage. Sandeman ages its 20-year Tawny in oak wood casks as required by the Porto Wine traditional aging system. The aged wines are housed in Sandeman’s centuries-old lodges during the aging process and tasted and analyzed throughout to determine the final blend that goes into the Twenty Tawny Port. All wines selected for the blend are aged between 15 and 40 years and combined to maintain the consistency and style of this particular port.
The richness of the wine is apparent upon opening the bottle. The aromas of spice, vanilla and honey are immediate. I’ve always said I would rather drink dessert, and this wine certainly qualifies. With more than a hint of amber color, the wine rolled onto my palate with an explosive richness. We happened to have a few honeyed almonds left over from Christmas, and they were perfect with the port. It was a nice tummy-warming glass of wine.
Port wine is fascinating to me not only because of its history, but also because of the variety of styles and how it is made. Port wine is produced in the mountainous eastern reaches of the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful vineyard areas where wine has been made for at least 2,000 years. In 1756, the Port wine vineyards of the Douro became the first vineyard area in the world to be legally protected. The grapes used to make port are mainly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa or Tinta Barroca. The addition of brandy takes place before the wine has finished fermenting, which means that the wine retains the natural sweetness of the grape.
Styles range from ruby to vintage-aged ports that may cost hundreds of dollars. The ruby is young and refreshing and is aged for only two years in large oak vats. It has qualities of strawberries, spice and red fruits. This is the port best served with chocolates and fruit as well as rich, creamy cheeses. Tawny Port is aged up to four years and is wonderful with blue cheeses as well as dark chocolate. Taylor Fladgate Fine Ruby and Fine Tawny Ports are great examples of both of these styles.
If you’ve never had port before, I highly recommend both of these.
Now that we have said goodbye to 2013, what do we have to look forward to in the world of wine for 2014? Predicting what to expect can be a little tricky, but I’m spying some trends that will make this a very nice year for wine buyers.
It seems that $20 is the new $40 in terms of the magic price for wine. We are seeing a really nice selection of wine retailing in the $20 price range for consumers. With pressure on wineries to continue making wine at affordable prices for consumers, this trend should continue strongly into 2014 and beyond. High-quality wine in the $18-to-$25 price range is becoming much easier to find in all grape varietals.
Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon is an example of a small winery making great wine for $20. Coming out of Walla Walla, Wash., Charles Smith is the winemaker and has dubbed his Chateau Smith wines the Modernist Project, centering on the trend that most people generally consume wine without delay. Included in this line-up are Boom Boom Syrah, Velvet Devil Merlot and Vino Pinot Grigio.
High-alcohol wines saw their heyday in 2013, and while I don’t like to give too much credit to one individual for driving wine trends, with the retirement of Robert Parker of Wine Advocate fame, the love affair with over-the-top, high-alcohol wines also seems to be nearing retirement. It can’t come too soon. With alcohol percentages closing in on 16 percent for many zinfandels and the percentages creeping higher for cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, wines were getting too boozy, and having more than one glass in an evening was eye-blurring.
We also will see more unusual and unique white varietals hit the store shelves. Little family vineyards from Italy, Spain, France and Argentina are getting help from importers and bringing these tasty wines to the United States. Villa Sparina Gavi from Italy is a hands-down favorite for its refreshing peach, pear and lemony citrus flavors with a hint of wet stone flavor. This wine is incredibly food-friendly and a refreshing change of pace from sauvignon blanc.
Columna Abarino from Spain is is perfect paired with seafood. Known as the liquid gold of Galicia, Albarino has heavy maritime influences from the Rias Baixas region of Spain and considers the ocean part of its terroir, as it is an area rich in crustaceans. Most of the vineyards are planted on top of old eucalyptus plantations, which also adds to its unique flavor.
Moscato d’Asti continues to explode in popularity and has taken the place of many of old standard sweet wines such as white zinfandel and even riesling. Sweet bubbles in a bottle add to its universal appeal, and it is now coming in the color pink as well as flavors such as berry and peach. The Golden Delicious apple and pear nuances define its honeyed flavors.
Look for more inexpensive and good wines coming from Italy and France, as well as from across the United States. Rumor has it that this might be the year we start seeing wine from the Finger Lakes Region of New York and other small production pockets across the United States. I’m excited to see if these trends continue and if my predictions ring true.
Even though New Year’s Eve will be somewhat tame because it is in the middle of the week, it will not stop us from at least sharing a glass to ring in 2014.
My husband and I love sparkling wine and drink it frequently, not just for holidays.
The term “sparkling wine” encompasses all wines that have a certain amount of effervescence, or “fizz.” Sparkling can only be called champagne if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Prosecco and Asti are from Italy, cava is from Spain, sekt from Germany and sparkling wine from everywhere else. Wherever it hails from, there is just something about the festive nature of a sparkling wine that can revive your senses, cleanse your palate, refresh your mind and just taste great.
As Madame Bollinger once said: “I drink champagne when I am happy and when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it — unless I am thirsty.”
From 1941 to 1971, Bollinger ran the prestigious French champagne house, doubling its sales to more than a million bottles. In 1969, Madame Bollinger also introduced the first champagne to be made exclusively from pinot noir grapes. Until then and still today, most champagnes were a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.
Sparklers can vary greatly in price, but there is a bottle for every budget just as there is a style to suit everyone’s taste. They can range from very sweet such as an Italian Moscato d’Asti to a bone-dry French extra brut. If you like chardonnay, perhaps you can begin with a Blanc de Blanc, meaning the wine was only made with chardonnay grapes. If you are a pinot noir fan, try the Blanc de Noir style made with only pinot noir grapes.
With over 56 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne, how could you not find celebration in every glass? Remember, you are special and deserve sparkling wine!
My friend Robert came home from Afghanistan last week after being away for 9 months. His wife Janet, my best friend, relied on Facetime and emails to talk to him while he was away. The sight of Robert walking into my store safe and sound with Janet’s face absolutely glowing to have her husband back well, was my earthquake.
I hosted a party the next night to welcome Robert back home and the wine choices were easy. I chose Josh Cellars from Joseph Carr and Murphy-Goode Homefront Red. Both of these wineries donate money to Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit organization that provides emergency assistance to military personnel and their families in times of hardship. “Operation Homefront’s focus is the families of our military personnel, giving them the assurance that there is an organization ready and able to serve their needs while their loved ones serve our nation. It is support from companies like Josh Cellars that enables Operation Homefront to help these families at times when they need it most.” said Jim Knotts, President and CEO.
The Josh wines were a very nice surprise when I first had them. These affordable wines pack a lot of flavor and a big time bang for your buck. For each bottle sold in November and December, the Carr family donates $1 to Operation Homefront. “We want to help make the holidays brighter for our soldiers who sacrifice so much to protect our country. Operation Homefront provides aid where it matters: to the homes of military families who need support every day,” said Joseph Carr, producer of Josh Cellars. These classic California wines are named after Carr’s father, nicknamed Josh, who served in the army.
The Pinot Noir was probably my favorite in the line-up which includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Pinot has a surprising tannic quality to it that did not make me miss the typical Bing cherry flavor sometimes so dominant in Pinot Noir. It has deep rich color and a very firm structure. This Pinot is very rich and would pair well with seasoned salmon as well as rack of lamb.
Both the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are great sipping wines. Both have a beautiful acidity that cuts through the richness of both wines and make them very refreshing. Janet’s favorite wine of the night was the Chardonnay with its hints of tropical fruit and peaches. Having spent time in French oak it has a subtle creamy oakiness to it without being overwhelming. Its light yellow color sparkled in the glass and was strangely good with the caramel corn and cheese popcorn mixture!
Murphy-Goode Homefront Red was also present at the party. This wine was created for Operation Homefront and most bottles sport a dog tag necker in homage to our troops. Murphy-Goode donates 50 cents per bottle sold with the goal of raising $300,000. It is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Petit Sirah and Zinfandel. Big flavors of blackberry, raspberry, vanilla and toast are present in this wine. It was a big crowd pleasure amongst our guests who favored the fruit forward, food friendly red.
All of these wines retail for under $15 per bottle and are great choices for your holiday gatherings, not only because they are affordable and taste great, but because the sale of these wines support our military. Our nation’s military families face many challenges here at home while their loved ones are serving the country, and at no time does this hit home more than during the holiday season when family members are either apart or reuniting. Here is wishing a Merry Christmas to all of our troops at home and overseas. Stay safe and thank you so much for everything you do.
Chardonnay is the most popular white wine in the world and one of the most widely planted grape varieties. With the diversity of regions, soils, climate and winemaking styles, chardonnay grapes can take on many different flavor characteristics.
From the austerity and crisp acidity of the French Domaine des Chazelles Viré-Clessé to the creamy rich vanilla flavors of Hendry Napa Valley Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, the flavor dimensions for this grape seem to be neverending. For me, it comes down to oaked or unoaked chardonnay.
An oaked chardonnay is a wine that has spent time in oak barrels while it is fermenting and aging before being bottled . The more time a wine spends in barrel, the more flavors and aromas it will inherit from the influence of the wood. Toast, vanilla, butter, spice and sometimes smokiness are common flavors and aromas given to chardonnay by the oak. Oak adds complexity and richness as well, but if used incorrectly, can really mask the true and beautiful flavors of this renowned grape.
One of my favorite oaked chardonnays is the Hendry Ranch Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Napa Valley. During a Hendry tasting a few years ago, I discovered my breakfast wine. We served the Hendry Oaked Chardonnay with a sunny-side up egg served in a pancetta cup with an asiago cheese crisp. The richness of the runny egg paired amazingly well with this wine. The baking spice flavors and creamy richness of the oaked chardonnay was spot on with the egg and pancetta. This wine spent 11 months on oak. This wine is a great example of oak being used to create balance and harmony with the wine.
A unoaked wine is more likely to be lighter-bodied than its oak counterpart. The Hendry Ranch Unoaked Chardonnay was fermented entirely in stainless steel at a cold temperature to preserve the fresh fruit flavors. This wine is like summer in a bottle with aromas of honeysuckle, nectarines and granny smith apple. It has a refreshing acidity that makes your mouth dance a little when sipping. The true flavor of the chardonnay grape is in full force with this wine, and if you’ve never had a “naked” chardonnay, this is a great wine with which to start.
Another chardonnay flavor profile — my favorite — is French Chablis. This wine is fermented in stainless steel, and the juice rarely touches oak. The clay and limestone hillsides and farmlands of Chablis give chardonnay from this region a flavor all its own. The soil imparts the unmistakable aroma of crushed shells and rock and give the wine a pronounced minerality from the limestone. The Francine et Olivier Savary Chablis is a perfect example of an extremely complex wine created not through the infusion of oak influences, but rather the influences of soil and place. Because of the cool climate of the northernmost region of Burgundy, this chardonnay is known more for its purity of flavor and is far less fruity than its California unoaked counterparts.
Food plays a major role in which chardonnay I will chose for any given occasion. The world is your oyster, so to speak, with chardonnay. A creamy rich oyster stew would be wonderful with the Hendry Barrel Fermented, fried oysters or oyster stuffing would be tasty with the Hendry Unoaked and Oyster Rockefeller with the Savory Chablis would rock.