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Chardonnay Debunked w/ Susan

Chardonnay is the fifth most planted and consumed grape varietal in the world. There’s a lot of it – which is probably why a term I came across, ABC, was coined: Anything But Chardonnay. But enough with the haters. We stand by you, Chardonnay, you’re lovely and magical and one of the most versatile grapes in the world. But we only love you when you’re not riddled with preservatives and chemicals. The Chardonnays we’re opening tomorrow are organic, and totally different in style, terroir, and taste, but similarly, they will all topple that ABC perception.
 
2015 Les Lunes, Dobson Vineyard – Manton Valleym, California ($33)
Berkeley-UC Davis-trained friends, Shaunt and Sam, began making wine together after working a Burgundy harvest. Their methods are 100% organic and even follow the cycle of the moon (hence, Les Lunes) when farming. Fermented first in natural French oak barrels and then aged in big, fancy plastic vats that these chemists-turned-winemakers are over the moon for Chardonnay that expresses terroir, not movie theater popcorn. This juice is slightly smoky, rich, mineral – think Mt. Etna volcanic ash and Sicilian lemon trees.
 
2014 Woodlands Chardonnay, Margaret River – Western Australia, Australia ($34)
This one if for you oak-lovers. This Aussie Chard from 30-year old vines was fermented and aged mostly in French oak barrels, and some new oak as well, and its deep straw-gold hue is mirrored by its full body and vibrant notes of white peach, toasted marzipan, and cooked pears. This has that movie theater popcorn thing going on, but it’s elegant, like Aussie star Cate Blanchett – blonde, smart, and a class-act.
 
2015 Lone Birch Chardonnay, Yakima – Washington State ($14)
Whether you’re a Chardonnay lover or not, you will love Lone Birch. This juice is fermented with its grape stems imparting a fresh-leaf, almost autumnal quality to the finish. The nose has ripe citrus and apricot, and the mouthfeel lingers with a touch of salinity and vigor that even a Loire Valley Chenin could envy. Only 1500 cases made – keep 1-2 bottles in the fridge throughout the whole summer, and open with any meal.  
 
2014 Mâcon-Pierreclos Domain du Château de Pierreclos – Burgundy, France ($24)
What’s Chardonnay without Burgundy? Chardonnay is Burgundy’s #1 buddy. Next to small amounts of another white grape, Aligoté, Chardonnay rules the Burgundian kingdom when it comes to making white wine. Anne-Françoise and Jean-Marie Pidault took over the Chateau de Pierrclos, located between the Solutré rock and Cluny Abbey. Their 8-hectare property only grows Chardonnay, and with south-eastern exposure at 300m, their grapes are getting a lot of atmospheric love. The clay and limestone soil gives their Mâcon a round, mineral drive, and leave you salivating for seafood or a hunk of Abbaye de Beloc sheep’s milk cheese.
 
2016 Donkey & Goat Lily's Cuvée, Pét-Nat – Anderson Valley, California ($45)
Cult wine, hip pét-nat, sparkling Chardonnay…whatever you call it, this wine is special and we just got the new vintage in. Jared and Tracey Brandt's wines reflect a down-to-earth, Californian disposition: the wines taste like the earth and aren’t trying to be anything they’re not. They’re pure grape juice without any gross additives or crazy additional sulfites. Their ingredients? Grapes and Yeast. That’s it. We can’t wait for you to try it tomorrow!

Earlier Event: May 20
West Coast Wine w/ OZ Wine Co. 
Later Event: May 27
Rhinegeist Brewery w/ Tom