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La Follete Manchester Ridge Chardonnay $45

If you’ve ever been faced with buying a gift for a couple and one half of said couple claims to not like Chardonnay, this is going to be your solution. Greg La Follette had a storied career creating many renowned wines in California, and while he approaches wine making as a science, he is the first to admit even he has a lot to learn.

His current project, the eponymous La Follette, is allowing Greg the opportunity to take everything he has learned during his decades of winemaking and produce the wines that he likes. These are not your typical wines. In many cases, they show more similarity with Burgundy than California, something that is certainly true with the Manchester Ridge Chardonnay. Born from fruit that enjoyed a long, cool growing season 2,000 feet up in Mendocino County, this Chardonnay is light and elegant, ripe and even a bit creamy, but crisp with green apple and tart pineapple fruit. As good as it gets in California!

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Comments

  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 6,130

    Being a Cab bigot I was intrigued by the Hidden Rdge wine. I am totally unfamiliar with this winery and was also fascinated with the name "55% Slope." I was wondering if that meant that 55% of the grapes were mountain and 45% were valley floor. Well, some internet research lead me to the information that their vineyard is located in the Mayacamas Mountains on slopes that reach up to 55 degrees. Now a 55 degree slope is not the same thing as a 55 percent slope. So, the reporter may have mistaken that, but both of them are pretty darned steep.

    I have to ask you, though, Greg, to take another look at the label. This appears to be a Sonoma vineyard, not Napa valley.

    Dec 09, 2011 at 6:54 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 213,784

    You are absolutely correct. My mistake and it has been corrected. I drove past the vineyard, making my way up from St. Helena. Must have imprinted Napa on my mind. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

    Dec 09, 2011 at 7:17 PM


  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 6,130

    You know, I really should not have even commented on the Sonoma thing. The fruit is mountain grown. That tells me more about the wine than what side of the county line it's on--and in this case it happens to be real close to that line.

    On the other hand, my comment that both 55 degrees and 55 percent were both steep was even more inaccurate. A 55 percent slope means that for every 100 feet of horizontal travel there is 55 feet of vertical travel. That is fairly steep. However, on a 55 degree slope, there will be more than 100 feet of vertical travel (143, actually) for every 100 feet of horizontal travel. That's not just steep, that is precipitous. Obviously, the reporter had that all wrong. Oh well, he's a wine guy, not a trigonometry guy.

    Dec 10, 2011 at 11:08 AM


  • Snooth User: whauptman
    864967 2

    Why not just find out what your friends would like? Isn't that the easiest way to satisfy tastes? All of the wines you recommend are surely very fine, but I see no champagne, or Barolo, no sweet dessert wines, all of which could be favored above the wines you recommend. I think it wise to know what your friends tastes are before offering something. An aged red Burgundy? Perhaps a fine Tuscan superwine? Perhaps a really good Port?

    Dec 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM


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