The delicious mineral quality of Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay with refreshing acidity. Exotic floral orange blosso...Read more...
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The delicious mineral quality of Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay with refreshing acidity; apricots, vanilla and cream.
Yowza! This is a Chardonnay with a melodious voice with which to sing. A very well-endowed opera diva, this wine will command your attention and hold it steadfast. 2004 brought a very hot August to the Santa Cruz Mountains, and a lot of fruit ripened more rapidly than in previous years. This wine, made from the Mount Eden clone of Chardonnay, which tends to have very small berry clusters and low yields (barely 1 to 2 tons per acre), shows what a little heat can do. Rich tropical fruits and enormous baked pear aromas truly do leap out of the glass. The 2004 Silver Mountain Organic Chardonnay smells so rich and intense it’s close to overpowering. Kind of like a soprano solo at full volume inside a car too small for the Blaupunkt speakers. On the palate, it delivers flavors of ripe, buttery apricot tart, glazed with honey and topped with lemony creme fraîche. There’s rich and juicy pear, and ripe melon on the mid-palate. The finish is quite tropical, oozing with mangoes, pineapple and lots of creamy vanilla nuttiness from the wood. The wine was whole cluster pressed and fermented with three different yeasts to bring out the complexity. Eleven months of barrel age in a mix of French and Eastern European oak, with frequent lees stirring, adds to the rich and complex mouthfeel.
This estate grown wine shares many similarities with other Chardonnays produced in the Summit Area of the Santa Cruz Mountains, most notably those from Burrell School Vineyards. These Chardonnays are intensely flavored, minerally-rich, and display a lively acidic core, with a structure that benefits from bottle aging. Silver Mountain's Estate Chardonnay is from the Mount Eden clone, brought from Burgundy (allegedly from one of Louis Latour's vineyards) by Paul Masson in the 1890s. Martin Ray later planted the clone in the early 1940s at his vineyard, which is now Mount Eden Vineyards, in Saratoga. This clone helped Martin Ray revolutionize the art of winemaking in California by using noble Burgundian varietals at a time when most wine was blended from inferior grapes. Martin Ray claimed that California could produce wine as good as that from France, and indeed he proved his point. The Mount Eden clone has a typical yield of only one to two tons per acre, and the vines produce fruit with tiny berries. The resulting wine goes from citrus to apple to stone fruits to ripe tropical fruits and then back again, making it a delight to enjoy. This is complex Chardonnay: not that simple dreadful swill commonly served by the glass at your local watering hole.This 2002 is medium yellow, like a bunch of roses, and has a rich creamy vanilla nose, accented by ripe pear and ripe yellow nectarines. On the palate, it is baked apples, ripe casaba melons, rich pear and a good measure of pineapple and mango. It has a slightly nutty finish, with more creamy oak (60% French and 40% Eastern European), and delightful hint of kumquats and limes. No question: this is a food wine that would be divine with cream cheese and apricot chutney or chicken salad with dried apricots, fennel and a buttermilk-lime with poppyseed dressing. It will age nicely for another 3 to 5 years. If you’re looking for a Chardonnay that you can drink like a red wine, consider this one.(Alc: 14.5%, Retail: $22)
The delicious mineral quality of Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay with refreshing acidity. Exotic floral orange blossom on the nose; on the palate, citrus notes of orange with cardamom, vanilla and a light nutty pistachio.
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