Tuesday, March 07, 2006
In Search of the Grail – A Worthy California Chardonnay
For the last few weeks I have been in search of a California Chardonnay to get excited about. I had found many to be over oaked for my taste. It seemed that I all of California was against me, supplying no chardonnay’s worth uncorking. Yet I knew my “grail” was out there, I just wasn’t looking in any of the right places. Awaking one morning from what seemed a trance, I remember a winery that I’d always heard good things about but hadn’t yet sampled any of their wine. I knew then, I need to find a wine from Sonoma Cutrer, confident their expertise could quench my thirst.
Sonoma Cutrer Les Pierres Chardonnay was the answer I had been seeking. Crisp, clean and “Grand Cru” elegant, the wine seemed almost regal in the glass. Aromatic notes of fig, honey and hazelnut had me at hello. But as the wine maker puts it, “The surprising aroma of a spark of struck flint and crushed granite hint at the mineral notes which add layers of depth and interest to the wine.” From presentation alone I knew this was the wine that had launched my quest, which only made for greater anticipation of the tantalizing first sip.
In the mouth the wine has a generous, creamy feel, with a faint toasty/oaky character that gives way to an explosion of green apple, warm comforting bread crust and citrusy lime notes, finishing with more citrus zest. Or at least that is one way to describe the experience. To me it was pure pleasure in a glass. Relaxing with a glass of Sonoma Cutrer Les Pierres Chardonnay in hand makes one no longer the adventure in search of some truth, instead I find much more enjoyment in becoming the story teller, happy to share the wisdom I’ve gathered, or a glass of wine.