National Chardonnay Day, The K-J Way
Though National Chardonnay Day is now in the rearview mirror (it happened on May 23rd … and I’m not sure for which nation it applied), it doesn’t mean we should all stop drinking Chardonnay-based wines. Though the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) movement seems to be a touch less vocal than it was in its heyday (no, I’m not exactly sure when that heyday was), do wine lovers ever really consider abandoning Chardonnay? No more champagne? No more chablis or other white Burgundies? No more funky Jura numbers? No more diverse white wines from across Europe? And no more classy New World expressions of this versatile variety? Seriously? I think not….
California is one of those New World places where Chardonnay has a track record of producing stunning white wines (remember the whole Judgement of Paris thing?). I’ve personally had the pleasure of visiting both Napa and Sonoma (the latter, twice). I still can vividly remember my visit to Kendall-Jackson during my first excursion to Sonoma, and touring the winery’s Culinary/Sensory Gardens.
The Gardens contained beehives, bird and bat boxes, chicken coops, and a huge variety of local and international vegetables, herbs, fruits, and even hops. The memory of the place came flooding back recently when a “grazing box” arrived full of fresh, seasonal items selected by resident farmer and Master Culinary Gardener Tucker Taylor. Heirloom baby carrots and grape tomatoes, watermelon radishes (kinda cool), artisanal cheeses, apple cranberry chutney, crusty malt rolls, fresh strawberries, dried fruit and nuts…all of which was accompanied by a bottle of Kendall-Jackson “Vintner’s Reserve” Chardonnay 2017.
Always one of the most elegant and well-balanced of the “popular” Sonoma Chardonnays, it shows lots of buttery, tropical fruit, baked apple, clove, and macadamia nut on the nose, with a rich but well-balanced layering of sweet pear, mild vanilla, and a dollop of caramel.
National Chardonnay Day may have came and went, but that’s no reason to stop enjoying Chardonnay-based wines … and the Kendall-Jackson “Vintner’s Reserve” Chardonnay 2017 is a great place to start.