2016 Sanford Chardonnay
2016 Sanford Chardonnay Jasmine and crème brûlée jump out of the glass while the bright and saline palate is balanced very well with richness on an elegant finish. Whole cluster pressing and barrel fermentation in French oak showcase this singular site. This classic, cool climate Chardonnay can pair with a wide range of cuisines from Asian to a fresh ceviche.
The most famous vine variety of all. So powerful is the C-word on a wine label that, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay has virtually no synonyms – although in Styria in southern Austria some winemakers persist with the tradition of calling it Morillon. In the 1980s something extremely important to the history of wine happened: ‘Chardonnay’ became a name more familiar to the world’s wine buyers than any of the geographically-named wines this vine variety had for centuries produced, such as Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, or Montrachet. When the emerging New World wine industries introduced varietal labelling – calling wines by the name of their principal grape variety – it was Chardonnay that made the most friends.
Wine drinkers find it flatteringly easy to enjoy, with its broad, exuberant charms, relatively high alcohol and low acidity, and lack of powerful scent. Vine growers find it easy to grow productively and profitably (it can yield well, ripen usefully early, although buds rather too early for frost-free comfort in cool climates). And winemakers revel in the range of different winemaking techniques to which Chardonnay readily submits: not just a wide range of dry white wines with more weight than most, but delicate sparkling wines and even a few extremely successful sweet white wines made with the benefit of ‘noble rot’.